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!
Continue reading Hope Grows Here: Highlights from the 2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference