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Iris Jordan – 2019 Jingle Bell Run National Youth Honoree

Iris Jordan – 2019 Jingle Bell Run National Youth Honoree

Since age 7, Iris Jordan has been living and thriving with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, along with other medical conditions that were diagnosed when she was 9: Ehlers-Danlos hypermobility syndrome and pain amplification syndrome. Now 15 and a high school sophomore, Iris endures what most teens can’t even imagine. Yet despite her daily challenges, she has exceptional tenacity, pursuing the things that give her joy while navigating unpredictable pain and fatigue. Though Iris has faced health-related challenges for more than half her life, she has focused on the many good things in her world. She’s an honors student with an extraordinary ...more
Meet Uptej Khalsa: One of Our Newest Foundation-sponsored Fellows!

Meet Uptej Khalsa: One of Our Newest Foundation-sponsored Fellows!

Because access to care is not always guaranteed, we’ve been working to help close the gap on the nation’s rheumatologist shortage through our fellowship initiative. Stanford University recently announced the recipient of the Arthritis Foundation’s Jessica Saal Bequest. This 2019-20 award is specifically awarded to a pediatric fellowship student at Stanford University. Congratulations to recipient Uptej Khalsa, MD! Dr. Khalsa earned her medical degree at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, and she completed a pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey in Newark. She is excited to be part of the pediatric rheumatology fellowship program ...more
How to Change Unreasonable Insurance Rules

How to Change Unreasonable Insurance Rules

Tricia’s story is like many others trying to make arthritis coverage more affordable My name is Tricia Mershon, and I live with my family in Corona, California. At the age of 3, my daughter, Rachel, was found to have a dysfunctional immune system. Her tiny body failed to mount a response to infection, and various disease specialists were able to document the phenomenon but unable to pinpoint a cause. Just before ninth grade, Rachel’s fingers curved into a funny “s” shape and looked different than those of anyone else. When she began having pain in her feet, knees and hips, which sometimes ...more
Out-of-Pocket Costs: An Out-of-this-World Problem

Out-of-Pocket Costs: An Out-of-this-World Problem

Let’s face it: out-of-pocket costs for patients with chronic diseases like arthritis are consuming an ever-growing share of household spending. Lowering drug prices has been a central priority of Congress and the Administration this year, and while a lot of attention is paid to drug companies and insurers, the impact on the patient often gets lost. There may be a lot of chatter about list prices, rebates, and other technical terms, but at the end of the day the health care price that matters most to patients is the one coming out of their own pocket. Managing your health costs starts ...more
Your Summer Federal Advocacy Roundup!

Your Summer Federal Advocacy Roundup!

Though Congress is in August recess, we’ve got details on some of the hot topics in health care that will be discussed and debated for the remainder of 2019. Read on to get the scoop! Addressing Prescription Drug Costs Transformative medicines make a substantial difference in the lives of people with arthritis, but the out-of-pocket costs are significant. We’ve got you covered and are taking action: Last month, we released a new issue brief addressing the cost of prescription drugs. Throughout the summer, we’ve been telling key lawmakers that drug pricing policies should benefit the people they are intended to serve: patients. ...more
How Gaye Jacques Is Making Arthritis a Priority in the 2020 Election

How Gaye Jacques Is Making Arthritis a Priority in the 2020 Election

New Hampshire is one of a handful of states with a special fifth season — Primary Candidate Visit Season. Gaye Jacques decided to take advantage of it by trying to meet as many of the Democrat primary candidates as she possibly could, bringing their attention to the barriers to care people with arthritis face every day. Gaye has met with an impressive number of presidential candidates competing for the Democrat nomination, 14 to be exact! She uses her position as an Arthritis Ambassador and New Hampshire voter to speak out. Gaye attends each meet-and-greet ready to introduce herself and talk about ...more
The 2019 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference Welcomed Almost 1,800 Attendees

The 2019 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference Welcomed Almost 1,800 Attendees

Over two long weekends in mid-July and early August, about 1,800 participants made their way to Houston, Texas, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, to take part in the 2019 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference. As in previous years, the Arthritis Foundation offered two JA Conference locations to serve even more kids, families and young adults across the country affected by childhood rheumatic diseases while also welcoming back returning veteran families.This year, more than 40 states were represented, including some families from Mexico and Canada. In both cities, more than half of conference participants were first-time attendees, experiencing everything the four-day conference had to ...more
Safe Step Act Needs Your Support

Safe Step Act Needs Your Support

Read about what step therapy put a young arthritis patient through. My name is Sophie Sherman, and I am a rising high school senior from Brookline, Massachusetts. When I was 11, my parents started to notice that I wasn’t acting like myself. Instead of spending time with my friends after school, I would take four-hour-long naps on the living room sofa. Instead of asking for seconds on pasta night, I would barely touch my plate. It seemed like everything I did, be it physical or mental, consumed every ounce of my energy. The breaking point for me happened during our family vacation ...more
Houston Kicks Off the 2019 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference Today!

Houston Kicks Off the 2019 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference Today!

Houston Kicks Off the 2019 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference Today!  Over 800 kids, teens, young adults and their families from across the country are landing in Houston, Texas, for the first of two National Juvenile Arthritis (JA) Conferences the Arthritis Foundation is hosting this year. This week’s conference will kick off our 35th annual gathering of JA families during JA Awareness Month, and offers a variety of events and informational program tracks focused on education, connecting with others and fun. The JA Conference is a unique opportunity to bring together families of kids, teens and young adults affected by JA and other rheumatic diseases. Over ...more

Wisconsin Step Therapy Reform Bill Signed into Law

WI Governor Tony Evers Signs Step Therapy Bill with Arthritis Foundation Advocates Looking On On July 9th, 2019, Wisconsin joined the ranks of 27 states that have passed legislation to curb step therapy. This legislation places important guardrails to protect patients from the inappropriate use of burdensome step therapy protocols making patients “fail first” before they can take the medication originally prescribed. This would not have happened without our WI Step Therapy Coalition partners and the amazing arthritis Advocates and Ambassadors that stepped up to share their stories through testimony, public media, phone calls and in-person legislative visits in Madison. It was ...more