"For Women In Pain, By Women In Pain"
—Women In Pain Conference Slogan

Welcome to For Grace’s 4th Annual Women In Pain Conference – “Reframe Your Pain, Reclaim Your Life” video archive of this empowering, inspiring and enlightening day!

For an agenda of this year’s event, please scroll down this page beyond the video replay section.

Part One: California State Senator Carol Liu, Comedienne-Motivational Speaker Kathy Buckley, For Grace Founder & Spokersperson Cynthia Toussaint

Part Two – “Dark” Reading from the Upcoming Pain Memoir, Battle for Grace (Actors – Lourdes Colon & Markell Pool), The Pain Chronicles Author Melanie Thernstrom, “Transition” Reading from Battle for Grace (Actors – Betsy Gardner & David Zimmerman)

Part Three – “Consciouness-Management” Panel with Dr. David Bresler (Guided Imagery) and Dr. Marvin Bresler (Mindfulness Meditation), Pain Psychologist Dr. Beth Darnall

Part Four – Patron of Women’s Right Presentation to Senator Liz Figueroa, Diet & Exercise Breakout with Dr. Susan Nyanzi and Anna Saunders, “Coming Through the Other Side” Reading from Battle for Grace (Actors – Cissy Wellman & Kevin Dobson)

Part Five – Women In Pain Panel – “Surviving & Thriving!” with Dr. Beth Darnall, Yvonne Evans, Kristina Breen and Mindy Meyer, Dana Gambil Photo Essay with Cynthia Toussaint vocal performance of “Trouble Me”


Check out this great conference coverage on ABCNews.com!

Also, please view a highlight video of our 4th Annual Women In Pain Conference (Photos by Dana Gambill – Original Conference Art by Radene Marie Cook – Song Performed by Cynthia Toussaint)


“Breaking through to the other side…”

On behalf of For Grace, I invite you to a uniquely empowering event for women in pain, their caregivers and the healthcare professionals who treat them.

It’s our 4th Annual Women in Pain Conference: Gender Matters to be hosted on Friday, September 16, 2011 at the California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities in downtown Los Angeles.

This year’s theme, “Reframe Your Pain, Reclaim Your Life”, will focus on self-management tools and the healing powers within ourselves as we explore alternative and complementary approaches including mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, gentle yoga, exercise, diet and much more.  Also, the dark and positive sides of the pain experience will be examined to help us understand how they impact wellness and life force.

The conference will include celebrity appearances and live performances, featuring comedianne and nationally-known motivational speaker Kathy Buckley!  Highlights include readings from the upcoming pain memoir, Battle for Grace, to paint a metaphorical mural of the Women In Pain experience – and a photo essay by woman in pain photographer, Dana Gambill, which will provide an inspiring reflection of the day!

Five (5) CEUs will be available for Registered Nurses in attendance and the event will be open to all via a live worldwide webcast by TVP Studios.

We’re proud to have assembled a distinguished roster of speakers and panelists for this innovative conference.  Keynoters include Melanie Thernstrom, New York Times writer and the author of the NYT bestseller, The Pain Chronicles, and Dr. Beth Darnall, pain psychologist/researcher with the Oregon Health & Science University. Panelists and presenters include Dr. David Bresler, Founder of UCLA’s Pain Control Unit, Dr. Marvin Belzer, Associate Director of UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center and Camille Dieterle, Director of USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice.  In addition, we’re honored to have California State Senator Liz Figueroa receive our second annual Patron of Women’s Rights Award.

Please scroll below to see our exciting program.

We look forward to seeing you on a day sure to empower, inspire, enlighten and educate – For Grace’s 4th Annual Women In Pain Conference!

John Garrett
Director, For Grace


4th Annual Women in Pain Conference
Friday, September 16th, 2011
California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities (Map & DirectionsHotel Information)
1000 North Alameda Street (Across the street from Union Station and next to Chinatown)
Los Angeles, California

In Association With

California Endowment
Community Partners
Meet the Biz
Los Angeles County of Public Health – Office of Women’s Health
TVP Studios

Conference fees (Registration is now closed)

$20 – Women In Pain and caregivers (includes full-day conference, educational materials, meals and tote bag)

$125 – CEUs for California Registered Nurses (includes full-day conference, 5 CEUs, educational materials, meals and tote bags)

$65 – Non-CEU healthcare professionals (includes full-day conference, educational materials, meals and tote bags)
Continuing Education Units


This program meets qualifications for five (5) hours of continuing education credit for Registered Nurses as required by California Board of Registered Nursing.  Provided by Holly Kiger, RN, MN.  Provider #10957.


1.  You must attend the entire program to receive 5 full credits.

2.  You will be handed a post-test when you check in.  This post-test must be turned in before you leave at the end of the program.

3.  You must be licensed in the State of California.

Refund Policy

Refunds will be issued, less a $25 administrative fee, if cancellation is received in writing no later than September 1st, 2011.  Please write to wipaware@forgrace.org Refunds may take up to 10 days to be processed.

