2017 Advocacy Summit Highlights

Success at Summit! Advocates Meet with Congress as American Health Care Act Released

The 2017 Advocacy Summit was held March 6-7 in Washington, DC, and while the outcome is still developing, we are very pleased with the results thus far.

Arthritis affects people regardless of age or origin, so it was no surprise that this year’s Summit attendees were a mix of all ages from coast to coast. More than 400 people from 45 states attended.
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Iowa Biosimilar Substitution Law Signed

Victory in Iowa: Biosimilar Legislation Signed Into Law!

Iowa has recently joined 27 other states that have passed biosimilars legislation.  On behalf of the 619,000 adults (plus 2,800 children) in Iowa with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, we’d like to thank Governor Branstad for signing House File 305 into law on Friday, March 10, 2017.

The bill allows Iowa pharmacists the ability to dispense safe and potentially less expensive biologic medications to patients, by substituting an FDA approved interchangeable biosimilar for a prescribed biologic product.  The law also requires that the prescriber and patient be notified when there is a substitution.
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Advocacy Summit Day 2 Highlights: Advocates Meet with State and Federal Policymakers to Share Their Stories

Day two of the Advocacy Summit started with lots of chatter about the Trump administration’s unveiling of repeal and replace health care legislation.

Several aspects of the bill align with our Patient Principles for Health Care which outlines four principles that, if adopted, will result in a transparent health care system that allows easier access to more affordable care. The bill includes language that prevents denying coverage for people with preexisting conditions, bans lifetime coverage caps and allows young people to remain on their parent’s insurance plans until they turn 26-years-old – all good news for the arthritis community!
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2017 Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Summit Day 1

400 Volunteers Prepare for Meetings with Congress: Advocacy Summit Day 1 Highlights

They came from places like Runnels, a small town in Iowa with 507 residents, and New York City, the second largest city in the world.

Lydia and Susanna
Lydia and Susanna Meyer, NV

People like Leticia Hugues and her son, Ashton, from Smiths Grove Kentucky, Lydia Meyer and her daughter Susanna from Reno, Nevada, and Kelli Carlson from Woodbury Minnesota and her friend Kelli Dwyer from La Crosse, Wisconsin.
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Clark Middleton Arthritis Advocacy Summit

Advocacy Summit 2017: Up Close with Actor and Foundation Advocate Clark Middleton

Clark Middleton, the talented actor currently on NBC’s “The Blacklist” and Hulu’s “The Path,” is packing his bags and heading to Washington, DC, with hundreds of other Arthritis Foundation Advocates – to raise his voice and share his story at the Advocacy Summit.

Clark’s journey with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) started as a young child, helping shape who he is today – and why he’s extremely passionate about patient rights and access to affordable health care for those with chronic diseases. Clark opened up about his lifelong journey with JRA.
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2016 Arthritis Foundation Platinum Ambassadors

Record Number of Advocates Earn Platinum Ambassador Status

A record number of individuals have achieved the Arthritis Foundation’s highest advocacy honor in 2016 and became Platinum Ambassadors. At the 2017 Advocacy Summit, March 6-7, in Washington, DC, 41 new Platinum Ambassadors will be recognized for their outstanding advocacy accomplishments on behalf of the arthritis community.

Platinum Ambassadors are an elite group of Advocates who go above and beyond the call of duty by accomplishing a challenging list of advocacy assignments along with four bonus activities, all while raising funds to support the Foundation’s mission to conquer and cure arthritis.

“Platinum Ambassadors are the special forces of our Advocate army,” said Sandie Preiss, national vice president, Advocacy & Access. “They use their voice and arthritis stories, at an elevated level of frequency and sophistication, to help knock down barriers to health care.”
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2017 Kids and Teen Advocacy Summit

More than 100 Kids and Teens to Meet with Members of Congress at Advocacy Summit

Arthritis is not just your grandparent’s disease, and at this year’s Advocacy Summit, our young participants will tell Members of Congress that kids get arthritis, too!

On March 6 and 7, more than 400 people affected by arthritis from all across the country will convene in Washington, DC, as part of the Arthritis Foundation’s 2017 Advocacy Summit.

Attendees will include an estimated 100 kids and teens who will participate in a special Kids and High School Summit track. Uniquely designed for kids/teens who are affected by juvenile arthritis and childhood rheumatic diseases, this track includes interactive activities that will empower them with the skills and confidence they need to raise awareness for the arthritis community, young and old, and help change perceptions of this disease. Then they will meet with Members of Congress, educating them about barriers to health care and motivating them to consider all people who live with arthritis when they design health care legislation.
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Montana Biosimilars Victory

Victory in Montana! Governor Bullock Signs Biosimilar Substitution

For years now, many arthritis patients have utilized biologic medications to great effect. Biologics have allowed those with arthritis, as well as many other chronic diseases, to stabilize their condition and help them better quality lives. Now, due to innovation, new medications are coming to market which could provide arthritis patients with more, and potentially less expensive, options. These new medications are called “biosimilar” medications which are similar to, but not exact copies of name brand biologics.
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Arthritis 101 Congressional Briefing

Arthritis 101 and Prescription for Access – Making Sure Your Voice is Heard!

Arthritis knows no political affiliation. It affects more than 50 million adults and an estimated 300,000 kids in the U.S., regardless of where they live or for whom they voted. We want to assure you that your voice is being heard by both Republicans and Democrats, especially as lawmakers consider changes to our healthcare system.
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Arthritis Foundation Advocate Awards

Staci Penner and Graci Diggs Selected for Advocacy & Access High Honors

Staci Penner and Graci Diggs have devoted their voices, stories and wholehearted advocacy efforts to helping the arthritis community live better lives. Today, we celebrate their advocacy efforts by announcing their selection for the Arthritis Foundation’s Edward M. Kennedy Advocacy Leadership Award and Emerging Leader Award, respectively.
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