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Meet Irvin Huang: One of Our Newest Foundation-sponsored Fellows!

Meet Irvin Huang: One of Our Newest Foundation-sponsored Fellows!

Meet Irvin Huang: 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. In June, we announced five new fellowship awards for 2018. One of those grants was offered to the University of Washington (UW), which recently announced that the fellowship will be awarded to Irvin Huang, doctor of osteopathic (DO) medicine. Dr. Huang became interested in medicine as a young child after being inspired by the free health care he received from a student-run clinic serving the local indigent and ...more
New Step Therapy Reform Law in Oklahoma

New Step Therapy Reform Law in Oklahoma

The Arthritis Foundation is happy to announce that the Oklahoma legislature passed a new law this month that will protect Oklahomans who are living with arthritis. The new OK law will reform step therapy. Also known as “fail first,” step therapy is a process that forces patients to try and fail drugs that insurance companies choose before the patient gets to use the medicine their doctor originally prescribed. This may occur even if you are already taking a medication and doing well on it. Oklahoma Junior Ambassador and AFJROTC member, Brianna Sommers, attended the Arthritis Foundation’s February Legislative Day and was instrumental in passing ...more
You Said It: Make Mornings Easier with RA

You Said It: Make Mornings Easier with RA

RA Today readers share how they make mornings easier with rheumatoid arthritis.   “A long warm shower.” Doris Day via Facebook  “I wake up earlier than I used to so I have time to move slowly, stretch more, and I don’t have to stress.”  Kirstin Joy via Facebook  “Epsom salt soak and a pot of tea.”  Denise Fromnj via Facebook  “If my husband is home a massage and easy stretching. Otherwise stretching and CBD oil.” Lisa Wright  New Carlisle, Ohio  “Ginger oil on all my achy parts.”  Lisa Miranda Seguin, Texas  “I swim laps and sit in the hot tub.”  Alicia Metzger Vance  Lexington, Kentucky  “I take my NSAID, prednisone, and Tramadol first thing with a cup of hot tea/lemon/stevia water.”  Kit Sloan ...more
FDA Approves First Drug for Newly Defined Spinal Condition

FDA Approves First Drug for Newly Defined Spinal Condition

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late March approved the biologic medication certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor, to treat a newly defined condition called non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA). This spinal condition is now understood to be the early stage of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Like AS, it causes chronic, disabling back pain, stiffness and fatigue. However, nr-axSpA lacks the hallmark feature of AS: X-ray evidence of structural damage to the sacroiliac joints, which connect the lower spine to the pelvis. (The descriptor “non-radiographic” comes from this lack of X-ray evidence.) This distinction has kept some people ...more
Defying Gravity: Athlete and Dancer Reesa Partida Takes RA in Stride

Defying Gravity: Athlete and Dancer Reesa Partida Takes RA in Stride

Reesa Partida grasps and loops a dangling swath of fabric, places her foot against it and lithely climbs up before swooping into an aerobatic dance of twists, splits and perfectly pointed toes – a demonstration of grace and strength. “I think I was inspired by Cirque du Soleil,” Reesa says with a laugh. “I thought it looked like a lot of fun, so I started by taking a class three and a half years ago.” Performing these ballet-like dances while hanging from streams of fabric – called aerial silks – is a hobby she took up about a year after she ...more
Closing the Gap in the Nation’s Rheumatologist Shortage

Closing the Gap in the Nation’s Rheumatologist Shortage

Access to care for arthritis patients isn’t always a guarantee. All too often, seeing a rheumatologist includes traveling out of state because of the severe rheumatologist shortage. We are committed to closing this gap by offering fellowship grants to universities in underserved areas that offer innovative training programs. We recently selected four schools to receive fellowship grants to help doctors advance in this specialty field. We are thrilled to offer these awards because of the impact the newly-funded positions will have on their communities and the partnership opportunities that will arise. “According to the American College of Rheumatology’s most recent workforce study, ...more
Coming Soon to a City Near You: The 35th Annual National Juvenile Arthritis Conference

Coming Soon to a City Near You: The 35th Annual National Juvenile Arthritis Conference

IN A WORLD… where everyday kids become WARRIORS and battle arthritis as the JA League! All kids and young adults with juvenile arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are heroes —members of our JA League. Every day, these Warriors battle the challenges that try to hold them back. But in the end, WE WIN! Don’t miss the latest, greatest blockbuster, starring YOU — connecting with other JA superstars. In the United States, nearly 300,000 children, teens, young adults and their families deal with the pain and other difficulties of JA and related childhood rheumatic diseases. The Arthritis Foundation is here to empower them ...more
Taking Steps toward Patient Centered Reforms | Safe Step Act Introduced Today!

Taking Steps toward Patient Centered Reforms | Safe Step Act Introduced Today!

My name is Katie Roberts and I’ve lived with a severe and debilitating form of psoriatic arthritis for nearly 40 years, and psoriasis, a painful skin condition, for nearly 30 years. I’m an Advocate for Arthritis and the Chair of the Maryland Advocacy committee because I’m passionate about sharing my story to break down barriers to care, especially step therapy. Katie Roberts At an appointment with a rheumatologist at age 17, I was told I would likely not live long enough to see my 21st birthday – my body was slowly shutting down from years with an autoimmune disease. It was ...more
Two Gout Drugs Removed From Market

Two Gout Drugs Removed From Market

If you have gout and rely on lesinurad (Zurampic) or lesinurad plus allopurinol (Duzallo), you’ll need to check with your doctor to find an alternative for managing the pain, swelling, redness and other symptoms of your disease. That’s because these two drugs have been pulled from the market. Ironwood Pharmaceuticals discontinued sales of these two gout drugs in February 2019. The patient savings programs for both medications were discontinued effective December 31, 2018. “This is a business decision and is not related to any efficacy, safety or clinical concerns with lesinurad,” the company said when it made the announcement. The Food and Drug ...more
Utilization Management Getting an Overhaul in Washington State

Utilization Management Getting an Overhaul in Washington State

“Going to the WA Advocacy Summit is always a privilege. Being able to effect change to our health care law is an amazing thing,” says Heidi Barrett, Arthritis Foundation Washington state advocacy chair and a Platinum Ambassador. “Knowing this change will make the lives of the 1.3 million adults and 6,100 children in Washington with arthritis better is a humbling experience.” On February 20, almost 60 Advocates from the Arthritis Foundation, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and National Psoriasis Foundation joined forces in Olympia, Washington, to educate legislators and their staff about legislation that would reform utilization management. The WA Advocacy Summit ...more