AMTA Honors Cindy Steinberg with the 2021 President’s Award

Every year, the AMTA National President openly honors a recipient who has contributed to the profession in an outstanding manner. AMTA is proud to announce the recipient of this year’s President’s Award, Cindy Steinberg. Cindy serves as the National Director of Policy & Advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and it affects more people than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. The latest research indicates that massage therapy is a safe and effective option for pain relief. AMTA is dedicated to this important issue, investing membership dollars back into the profession for new research, advocacy and the promotion of massage for pain management. Cindy is an advocate for, as well as beneficiary of, massage services for chronic pain issues, and AMTA is proud to honor Cindy with this award.

In addition to being the National Director of Policy and Advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation, Cindy is the Policy Council Chair for the Massachusetts Pain Initiative and a nationally recognized leader in pain policy. As a frequent speaker in the media, her dedication to pain advocacy began when she sustained a severe crash injury that left her with chronic back pain. Cindy has been a long-time supporter of AMTA and consistently puts her experience with massage therapy at the forefront when testifying, presenting or engaging with policymakers.  

In 2019, Cindy was the only patient and pain advocate invited to testify at hearings on “Managing Pain During the Opioid Crisis” of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee by Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray. And, in 2018, she was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, to serve on the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force created by Congress. Cindy was also appointed to a three-year term on the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) in 2015 by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell. The IPRCC is the highest-ranking pain policy oversight committee in the United States.

“We are proud to honor Cindy with the AMTA 2021 President’s Award. Her work in the field of pain management is exceptional,” said AMTA President Steve Albertson.  “She has been an important advocate for our profession and has helped advance the conversation on massage therapy for pain.”

The mission of the U.S. Pain Foundation is to empower, educate, connect and advocate for people living with chronic conditions and serious injuries that cause pain. The organization is dedicated to serving those who live with pain conditions and their care providers, while challenging social stigmas and breaking down barriers to care.  

The American Massage Therapy Association, the most trusted name in massage therapy, is the largest non-profit, professional association serving massage therapists, massage students and massage schools.  The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage.