Patients Included Conference Charter

For the 2018 Atlantic Pain Conference (being held in Halifax, NS), the planning committee will seek accreditation from the Patients Included Conference Charter.

Details on this initiative can be found here:

The Atlantic Pain Conference has evolved over the years, broadening the prospective audience to not only primary caregivers, but allied health members, nurses, specialists, political figures, patients and anyone with an interest in pain.  We have also had several patients participate as panelists in past conferences.  Going forward, we would like to ensure we meet all of the 5 charter clauses required by ‘Patients Included’ in order to become successfully accredited for our 2018 conference. 

  1. Patients or caregivers with experience relevant to the conference’s central theme actively participate in the design and planning of the event, including the selection of themes, topics and speakers.

    The Atlantic Pain Conference Planning Committee has accepted Virginia McIntyre’s self-nomination to be a part of the planning committee and planning process. Her bio follows:

Virginia was a healthy, vibrant Mom, wife and diagnostic imaging technologist who was unstoppable when it came to balancing a career and raising two children. All that came to a screeching halt in 2009 after a shoulder injury that led to extensive surgery. Instead of relief after the operation, she experienced debilitating unrelenting pain. As it never seemed to subside and not knowing why, Virginia found herself spiralling into depression and she became increasingly isolated. Working was not possible and led to an almost three years absence. Virginia found that people who are pain free, have a hard time understanding the challenges of those who are living with chronic pain.

Virginia was physically, mentally and emotionally spent and her outlook was bleak until she was referred to the Queen Elizabeth II Pain Management Unit in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was fortunate to have met a compassionate dedicated pain physician who diagnosed her with myofascial pain syndrome. She finally felt that someone understood her pain. There she began her journey to recovery by learning how to manage her pain. She set goals and received guidance, support and pain treatments that greatly improved her quality of life.

Living with persistent pain is challenging but Virginia now feels that she is equipped with the tools to better manage her pain and she has regained her positive outlook. She has returned to the career she loves in healthcare and even participates in a close-knit running group! Those natural endorphins help keep her pain at bay. Managing her pain instead of letting it manage her, allows Virginia to carry out activities she is passionate about such as being an active volunteer in her community. Virginia has found the strength to help others by coordinating and facilitating a Pain Self-Help Support Group.Virginia's vision is to to help others with persistent pain realize their potential and understand that it is possible to live well and thrive with pain.

The Atlantic Pain Conference Planning Committee has also invited Luke Doyle to be a part of the planning committee and planning process as an additional patient representative. His bio to be added at a later date.

  1. Patients or caregivers with experience of the issues addressed by the event participate in its delivery, and appear in its physical audience.

    The Atlantic Pain Conference plans to include at least 2 patient panelists in the curriculum to give their perspective on a relevant topic. Patients are also welcome to register and attend this conference.


  1. Travel and accommodation expenses for patients or carers participating in the advertised programme are paid in full, in advance. Scholarships are provided by the conference organisers to allow patients or carers affected by the relevant issues to attend as delegates.

    The conference will cover all necessary travel, accommodation and meal expenses for patient panelist(s), and in advance if requested. The conference will also provide scholarships to 2 patients who would like to attend.  Patients looking to apply for a scholarship should contact for more information.


  1. The disability requirements of participants are accommodated. All applicable sessions, breakouts, ancillary meetings, and other programme elements are open to patient delegates.

    The Atlantic Pain Conference Committee will ensure that any identified disability requirements are accommodated for all conference attendees; the venue chosen meets accessibility standards. Dietary restrictions can and will be accommodated if identified in advance.  Patients will not be excluded from attending any portion of the curriculum.


  1. Access for virtual participants is facilitated, with free streaming video provided online wherever possible.

    The Atlantic Pain Conference Planning Committee encourages the use of social media to share photos, moments, videos, opinions, feedback and ideas about the conference. This year’s registered hashtag is #2018APC and we will be promoting it prior to, during and after the event.  The Atlantic Pain Conference committee also asks all presenters to agree to provide their slides to the organizer, directly following the event so that they can be accessed online for free by participants.