Board of Directors

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Our Board of Directors supports the ACPA with expertise in many areas and helps to guide our development. We are grateful for their participation in achieving our goals.

Click on an individual’s name below to read their biography.

Board of Directors Profiles:

Penney Cowan

Founder & CEO, American Chronic Pain Association

Penney Cowan is the founder and chief executive officer of the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA). She herself is a person with chronic pain and established the ACPA in 1980 to help others living with the condition. The ACPA provides peer support and education in pain management skills to people with pain and their families. The ACPA also works to build awareness about chronic pain among professionals, decision makers and the general public.

Since 1980, Cowan has been an advocate and consumer representative for pain issues. She was awarded the Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Citizen by the Institute for Public Service, Washington, and is listed in Who's Who in America, 24th Edition. The American Pain Society awarded her the 2005 John and Emma Bonica Public Service Award, Presidential Commendation, American Academy of Pain Medicine, 2013 and the Elizabeth Narcessian Award for Outstanding Educational Achievements, from the American Pain Society, 2013.

She served as: Consumer Representative for the FDA/CDER Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee (AADPAC) for 2012 and was appointed to Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee of the National Insitute of Health from 2013 to 2015.

Cowan began the Partners for Understanding Pain campaign in 2002 in an attempt to raise awareness about the need to better understand, assess, and treat pain. There are more than 80 partner organizations. The campaign, under the direction of the ACPA, successfully established September as Pain Awareness Month.

Jonathan Cohen

MD/PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine / Carnegie Mellon University

Jonathan Cohen is an MD/PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine/Carnegie Mellon University. He received his bachelor’s degree at Swarthmore College. During his time in Pittsburgh he has worked with the faculty to promote pain management education through inter-professional collaborations, student interest groups, curriculum restructuring, and establishing pain management programs for underserved communities. Recent projects include developing an inter-professional student-run pain clinic for underserved community members. His research interests include understanding the biological mechanisms of pain, identifying risk factors and interventions for patients with chronic pain, and developing strategies to increase student awareness and understanding of pain management.

Daniel Galia

Director of Global Support & On Demand Operations

Daniel Galia is M&A Program Manager at Oracle Corporation. In 1997, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business Operations from California State University, Sacramento. Over the past 20 years at Oracle, Daniel has worked in several management and operational roles within Finance. After 20 years of volunteering for the ACPA, Daniel was elected to the ACPA board of directors in 2004. Since then he has served as the Treasurer. Daniel lives in Rocklin, CA with his wife Kimberly, and his children Aidan and Devyn. When he is not traveling for work, Daniel enjoys spending his time with his family.

 Donna A.K. Kalauokalani, MD, MPH

Folsom Pain Management

Donna Kalauokalani received her medical degree from the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School Of Medicine.. She has completed post-graduate training in Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Public Health, and Health Services Research. She completed a prestigious fellowship in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar’s program and obtained her master’s degree in Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle.

While on faculty at University of California Davis, she established and directed the Pain Telemedicine Clinic in the Center for Health Technology at UCD Medical Center which provided consultative services to all California State Prisons. She has also developed a program for quality improvement for the California Department of Corrections for managing chronic pain management which is largely based on training their primary care work force.

Her research interests focus on the access and delivery of care to vulnerable populations and on understanding factors that influence need, demand and utilization of both conventional and alternative pain management services. Recent projects include evaluating a tailored patient education and coaching technique in reducing cancer related pain funded by the American Cancer Society; studying Racial Disparities in Treating Occupational Low Back Pain, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; and evaluating the Community Oriented Pain-Management Exchange (COPE) Program, funded by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. She also participates in the International Forum for Low Back Pain Research in Primary Care.

While on faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, she co-founded and chaired the Missouri Pain Initiative. In 2003 she won the National Leadership Award, as Honorary Chairman (Missouri) Physicians Advisory Board by the National Congressional Committee; was selected as one of America’s Top Physicians; and was recognized for Outstanding Commitment to the People of Missouri by the Missouri Pain Initiative.

Dr. Kalauokalani lectures nationally and internationally on a wide range of topics in pain medicine. She is a member of the International Association of the Study of Pain and regularly participates in the International Forum for Low Back Pain Research in primary Care. She serves as reviewer for various medical journals, publishes on a broad range of pain medicine topics, and serves as Editor for Resource Reviews for Pain Medicine, journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. She has served as organizing committee member and Vice-Chair for the Disparities in Pain section of the American Pain Society. She advocates nationally for equal access to pain care and educates practitioners and policy makers in various settings about optimal pain treatment.

Nicole Kelly


A communications strategic planning consultant and writer, Nicole is retired after ten years as a Principal and Communications Practice Leader for Buck Consultants in Pittsburgh. She previously held the same positions with the William M. Mercer Company for eight years. Prior to her consulting work, she was Manager of Corporate Communications for Allegheny International and held public relations positions at Allegheny General Hospital. She also taught in the Chatham University Masters of Professional Writing program.

Her areas of expertise include communications strategic planning; opinion research, including both surveys and focus groups; multimedia personalized communications; video and web site development; executive communications; and broad human resources communications.

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Nicole has served on the Board of Directors of the American Chronic Pain Association for more than 30 years. For the ACPA, she has developed educational videos, print materials, surveys, and the organization’s web site and was instrumental in launching the Partners for Understanding Pain September Pain Awareness Month campaign. She is a past president of the ACPA board of directors.

A Pittsburgh native, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

Joanne H. Schneider, RN, PH.D.

Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist and Adult Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry/Pain Medicine in the Neurological Institute Center for Pain at the Cleveland Clinic

Joanne is a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist and Adult Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry/Pain Medicine in the Neurological Institute Center for Pain at the Cleveland Clinic. She has worked as a multidisciplinary team member in the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program for 23 years, which treats individuals with chronic pain, addiction and psychological issues. As part of her role, she evaluates patients to assess, plan and implement treatment of their chronic pain, orchestrate the care of a team of patients undergoing treatment in the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program, plus addresses psychological, substance use and relapse prevention issues. In addition, she see patients for follow-up to assess treatment outcome, provided medication management, and psychotherapy. She helps educate nursing staff, medical students, and residents in art of pain management.

Board Members Emeritus

  • Joseph Baim, Ph.D., Baim Associates
  • Charles Lidz, Ph.D. University of Massachusetts
  • Darlene Lovasik, R.N., M.N. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Edward Covington, M.D; Director of the Neurological Center for Pain in the Neurological Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation