Susan Hayes Affholter, MPH
Susan Hayes Affholter has worked for over 25 years in public health beginning in the field of occupational health and safety. In 1999 she went to work for the State of Michigan addressing population health issues in its Cancer Prevention and Control Section, which was located within its Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Control. In this position she started working on cancer end-of-life issues, particularly pain and other symptom control. She was the lead person for the Michigan Cancer Consortium on their end-of-life priority. In this role, she was the project manager on a major study of end-of-life care in Michigan (2004) and a survey (2006) of hospital-based palliative care programs in Michigan.
This work served as the basis for justifying, in 2008, the creation of the State of Michigan's Pain Management and Palliative Care Program (PMPCP) which was located with the health professionals licensing bureau. The program identified the lack of education and training that health professionals have on pain and symptom management, and took a strong stance on the need for the appropriate, safe and effective use of opioids. As such, Ms. Affholter was involved in customizing and distributing the Federation of State Medical Boards' Responsible Opioid Prescribing by Scott Fishman, M.D. to all Michigan-based prescribers and dispensers.
Additionally, Ms. Affholter was the lead staff for the Michigan Advisory Committee on Pain and Symptom Management (ACPSM), a legislatively mandated advisory committee, and provided significant assistance, guidance, and input into the development of a model pain curriculum for health professionals, which can also be accessed at www.michigan.gov/pm.
Ms. Affholter received her A.B. degree in social sciences from the University of California at Berkeley and her M.P.H. from the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. She is currently a public health consultant.