Tag Archives: juvenile arthritis conference

JA Conference Veteran Families

Veteran Families Continue to Benefit from the JA Conference

In 2015, the Arthritis Foundation committed to offering two National Juvenile Arthritis Conferences in hopes of serving more families affected by JA and related childhood rheumatic diseases. In 2016, the conferences brought in record numbers – more than half of which were families that attended the JA Conference for the very first time. This means that more children, teens, parents, caregivers and young adults were able to connect with others that share the same concerns, struggles, triumphs and Yes moments!
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Juvenile Arthritis Conference 2016

JA Conference East Touches Lives of Over 1,000 Families Living With Juvenile Arthritis

While Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is typically known for historic events such as the birthplace of our nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution, it was also the site of the second of two National Juvenile Arthritis Conferences. In historic fashion, the Arthritis Foundation welcomed over 1,000 more children and their families to the East conference, bringing the total number of attendees in 2016 to over 2,000 – the highest numbers to date!
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Juvenile Arthritis Conference West Phoenix, AZ

2016 Juvenile Arthritis Conference West a Success!

From the San Francisco bay to the shores of Boston, Massachusetts, over 1,000 children and their families, young adults and health care professionals descended upon the desert of Phoenix, Arizona for the 32nd Annual National Juvenile Arthritis Conference. The first of two JA Conferences this year hosted by the Arthritis Foundation brought together first time attendees and veteran families who have returned to the annual conference.
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Matt Iseman Juvenile Arthritis Conference

Matt Iseman Shares Touching Video With Families at Juvenile Arthritis Conference

As the iconic voice and host of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, Matt Iseman cheers on athletes every day as they weave their way through different obstacle courses and challenges. Last night at the Opening Dinner of the 2016 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference West in Phoenix, Arizona, Matt sent a touching video message to our JA Warriors full of hope and well wishes.
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2016 Juvenile Arthritis Conference Theme

First of Two 2016 JA Conferences Begins Today!

Today, families from around the nation are gathering in Phoenix, AZ, for our JA Conference WEST – the first of two national Juvenile Arthritis (JA) Conferences we are hosting this year. These two conferences give families, kids, teens and young adults affected by JA and other rheumatic diseases an opportunity to share time connecting, learning, sharing tips and forming bonds that can last a lifetime.
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2016 Juvenile Arthritis Conference Theme

Get Ready for the 2016 National Juvenile Arthritis Conferences!

On two long weekends in July and August, families will descend on the desert in Phoenix, Arizona and the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 National Juvenile Arthritis Conferences. The JA Conference is an unforgettable annual family event, where more than 2,000 kids, teens, young adults, siblings, parents and caretakers come together to meet, learn and play.

Stay Connected!

Visit and bookmark our Things You Should Know page, where information about the JA Conference will be updated!

Learn more and sign up for the inaugural Parent Buddy Program, where families that are new to the conference will be paired up with veteran families.

  • Get in the spirit by participating in Conference Theme days! Learn more about what to pack to represent your home state and Walk to Cure Arthritis or Jingle Bell Run team!
  • Save time on Opening Night by filling out consent forms for your children or teens.

How Are You Stronger Than Juvenile Arthritis?

Tell us how you, your child and/or your family is Stronger than Arthritis! Use this link to print, write, take a picture or selfie and send it in to let us know!

Join the #StrongerThanJA Conversation

Highlights of the 2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference

Check out some of the great moments from last year’s JA Conference below!

JA Conference Sponsors

2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference Thank You

Juvenile Arthritis Conference: A Place for JA Families to Connect & Make Memories

At each of the Arthritis Foundation’s National Juvenile Arthritis Conference, we meet children and their families that are participating in the conference for the first time. Different milestones are achieved – whether it’s meeting another family with the same diagnosis or seeing their kids play all day. Along with our veteran returning families, this makes for a truly amazing experience for all in attendance.

2015 Thank You Recap Video

In 2015, we received hundreds of thank you cards, notes and pictures from conference kids and their families. And while we are graciously humbled by their gratitude, these words continue to drive and inspire us here at the Arthritis Foundation more each year.

2016 Registration & Scholarships Are Open

As registration and scholarship applications have opened for the TWO 2016 National Juvenile Arthritis Conferences, we look forward to seeing you and your family soon!

Juvenile Arthritis Kids Hope Video

Kids With Juvenile Arthritis Share Their “Greatest Hopes”

Although many people think of arthritis as an older person’s disease, arthritis affects people of all ages, including children. In fact, an estimated 300,000 children are living with juvenile arthritis. Each year, we bring JA kids and families together at our annual Juvenile Arthritis Conference to share their experiences, spend time with other kids and families like them, and ultimately, to instill a sense of hope and optimism that the Arthritis Foundation is here to support them in their journey to live their best lives.

The theme for this year’s Juvenile Arthritis Conference which took place in Orlando last month was “Hope Grows Here,” and boy did we see that theme come to life. The kids and families that attended the 2015 JA Conference brought such an energy and optimistic spirit to the event, despite the fact that each day, they live with a disease that has the ability to limit that energy and spirit. We asked our JA kids, “What’s your biggest hope, despite living with arthritis?” Check out the video below to learn more about the fantastic hopes and dreams of just a few of the hundreds of thousands of children across the country living with juvenile arthritis:

Related Resources

Juvenile Arthritis Conference

Hope Grows Here: Highlights from the 2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference

That’s a wrap, folks! After four incredible days of educational sessions, networking opportunities, tears, joy and tears of joy, the 2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference is officially in the books!

The Opening Dinner was truly spectacular, as the room filled with 1,700 parents, kids and caregivers eager to greet old friends and meet new ones.  When Ana Villafañe took the stage, she wowed everybody in the room – her amazing talent and true passion for kids with JA were spellbinding.

The official programming kicked off Friday morning in grand style, with an overview of the new Arthritis Foundation brand and some amazing JA success stories by Ann Palmer, President and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation and Board Chairman, Michael Ortman. Mark Durand’s Optimistic Parenting presentation gave all parents tangible ideas for using positive self-talk to improve parenting effectiveness and create happier lives!       Friday Fun Night provided different activities for all age groups ranging from a glow party to poolside fun!

Saturday  kicked off early with a wonderful opening session recognizing some amazing individuals. Ann Palmer and Michael Ortman presented Awards of Excellence to both youth and adult leaders, along with professional and medical leadership recognition. Saturday’s General Session gave us all an educational introduction to our new research partner, the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), and the important role parents can play in research going forward.  More breakouts gave parents, young adults and kids a chance to learn about  research, advocacy and more!
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