Disparities in Headache Advisory Council Promotes Diversity and Equity in Headache Medicine

Disparities in Headache Advisory Council Promotes Diversity and Equity in Headache Medicine

Disparities in Headache Advisory Council Promotes Diversity and Equity in Headache Medicine

Offering Educational Events and Seed Funding

$100,000 Approved for Programs Across the United States Working to Reduce Disparities in Migraine and Headache Diagnosis and Patient Care

PR Newswire

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Due to the inequalities within the United States healthcare system, including migraine and headache medicine, the Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients (CHAMP) and its diverse group of partners created the Disparities in Headache Advisory Council (DiHAC) to address the racial and health disparities in headache diagnosis and patient care.

"Many studies have shown that migraine diagnosis rates and treatments are vastly different among Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinx compared to Whites," explained Kevin Lenaburg, Executive Director of CHAMP. "DiHAC is working to effect real change through stakeholder dialogue and by supporting grassroots programs that make an impact."

DiHAC, which was formed in 2020, provides meaningful educational sessions to its members. Topics explored include cultural competency training; Federally Qualified Health Centers; diversity, equity and inclusion in headache medicine; and more. Prominent guest speakers are also invited to present.

DiHAC is led by CHAMP in partnership with Jaime Sanders, the Migraine Diva, and includes a cross-functional group of patient advocacy organizations, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) headache patients, and healthcare providers working to understand the scope of the issue and find lasting solutions to racial disparities in headache medicine. DiHAC was also developed with the support of Sheila L. Thorne, a leading multicultural healthcare marketing professional.

"As a black woman working to manage chronic migraine, I have seen first-hand the challenges migraine patients face in a medical system entrenched in inequities for women and people of color," explained Jaime Sanders. "I am excited to lead this initiative and make real progress for the BIPOC community."

To further its goals, DiHAC recently approved its first round of seed-funding for six innovative initiatives addressing racial disparities in headache medicine. The programs and their organizers are noted here:

Strengthening Headache Knowledge of Medical Students by Larry Charleston IV, MD, MSc, FAHS is introducing members of the Student National Medical Association to headache medicine through a community service headache awareness program focusing on people of color.

Utilizing Opportunities to Expand Diversity and Inclusion by Clusterbusters, Inc. is working to diversify the population that receives resources offered and the population that participates in Clusterbusters events.

Engaging the BIPOC Community in Migraine Disease Advocacy by Miles for Migraine (MFM) is engaging BIPOC patients and their families in live MFM events across the United States.

Migraine Education for Patients & Practitioners in Underserved Communities by Association of Migraine Disorders (AMD) is offering continuing education in migraine diagnosis and treatment to clinicians serving in Native American health facilities.

Developing Headache Medicine Providers for Native American Communities by William B. Young, MD is training one provider in the Native American community to become a headache expert to reduce the burden of illness in this group.

Patient Professors by U.S. Pain Foundation, Inc. is working to bring advocates to speak at two historically Black Colleges with medical programs to share their experiences with chronic pain and help future providers understand how to better serve patients.

In addition to these programs being funded, DiHAC recently published the issue brief Disparities in Headache, which covers the landscape of disparities in headache medicine from access to care, race-based traumatic stress, and minority representation in migraine clinical research studies. The issue brief also examines the impactful work DiHAC is involved in to address these pressing issues and make lasting change.

DiHAC is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors Amgen, AbbVie, Lilly, and Lundbeck.


The Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients (CHAMP) is a non-profit that provides support to people with headache, migraine, and cluster diseases who are often stigmatized and under-served. To learn more please visit: https://headachemigraine.org/

About DiHAC

The Disparities in Headache Advisory Council (DiHAC) was created in 2020 to address the inequities and systemic racism of the American healthcare system. DiHAC is a cross-functional group of patient advocacy organization leaders, BIPOC headache patients, and healthcare providers. The Council is organized by CHAMP in partnership with the Migraine Diva, Jaime Sanders.

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SOURCE Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients

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