Headache on the Hill, Washington


11th annual Headache on the Hill—a two-day lobbying event held each year, organized by American Migraine Foundation partner, the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy. In the most well-attended Headache on the Hill yet, 145 patients, specialists and advocates gathered in Washington D.C., where they shared their experiences with migraine, headache and other disorders that cause severe pain.

On the first day, advocates met for an advocacy training session and issues briefing, where they learned about the goal of this year’s event: passing the Opioids and STOP Pain Initiative Act (H.R.4733 / S.2260). If passed, the bill will increase NIH funding for research on understanding chronic migraine, headache disorders, chronic pain and opioids, potentially saving over 100 lives per day.

The second day was dedicated to participant meetings with their respective congressional delegation on Capitol Hill. Each participant met with at least one congressman and two senators to discuss the importance of funding migraine and chronic pain research to develop safer treatment options. While hustling through the halls of the Capitol Building, a few participants were lucky enough to stop The Late Show’s very own Stephen Colbert!

Many participants also attended the Headache and Migraine Policy Forum’s “Veterans and Migraine Policy Luncheon”, where a panel of headache specialists and veteran support experts discussed how migraine and headache disorders impact the men and women who have served our country. The conversation focused on how the stigma of the disease can keep veterans from seeking treatment, leading to isolation and common comorbidities like depression and anxiety.

This year’s Headache on the Hill event was a striking example of patient advocacy in action. An event based on the commitment to educating others and pushing migraine to the forefront of conversation.

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