More than a look back at all we’ve accomplished in 2015, or an opportunity for us to learn from our peers and volunteers, or even to celebrate our victories, the 2015 Arthritis Foundation Annual Meeting has provided an opportunity for our community to rally together around meaningful goals and commit to making measurable improvements for the more than 50 million Americans living with arthritis.
The final day of the Meeting highlighted key work done to support our mission. We heard from our advocacy team and identified ways we can continue to fight to improve access to care. We also heard from key members of our scientific community, who talked about more about the initiatives that are putting us on a faster path to a cure. Alongside our partners at CARRA, we outlined key ways our community can get involved in accelerating the path, including via participation in research studies and clinical trials and maintaining an open line of communication with the clinical and research teams who are shaping the future of arthritis research and treatments. From local event best practices, to the importance for each of us to tell our own personal arthritis story, there were many more topics covered throughout the day. You can take a closer look at the session presentations and handouts here.
Throughout the meeting, our volunteers and staff shared pledges and commitments about the ways each of us will contribute to moving the needle for the arthritis population. From @Kirstie_Schultz’s pledge to “speak for other young people with juvenile arthritis who may not always have a voice” or @sixhip’s pledge to “continue to write about/share the hardest parts of my journey w/RA because I believe in my ability to help others,” and @JIAmom1’s
pledge to “never give up on finding a cure for my daughter, because I believe,” hundreds of pledges were made and there has been an ongoing energy around doubling our collective efforts to have an even greater impact in 2016.
While many individual pledges were made, everyone was united in our commitment to conquering arthritis.
Lastly, to tie it all together, we took time to celebrate our Champions of Yes at the Evening of Honors and on the closing day of the conference. You can check out some of the inspiring Champion of Yes stories and videos here. From Ana Villfane, who continues to fight for the juvenile arthritis community and raises awareness and hope for children around the country, or our friends at Massage Envy, who recently raised $1.1 million dollars via the fifth annual Healing Hands for Arthritis Event, or stories of courage like that of Kristen McAllister, who is fighting to learn to walk again.
With renewed energy and inspiration, our Arthritis Foundation team of staff and volunteers will return to their communities with a focused commitment to improve the lives of people with arthritis!
- 2015 Annual Meeting Videos: A Year In Review & Celebrating Our Champions!
- 2015 Arthritis Foundation Annual Meeting Kicks Off With the Power of Yes!