Founder, American Chronic Pain Association

Member, Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee of the National Institute of Health

In 1980 Penney Cowan joins Napa Pain Conference and founded 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.

Sessions at Neurovations Events

2019 Kaua’i Pain Conference

2018 Napa Pain Conference 

  • Evidence-Based Strategies to Improve Patient Engagement & Adherence to Treatment Plans
  • Improving Patient Self Management

2017 Napa Pain Conference

  • Whole-Patient Care