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.
They came from small towns, big towns, places you’ve never heard of before, and places you dream to visit. Places like North Newton, Kansas, which is home to Bethel College and roughly 1,700 people. And places like New York, New York, home to 8.4 million people, Broadway and Times Square. But they all had one thing in common – arthritis!
Anna and Graci Diggs are on their way home. And they feel pretty good.
Anna and Graci are from Tipton, Missouri, and, along with 388 other people from all parts of the country, they traveled to Washington, D.C., March 14-15, for the Arthritis Foundation’s Advocacy Summit.
“We came to Advocacy Summit because we are dealing with some issues with my daughter’s arthritis that can be changed here at the Capital,” said Anna. “So we feel it’s important that our voices be heard. Hopefully we can make a difference.”
The two-day event started on Monday with welcome remarks by Ann Palmer, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, who was followed by Sandie Preiss, vice president of Advocacy & Access, who introduced attendees to the advocacy program and key issues that would be discussed. Christopher Kush, CEO of the political consulting group, Soapbox, walked guests through a lively do’s and don’ts of communicating with legislators. Continue reading Empowered Advocates of All Ages Share Their Stories at the Advocacy Summit→
Day 1 of the 2016 Advocacy Summit has wrapped and featured learning and training sessions ranging from mock meetings on the Hill, to ways to use social media to advocate, to sessions for advocates to learn how to begin their Capital Hill journeys. Like most attendees, April McCaslin and her daughter, Nora, and Meredith Meyer and her daughter, Sophie, are both excited and nervous for their meetings with Congress members tomorrow.
From the frosty snowbanks of Fairbanks, Alaska to the salty shores of Cape Elizabeth, Maine and everywhere in between, nearly 400 Arthritis Foundation Advocates from 48 states are converging on Washington, D.C. over the next two days for the Foundation’s 2016 Advocacy Summit.
While in Washington, these Advocates will learn about issues affecting people living with arthritis, then meet with members of Congress, telling their personal arthritis stories, and asking for support. Advocates will ask Congress members to support legislation that will address the severe shortage of pediatric rheumatologists (H.R. 1859, Ensuring Children’s Access to Specialty Care Act of 2015) and to establish $20 million in dedicated Department of Defense funding for arthritis programs and research. Continue reading Nearly 400 Advocates Arrive in D.C. for 2016 Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Summit→