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Open Letter to America from the Arthritis Foundation About Pain Awareness Month

Open Letter to America from the Arthritis Foundation About Pain Awareness Month

Arthritis is painful … and it’s relentless. The Arthritis Foundation knows the pain our community endures. Based on a survey of arthritis patients, we know that: The #1 goal of arthritis treatment is to “reduce pain.” The #1 motivator for seeking out information is “I experienced pain.” Pain is not an easy topic to discuss, but if we bring it out of the shadows, we believe the result will be eye-opening for everyone – and uplifting in mind, body and soul for the 54 million Americans who suffer from arthritis pain. During National Pain Awareness Month, help the Arthritis Foundation advance ...more
Ambassador Spotlight - Stephanie Kwiecien

Ambassador Spotlight - Stephanie Kwiecien

Advocating for the arthritis community, says 27-year-old Stephanie Kwiecien, has restored the voice that bullying shut down. “Advocacy is really important to me because it gave me back the voice I thought I’d lost,” says Kwiecien, who was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (now known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis) when she was 18 months old. During her elementary and middle school years, Kwiecien’s peers were unfazed by her condition and her teachers were understanding. But high school was different. Some classmates teased Kwiecien. “It all kind of happened in gym class. I limped, and I couldn’t run as fast as the others,” ...more
Meditation for RA and PsA

Meditation for RA and PsA

Meditation is good for your soul. Research shows it can also help ease pain caused by all types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and osteoarthritis (OA). For centuries, meditation has been used to help focus the mind and soothe the spirit. But scientific evidence suggests this ancient practice – particularly a modern form known as mindfulness meditation or mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) – offers a variety of health benefits, including relief for chronic joint pain and skin disorders like psoriasis. The Research People with psoriasis were involved in some of the earliest research on mindfulness meditation. Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, ...more
Voices: Have You Ever Hidden Your Arthritis?

Voices: Have You Ever Hidden Your Arthritis?

Three influencers explain why they are outspoken about their rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Thérèse Humphrey @TerezHumphrey; TerezFreemanHumphrey Diagnosed in 1986, I kept my RA to myself because no one understood. There weren’t any treatments to stop the progression, and my doctor told me I could end up in a wheelchair. I was scared, and I wasn’t sure myself what was going on, so why burden others? Maybe if I didn’t talk about it, it would just go away. Keeping it to myself only made me feel more isolated. In 2011, I started using social media to find others with RA. It is there I found ...more
Powerful Testimony at the 2018 JIA Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting

Powerful Testimony at the 2018 JIA Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting

Hundreds of patients and their families, FDA staff, industry leaders, and researchers convened in Washington, D.C. to participate in the externally-led JIA Patient-Focused Drug Development (PFDD) meeting on August 2, 2018. The meeting served as a kickoff event to the 4-day Arthritis Foundation JA Conference East. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common type of juvenile arthritis (JA). In many children, it’s a life-long illness with a high risk of disease and treatment-related morbidity. There is no cure, and treatments for children are limited. This meeting, which is part of our strategy to help find a cure for this serious disease, ...more
Benched by RA, Pro Hoops Player ShaRae Mansfield Still Shoots to Win

Benched by RA, Pro Hoops Player ShaRae Mansfield Still Shoots to Win

ShaRae Mansfield vividly remembers getting the call 17 years ago saying the Houston Comets had drafted her to play in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). For the Western Kentucky University (WKU) student, the chance to play professional basketball was a dream come true. But her WNBA career was short-lived. While she had mad skills on the court, excelling at both points and rebounds, she also had frequent pain in her shoulders, hips and especially her left knee, made worse by a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). ShaRae had undergone six surgeries on it, but her continued knee problems led the ...more
MN Governor Dayton Signs Legislation for Step Therapy Guardrails

MN Governor Dayton Signs Legislation for Step Therapy Guardrails

On May 19, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed HB 3196 into law! Step therapy legislation gives physicians a clear path toward getting their patients the medications they need. Having access to affordable, effective and specialized medication is critical for the 54 million Americans living with doctor-diagnosed arthritis nationwide, including over 900,000 in Minnesota. The Arthritis Foundation thanks the bill’s sponsors and Gov. Dayton for helping provide these patient protections to Minnesotans. Step Therapy is a practice used by insurers that requires people with arthritis to try lower-cost medications before allowing more expensive treatments, despite a physician’s recommendation. Ted Cadwell, Minnesota resident and advocacy chair ...more
TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

Short-Term Health Plans We are continuing our advocacy blog series meant to help you take care when it comes to important arthritis health care and coverage issues. If you’re now just tuning into this series, check out previous advocacy blog posts here. Our last take care blog kicked off a focus on health insurance benefits and open enrollment. Today we explore short-term health plans, a type of insurance that has been on the market for some time but is receiving attention due to new actions taken by the administration. Read on to learn about these plans and why they are an ...more
From Washington State to Washington DC, the 2018 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference Welcomed Over 1,800 Participants

From Washington State to Washington DC, the 2018 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference Welcomed Over 1,800 Participants

Each summer as school lets out and the weather starts to get warmer, there’s an excitement in the air felt all the way from Long Beach, California to the shores of Long Island, New York. There are always good reasons to be excited for some time off, but for many children, teens, young adults and their families affected by juvenile arthritis and related rheumatic diseases – the Arthritis Foundation’s National Juvenile Arthritis Conference has become the summer event to look forward to. Over two long weekends in late June and early August, more than 1,800 attendees made their way to Seattle, ...more
TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

It’s Never Too Early to Think About Open Enrollment We are continuing our advocacy blog series meant to help you take care when it comes to important arthritis health care and coverage issues. If you are just now tuning into this series, check out our previous blog posts on accumulator adjustment programs, pharmacist gag orders, President Trump’s drug pricing blueprint, drug rebates, premium increases, and an update on the Affordable Care Act. This week, we kick off our focus on health insurance benefits – it’s never too early to think about open enrollment! Whether you receive health insurance through an employer, Medicare, ...more