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Press Release

For Immediate Release Contact:
Terri Miller Burchfield AT:
(703) 349-1929



ROME, ITALY, October 20, 2001. -- At a time when the nation is still adjusting to the suffering of September 11th, many of us are looking for ways to be involved with the country’s healing and the war effort. Long before 9/11, head-pain NGO’s (non-government organizations) from around the world had planned board meetings, medical meetings, and government relations activities to promote a better global understanding of debilitating Migraine disease and headache disorders. One such event was the WHA Rome, Italy Abridged Migraine Disease Awareness Art Exhibition.

The event was originally planned to feature nationally renown New York artist Janet McKenzie and award winning Washington, DC artist Michael John Coleman. The exhibition was to be held at the American Embassy in Rome and was designed to create Migraine disease and headache disorder awareness while exhibiting concurrently with a WHA (World Headache Alliance) board meeting also in Rome, Italy. After the events of September 11th the show had to be severely reduced and, due to security concerns, was moved out of the American Embassy. MAGNUM, the National Migraine Association, who was choreographing the event, decided to move forward with an abrevated event.

MAGNUM and the WHA worked with Dr. Paolo Martelletti, President of Italian League of Headache Sufferers, Chair of the Headache Centre, and Professor of Internal Medicine at the 2nd School of Medicine, University "La Sapienza," to move the exhibit to a safe location in Rome. Due to the U.S. State Department’s travel warning for those going to Italy, only MAGNUM Executive Director Michael John Coleman traveled to the WHA Rome meeting to represent the United States’ WHA members. The only other North American WHA board member to brave the sojourn was Luis Taboas, Director of the Puerto Rico Headache Foundation. Terri Miller Burchfield Legislative Director of MAGNUM noted that "In my opinion, as long as a productive meeting could be maintained without all North American WHA members traveling, it was worth having a meeting at that time."

In addition to the Rome Migraine Art Exhibition and various healthcare meetings, MAGNUM hand-carried official Congressional letters for the President of Italy and the Italian Health Minister on the serious public health problems of Migraine and headache disorders. Four Congressional letters were issued by U.S. Senator John Warner (R-VA) and U.S. Congressman James P. Moran (D-VA). These documents where delivered to Professor Paolo Martelletti, M.D., President of the Italian League of Headache Sufferers; Cristina Tassorelli, MD, PhD IRCCS Neurological Institute C. Mondino Foundation; and World Health Organization [WHO] pain & disability expert, Italian Dr. Matildi Leonardi from WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. These individuals will, in turn, present these important documents to the Italian leaders to whom the letters were addressed.

United States President George W. Bush recently issued a strong policy letter to MAGNUM for the IHC (International Headache Congress) in New York City in June that noted "By increasing public understanding of these conditions [Migraine and other head-pain disorders], you contribute to the well-being of our Nation’s citizens." So it was in this spirit and President Bush’s current call to all Americans to move forward with their activities, that Coleman moved forward with attending his meetings and holding the exhibit of his artwork to raise awareness about head-pain disorders. The exhibit, which was held last month, will be re-opening in Rome in the near future, possibly in the Australian Embassy. Those at MAGNUM feel it is important for international NGO’s like MAGNUM and the WHA continue their work to, as President Bush put it "..increase public understanding of these conditions…" and to increase in the international community awareness of Migraine and headache disorders and the suffering these conditions cause.

For more information on the WHA Rome, Italy Abridged Migraine Disease Awareness Art Exhibition or on MAGNUM’s efforts to protect Migraineurs and those who suffer from head-pain, visit MAGNUM’s Web site For more background on the award-winning fine art photography by Mr. Coleman visit . For additional headache information visit ACHE’s website or the World Headache Alliance at or call MAGNUM’s Washington, DC office at (703) 349-1929.

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Art for release:

United States Congressional letters issued to the Italian Government being handed to the leading Italian Migraine & headache medical experts by members of the Board of Directors of the World Headache Alliance (WHA) at the WHA Rome, Italy Abridged Migraine Disease Awareness Art Exhibition. Pictured are (left to right) Professor Paolo Martelletti, M.D. from Italy; Cristina Tassorelli, MD, PhD from Italy; Dr. Matildi Leonardi from Italy; and WHA Board members Dr. Tim Steiner from Great Britain; Colette Andre from Switzerland; and feature artist and WHA Board member Michael John Coleman from the United States.



Original work "American Pain" by Michael John Coleman is a photograph printed as a Giglee on watercolor paper exhibited in Rome. Model Cassandra Eckart collaborated with Coleman about ten days after September eleventh as a statement to the events of the day in an ‘Angel Flag Series.’



Another original print from the Rome exhibit was ‘A New York State of Mind II’. Although Coleman has been a frequent visitor of New York, this series just was shot this summer.




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