Steering Council Members and Their Bios

The Massachusetts Pain Initiative Steering Council is comprised of a group of volunteer leaders that bring together a variety of professional expertise and related experiences. We have or have had currently practicing pain management nurses, recently retired pain management nurses, physicians, academic educators, researchers, consultants, social workers, physical therapists, and pain patients. The current Steering Council leaders continue this tradition of diverse expertise, experiences, and backgrounds to meet the mission of MassPI.

Steering Council Co-Chairs

Ann Marie Harootunian, RN, MS, FNP
Steering Council Co-Chair
Founding Member

Boston Suburbs – Southwest (Norfolk County)

Pain Management Board Certified Nurse Practitioner who is now retired from clinical nursing, Ann Marie has served on the MassPI Steering Council since its inception in 1999 and been co-chair since 2009. Ann Marie was active in practicing pain management professionally since 1992 where she has seen the growth of this specialty through many critical junctures. She continues her long-time involvement in the American Society of Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN) where she served on several national committees, was a founding member of the ASPMN Eastern Mass Chapter, and has served as an officer of the Chapter since its beginning. As a member and leader of MassPI, Ann Marie has presented numerous educational programs in her work environment as well as in the community. In 2019, she led the successful restructuring of MassPI as an independent nonprofit for the first time in its history. Ann Marie has dedicated her work to relieving pain throughout her nursing career and continues in her "retirement" through her ongoing MassPI leadership.

Mary Jane Estrada-Lyder, MSN, RN, ANP-BC
Steering Council Co-Chair
Interim Education Council Co-Chair

Boston Suburbs – West (Middlesex County)

Board certified, nurse practitioner on a pain and palliative care hospital-based service focusing on patients dealing with complex pain conditions. MJ has been involved in many aspects of hospital and clinic-based pain management, including overseeing other nurse practitioners, involvement in staff education, policy making and research for her organizations and a preceptor for NP and pharmacy students at several Boston area colleges. Her professional interests are chronic pain, non-pharmacological therapies, and improving patient functioning. She joined MassPI on the Education Council, later becoming the co-chair. In 2022, MJ became Co-Chair of the MassPI Steering Council.

Education Council Co-Chair

Audrey Ruotolo, PharmD, BCPS
Education Council Co-Chair
Boston Suburbs - North (Essex County)

A Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist, Audrey is the newest member of the MassPI Steering Council. She joined MassPI's Education Council in 2018 as a way to share her passion about pain management and the use of multi-modal therapies. She was a key member of that council which identified, evaluated technology solutions, and succesfully implemented MassPI's first professional education program in a webinar format in 2021. She brings a new perspective and training as a pharmacist for a medical supply company providing equipment to support pain management therapies.

Policy Council Chair

Cindy Steinberg, BA, BS
Policy Council Chair
Boston Suburbs – Northwest (Middlesex County)

Chair of the Policy Council since 2009. Cindy has led MassPI to become an important voice for pain management in the legislative and executive branches of government. Her expertise as a pain advocate and knowledge of pain management policy has contributed within MA and nationally. She was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to serve on his Opioid Working Group and subsequently as a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Drug Formulary Commission. She was appointed by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on the HHS Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force and was an invited witness before the U.S. Senate HELP Committee 2019 hearing on “Managing Pain During the Opioid Crisis." Her dedication to pain advocacy was sparked when she sustained a severe crush injury that left her with daily back pain.

Treasurer & Member-at-Large

Christopher Joyce, PT, DPT, PhD
Treasurer
Member-at-Large
Communications and Website Council Member

Boston/Worcester (Middlesex/Worcester Counties)

Joining the Steering Council in 2020 as a Member-at-Large, Chris brings a new and valuable perspective from his academic and research expertise in physical therapy and pain management. In 2022, Chris took on the additional responsibilities of the Treasurer fir MassPI. He is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) where he teaches courses in Evidence Based Practice, Pain and Modalities, and Therapeutic Exercise. His research agenda is focused on musculoskeletal pain, psychosocial factors of pain, and enhancing care delivery for patients in pain. He co-chaired the formation of the Pain Special Interest Group in the Massachusetts chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Members-at-Large

Gina Muyuela, MSN, PCCN
Member-at-Large
Education Council Member

Boston Suburbs – Southwest (Norfolk County)

Gina works as an In-Patient Nurse Educator and a Pain Champion co-chair. Gina's involvement with MassPI started after being invited to attend a conference several years ago. After that, she began helping at the conferences that followed. As a unit-based educator, she is active in guiding nurses through the management and treatment of patients in pain. She teaches nurses how to provide optimal patient comfort for faster healing and recovery. Gina's interests include racial and ethnic disparities in acute and chronic pain management, as applied to both in-patient and community settings.

