How You Can Help—Headache Sufferers

Here are two very tangible ways that you can get involved in helping us help headache sufferers.  As we all know, sufferers of headache disorders are the most discriminated sufferer of any type of chronic illnesses simply because headaches are invisible. In our region, there were six headache clinics when I arrived here 12 years ago and now there are two (U of Washington Headache Clinic and Pacific Rim Headache Clinic). There are rumors that Swedish might be resurrecting their headache clinic in the near future. But this is grossly inadequate for the number of headache sufferers who need this level of care.

The frank reason that headache clinics are far and few in between is that it is hard work for the provider (and patient of course) because headache disorders are some of the most complex medical problems. But the other reason is that headache work is not very lucrative.  Most headache clinics, like ours, fight to stay in the black financially. This is not for the lack of patients, excellent care or hard work. It is a direct fruit of the chronic discrimination towards headache sufferers.  Insurance companies don’t take headache complaints as a serious medical condition (although it causes more disability than all other neurological problems combined).  Therefore they pay poorly for the time it takes to give headache patients the quality care they deserve.

In the first way you can help us help our patients is by logging on and voting for Pacific Rim Headache Center in the “Best of Western Washington” series put on by Seattle’s channel five.  You might think that with thousands of medical practices across this part of the state, what are the chances of a headache clinic getting the attention of being first?  Actually pretty good. As it stands today, we have been nominated and are in 6th place (out of 475 nominated).  To vote for us simply go to: http://best.king5.com/pacific-rim-headache-center/biz/689488 and vote. You may need to create an account with your e-mail address and a password before you can vote. Please help us send a message that headache care is important and a message to sufferers, who suffer in silence, that there is help.

The second way you can help us help headache sufferers is to help us win a $150,000 grant from Chase Small Business. For almost 4 years we have had to exist on a shoe-string budget (due to the issues mentioned above). We have dreams of increasing our ability of helping headache sufferers by hiring more staff, which would make it easier to reach us by phone and help us see more patients in the day. We also want to add an infusion center to replace ER visits for patients, somewhat like a compassionate, headache patient-centered ER. We would also use the money to hire another provider and expand to the Everett area.  None of these things we can do with our present budget. You can help us by simply going to our Facebook page and clicking “like.”  To prove that a small business is viable, Chase requires at least 250 likes in thirty days and we have about 180.  To do “like us” go here: https://www.facebook.com/pacificrimheadachecenter

Thanks so much for even considering these requests. Our patients are the best in the world.

J. Michael Jones, MPAS-C