Chapter 15-1: A Rough Year - Fight to Save our Doctor

Back home, I contacted Siobhan Reynolds, the Director of Pain Relief Network, a national organization dedicated to fighting for better pain treatment, specifically defending doctors that were coming under attack from their state’s medical boards. Siobhan made it clear that the resources of Pain Relief network were tied up with cases defending doctors in Kansas and Washington State but since she lived in Santa Fe was willing to meet with us in Albuquerque to help strategize. So early one Friday in late June I sat down with Siobhan, Dr. Lewis, Dr. Lewis’ medical director, and a friend of Dr. Lewis for a breakfast meeting. 

Indian Blanket

            Siobhan was short, slender, energetic woman, and her entrance into this morass was refreshing, as I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by the speed with which we had to get organized and anxious looking ahead to the future of Bob’s treatment if we failed. Her knowledge and understanding of the problems facing chronic pain patients was personal.  Her husband had suffered intense chronic pain from a muscular disease that eventually took his life.  The fight to get him treated took its toll on their marriage and they divorced. But in the end, when her ex-husband’s health was failing, she took him in and nursed him. When her husband’s doctor, William Hurwitz, was repeatedly prosecuted in the early 2000’s for “overprescribing,” she spoke out, helping bring to light the lives of patients whose pain he had successfully treated. It was from this experience that she had set up the non-profit organization Pain Relief Network on a thin budget. She had toured the country to advocate for those living with chronic pain and unable to get treatment. Thanks to Reynolds, the major media outlets including, the New York Times, began asking if the DEA’s war on pain doctors had gone too far.1

1. Champion of Pain Relief, Siobhan Reynolds Dead in Plane Crash | TIME.com