Ginger Newell-Stokes, MS, RN
Member-at-Large
Communications and Website Council Member

Past Steering Council Chair, Past Treasurer
Founding Member of MassPI

Western MA (Franklin County)

Played a key strategic role in the relaunch of MassPI with Carol Curtiss and others in 1999, then served as Chairperson and later as Treasurer. She has lectured extensively on pain and pain management and has implemented pain management innovations at a large trauma center in Western Massachusetts. She received her Master's degree from the University of Connecticut as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Most recently served as Coordinator of the RN to BSN Offsite studies program at a private college in Western Massachusetts and now serves as Adjunct Faculty for a Western Massachusetts college.

Jackie Orent-Nathan, ARNP-BC
Co-Webmaster
Member-at-Large
Communications and Website Council Member

Southern New Hampshire

Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner who works as a pain management provider in a large primary care practice. Joined MassPI in 2019 after attending many and speaking at one of the educational conferences. Former member and past president of the Eastern MA chapter of the American Society of Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN). Dedicated to pain management after spending years providing end-of-life care as a hospice clinician. Now, more than ever, we need advocates to provide education to legislators and community to support those suffering with persistent pain. Proud to be a member of MassPI as it works towards alleviating needless suffering.

Karyl Wong, RN, BSN
Member-at-Large
Education Council Member

Boston Suburbs – Southwest (Norfolk County)

Clinical nurse with experience as permanent charge nurse in a hospital pain clinic, the operating room, and the emergency department, Karyl continues to work per diem. After attending MassPI educational pain conferences for many years, in 2016 she joined the Education Council to help plan the conferences. In 2017, she joined the MassPI Steering Council and has been active in learning about new pain treatments and research, federal and state pain management guidelines and education for health professionals and pain patients for posting on the MassPI website. Karyl has a passion for helping people in pain to learn about new treatments and skills to enable them to return to enjoying life with family, friends, meaningful work, and pastimes.

Honorable Mention

The list below of MassPI leaders build on the work of the exceptional volunteer leaders of the past who created, launched, relaunched, and expanded MassPI’s important mission, even through the last decade when the other original state pain initiatives have shut down. One of those retired leaders, Carol Curtiss, MSN, RN-BC, deserves special acknowledgement for her exceptional leadership and contributions to MassPI throughout its history.

Carol P. Curtiss, MSN, RN-BC
Founding Member of MassPI, Past Consulting Chair, Past Webmaster
Retired from MassPI Steering Council
Western MA (Franklin County)

Carol was involved in the original short-lived Massachusetts Pain Initiative and she was one of the original founders of the reactivated MassPI in 1999 after several years of inactivity. She was one of the key leaders of MassPI until her retirement in 2017. Carol served on the Alliance of State Pain Initiatives (ASPI), the national organizing board. She was named a special lecturer for ASPI in 2003, and she received ASPI’s Distinguished Service Award in 2008 for her numerous contributions to MassPI and ASPI. Carol was a clinical nurse specialist in independent practice, an internationally recognized speaker, educator, contributor to professional peer-reviewed journals, leader in multiple professional national nursing associations, and a frequently sought participant in leadership projects to develop and promote improved standards of care in pain management, oncology, cancer survivorship, palliative care, and end-of-life care.

Claire Sampson, RN-BC
Retired Steering Council Chair
Past Co-Chair of the Membership Committee
MassPI volunteer service - 18 years (11 years as Co-Chair)

After 18 years of dedicated service to MassPI as a volunteer and key leader, Claire retired from MassPI and from her lifelong role as a nurse dedicated to helping pain patients and serving the physicians who treat them. Claire joined MassPI in 2003 and became Co-Chair of the Steering Council in 2011. She has been involved in many of MassPI's key initiatives over the years, particularly professional education efforts. While MassPI will miss Claire, we wish her well for a long and healthy retirement she and her husband Barry so richly deserve.

Peggy Flood, MS, RN, NC-BC
Retired Member-at-Large
Past Professional Education Council Chair
Founding Member of MassPI
MassPI volunteer service - 22 years

After 22 years of dedicated service, and one of MassPI's original members since 1999, Peggy retired from MassPI and her professional nursing roles. She has more than 40 years experience as a nurse specializing in pain management. Within MassPI, Peggy was the Chair of the Professional Education Council providing the latest pain-related information to healthcare professional audiences. We thank Peggy for her years of commitment to MassPI, and wish her the best in her retirement enjoying time with family and friends.