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Penney Cowan

Founder and CEO of the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA)

In 1980 Penney Cowan founded and is CEO of the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA), which provides peer support and education in pain management skills to people with pain and their families and works to build awareness about chronic pain among professionals, decision makers, and the general public. Ms. Cowan is a recognized speaker advocating a multi-disciplinary approach to pain management.

She served as Consumer Representative for the FDA/CDER Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee (AADPAC); Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) of the National Institute of Health; and Co-chair of the National Pain Strategies Public Education and Communication Working Group, part of the IPRCC. Most recently she was elected as a Board Member of the International Alliance of Patient Organizations.

Ms. Cowan is the author of Patient or Person, Living with Chronic Pain. She has also written all manuals and materials used by the American Chronic Pain Association.

She successfully established September as Pain Awareness Month in 2002 with her Partners for Understanding Pain campaign, which raised awareness about the need to better understand, assess, and treat pain. More than 80 partner organizations joined the campaign. Ms. Cowan has been an advocate and consumer representative for pain issues and received numerous awards from organizations, such as the Institute for Public Service, American Pain Society, and American Academy of Pain Medicine.


The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA)

The ACPA has a wealth resources for patients and providers. We encourage you to visit their Pain Management Tools at: https://www.theacpa.org/pain-management-tools/