Category Archives: Featured

rheumatology funding

Closing the Gap on the Nation’s Rheumatologist Shortage

Many of us know that access to care isn’t always a guarantee. All too often, seeing a rheumatologist includes traveling out of state because of the severe rheumatologist shortage. Last year we committed to closing this gap by offering Fellowship grants to universities in underserved areas. After careful consideration, we recently selected five schools to receive fellowship grants to help doctors advance in this specialty field. The institutions were offered $150,000 to launch new slots for established fellowship programs.

We are thrilled to be able to offer these awards because of the impact the newly funded positions will have on their communities. Executive Director Kelsey Woods told us this of the grant given to a school in her area, “The University of Washington has long been a partner of the Arthritis Foundation in the fight to both control and cure this debilitating disease. We are so proud to continue to fund a rheumatology fellowship right here in Seattle at the UW. Healthcare access is and must continue to be a top priority in the region, and this investment is confirmation that we will continue to fight for that.”

Three adult and two pediatric rheumatology fellowships have been offered and accepted by the follow programs:

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get a grip on arthritis 2018

Getting a Head Start on Arthritis Awareness Month: PopSockets Is Helping Move the Needle

Order your phone grip by March 31, 2018 to support the Arthritis Foundation!

Though National Arthritis Month isn’t until May, the Arthritis Foundation is already putting an even brighter spotlight on America’s #1 cause of disability.

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arthritis prevalence study

Study Finds Many More U.S. Adults Have Arthritis Than Previously Thought

Arthritis might be far more common in the United States than previously thought, especially among adults younger than 65. That’s according to a new study published online in Arthritis & Rheumatology in November.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) undertook the study because they suspected the current estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – which puts the number of adults with arthritis in the U.S. at around 54 million – might be too low.

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mason merager giving tuesday 2017

Three Days Lost and 1,000 Miles to See a Doctor

It’s 500 miles door to door. Sixteen hours of driving time roundtrip, sometimes in treacherous conditions. Three days lost … at least twice every year.

That’s what Mason Merager and his mom have experienced over the past decade, just so they could see a specialist trained to treat childhood arthritis. They’ve had to plan their trips to coincide with summer school breaks and end-of-year holidays. Without financial support, they would have had to sacrifice Mason’s health because of the overwhelming costs.

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andrea avery

Andrea Avery: Composing My Life

Last week at the Conference of Champions, Andrea Avery, author and Arizona-based Foundation volunteer, shared her gripping story, intertwining her love for piano and the reality of her arthritis. Beyond sharing her personal story with hundreds of volunteers in Phoenix, she also met and performed with her inspiration, Byron Janis, master and renowned pianist. See below for an excerpt from her book, Sonata: A Memoir of Pain and the Piano.

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hurricane irma preparedness

Preparing for Irma if You Have Arthritis

During a natural disaster, not having your medications or assistive devices adds to physical and emotional stress, which can trigger arthritis flares and leave you vulnerable to injury and infection.  

“High stress levels make rheumatic conditions worse; having an established emergency plan can only reduce stress,” says Jennifer Hootman, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Arthritis Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Registered nurse Victoria Ruffing, director of nursing and patient education at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center in Baltimore, MD, also stresses the need to have a plan for your medications – and awareness of the potential dangers for people with arthritis of the storm’s aftermath.

“Contaminated water, debris, and other post-hurricane conditions mean environments are ripe for infection and injury,” she says. “People should be on the alert for these and, if they pick up a bacterial or viral infection or have a wound that’s not healing well, they should seek medical care as soon as possible. This will probably mean going to an emergency department, but they should not put off seeking care – in disaster conditions medical problems can get worse very quickly.”  

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10th Annual National Gathering

Highlights from the 10th Annual National Gathering Conference

What a wonderful weekend! The 10th annual National Gathering Conference was held last weekend June 9-11 in Kansas City and what a weekend it was! This year’s conference was particularly special – we celebrated 10 amazing years of this wonderful Gathering which was reflected in the conference theme “10 Years & Growing,” and throughout the conference.

The Gathering was created for adults living with arthritis and rheumatic diseases to gather together and learn from healthcare and patient experts how to live their best life. We all know living with arthritis is difficult, but at the Gathering we learn together how to combat life’s daily challenges.
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Akylosing Spodylitis Treatment

FDA OKs a New Biologic for RA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the biologic drug sarilumab (Kevzara) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Sarilumab blocks a protein called interleukin-6 (IL-6), which plays a key role in many inflammatory diseases, including RA. It’s the second IL-6 inhibitor to receive FDA approval for RA; the other, tocilizumab (Actemra), got the nod in 2010.
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Arthritis Foundation Statement on the Official FY 2018 President’s Budget Request

Today, the president released the administration’s official budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which would make deep cuts to health programs across health agencies and would have severe implications for Medicaid and other programs that deliver vital health care services to people with arthritis. While the Arthritis Foundation agrees that health care reform is necessary and our country needs to make important spending decisions, it should not be at the expense of people with arthritis, which now affects one in four Americans and the prevalence is growing.

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Arthritis Biosimilar

FDA Approves Second Remicade biosimilar

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Renflexis (infliximab-abda), a biosimilar to Remicade (infliximab), making it the fourth biosimilar approved to treat inflammatory types of arthritis.

Renflexis is the second approved biosimilar to Remicade. The first one, Inflectra (infliximab-dyyb), was approved in April 2016. This is the first time the FDA has approved two biosimilars for one original, “reference” medication.
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