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.”
Our 2016 Platinum Ambassadors come from all across the country, from Kirsten Wilder in Maine to Karen Anderson in California and everywhere in between. Some will be traveling to Advocacy Summit in pairs, like husband and wife duos Stuart and Ellen Smith of Rhode Island and Scott Rowbothan and Wendy Heyes-Rowbothan of New Hampshire, or mother and daughter Cathy and Taylor Guerrant of Ohio. Others will receive multiple honors, like Staci Penner who is also receiving the Edward M. Kennedy Advocacy Award for her exceptional individual advocacy and altruism to the arthritis community. Regardless of where they’re from or who they’re traveling with, they all have one shared purpose – to continue telling their arthritis stories, advocating for legislation and policies that make health care more user friendly and affordable.
At the 2017 Advocacy Summit, attendees will say Yes to Access by learning how to advocate for the arthritis community, then taking action by meeting with Members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill to help them better understand the challenges that come with arthritis and how they can knock down barriers to health care. Our 41 Platinum Ambassadors have set our Advocacy army on a winning course so that people with arthritis can be a Champion of Yes.
While you might not attend this year’s Summit, you can still be a part of the movement and say Yes to Access by signing up for our Advocate program and participating in this year’s Virtual Summit. Take your first advocacy steps with the Arthritis Foundation today and someday you might find yourself walking on Capitol Hill as a Platinum Ambassador.