Conference Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the conference, participants will be able to:

1. Explain the personal experiences of women living with pain and the challenges they face to maintain mental and physical wellness.
2. Identify tools and techniques that a woman in pain can utilize to enhance one’s natural healing powers.
3. Describe what Mindfulness Meditation and Guided Imagery are and how these “consciousness-management” techniques can benefit women in pain.
4. Understand how diet, exercise and yoga can enhance pain control and wellness.
5. Discuss the importance of how social media and pain advocacy can positively impact one’s support system.

Target Audience

Women who experience persistent pain, their caregivers and healthcare providers.

“Reframe Your Pain, Reclaim Your Life”

8:15 – 9:00am

Conference Introduction – John Garrett, Director, For Grace

9:00 – 9:05
Conference Welcome – California State Senator Carol Liu

9:05 – 9:20
Kathy Buckley, Comedienne, Actor & Activist

9:20 – 9:30
“Coming Through the Other Side” – Cynthia Toussaint, Founder & Spokesperson, For Grace

9:30 – 9:35
Reading from the upcoming pain memoir, Battle for GraceLourdes Colon & Markell Pool

9:35 – 10:20
“The Pain Chronicles” – Melanie Thernstrom, Contributing Writer for the New York Times Magazine & Author of The Pain Chronicles

10:20 – 10:25
Reading from the upcoming pain memoir, Battle for GraceBetsy Gardner & David Zimmerman

10:25 – 10:40
Morning Break

10:40 – 11:30
Consciousness-Management Panel: “The Mind and Pain Control”
Mindfulness Mediation – Dr. Marvin Belzer, Associate Director of UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center
Guided Imagery – Dr. David Bresler, Founder of UCLA’s Pain Control Center and Director, The Bresler Center

11:30 – 12:20
“Accessing the ‘Gift’ in Pain” – Dr. Beth Darnall, Pain Psychologist & Researcher, Oregon Health & Science University

12:20 – 12:30
Presentation of WIP Patron of Women’s Rights Award – State Senator Liz Figueroa

12:30 – 1:15

1:15 – 2:15

Pain Advocacy: How You Can Be a Trailblazer
Presenters: Dana Gambill, Woman In Pain and CRPS Community Advocate & Radene Marie Cook, Woman In Pain and California Leader, American Pain Foundation Action Network

Social Networking For Good
Presenters: Heather Grace, MBA, Woman In Pain and California Leader & Grant Researcher, American Pain Foundation Action Network & Amanda Green, Woman In Pain, Lupus Advocacy Leader and founder of LALupusLady.com

Diet & Exercise: Eat & Move Yourself to a Better Pain Day
Presenters: Dr. Susan Nyanzi, Chronic Disease & Wellness Specialist/Researcher, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Office of Women’s Health & Anna Saunders, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Cardenas & Associates Physical Therapy

Gentle Yoga: The Benefits of Yoga
Presenter: Camille Dieterle, Director, USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice

2:15 – 2:25
Reading from the upcoming pain memoir, Battle for GraceCissy Wellman  & Kevin Dobson

2:25 – 3:15
Women In Pain Empowerment Panel – “Surviving & Thriving!”
Moderator – Dr. Beth Darnall
Panelists – Mindy Meyer, Woman In Pain and Facilitator, California State University Sacramento Center for Policy, Kristina Breen, Woman In Pain, Reiki II practitioner and a Minister at the Universal Church of the Master & Yvonne Evans, Woman In Pain, State Certified Reflexologist and Arthritis Foundation Water X Instructor

3:15 – 3:25
Reflections, Affirmations & Closing Remarks

3:25 – 3:30
Photo Essay with Vocal Performance – Dana Gambill & Cynthia Toussaint

THANK YOU to our generous sponsors!

Boston Scientific
Endo Pharmaceuticals
Janssen Pharmaceutica
Los Angeles County Commission for Women
St. Jude Medical Neuro
USC Pain Center

Also our deepest thanks to…
AdvoCare Spark Energy Drink
Emergen-C Vitamin Supplements
Purdue Pharmaceuticals
Health Monitor Magazine
LA Yoga Magazine
Oh Yeah! Nutritional Products
Ola Loa Vitamin Supplements
Sore No More

Our Exhibitors…
American Pain Foundation
Boston Scientific
City of Los Angeles Department of Aging
Los Angeles County of Public Health – Office of Women’s Health
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Los Angeles  
USC Occupational Therapy Practice


Planning Committee Members

Kristina Breen
Radene Marie Cook
Karin Davalos
Dr. Beth Darnall
Dana Gambill
John Garrett
Heather Grace
Jennifer Hughes
Mindy Meyer
Dr. Susan Nyanzi
Cynthia Toussaint

The 2011 WIP Conference Planning Committee extends a special thanks to…

Gary Erickson
Morgan Grether
Jazmine Gutierrez
Carla Levenson
David Mirisch
Jack Patterson
David Zimmerman

Here’s media coverage from our 2010 Conference: