Arthritis Foundation’s Advocacy Summit Fights for Awareness and a Cure

Advocates Take Action at Capitol Hill on March 14 and 15

ATLANTA, March 14, 2016 – Every day, the more than 50 million Americans living with arthritis face unique hurdles. Not only do these individuals live with the daily challenges of arthritis, they also experience barriers when it comes to access of optimal medical care. To enable people with arthritis to say ‘Yes’ to their everyday challenges, the Arthritis Foundation hosts its annual Advocacy Summit in Washington D.C. to provide attendees with advocacy education and the opportunity during the event to learn how to advocate in front of state and federal lawmakers and regulators.

On March 14 and 15, Arthritis Foundation Advocates and Ambassadors will arrive at the Capitol to take action for people with arthritis. The summit provides attendees with an opportunity to make their voices heard and potentially impact legislation as they address the key issues affecting those with arthritis, such as access to treatment, scarcity of specialists and funding for arthritis research.

This year’s top priorities focus on bringing attention to the prevalence of arthritis in current and former U.S. military personnel, ensuring the 300,000 children living with arthritis have access to certified pediatric rheumatologists and growing the Arthritis Foundation’s Congressional Arthritis Caucus.

“The purpose of our annual Advocacy Summit is to bring together Advocates from across the country to join us in leading the fight against arthritis by learning how to take action and speak out for their own personal needs and the needs of the arthritis community,” said Sandie Preiss, vice president of advocacy and access at the Arthritis Foundation. “Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the United States. The physical and financial toll of the disease underscores the need for increased access to care, patient safeguards, and federal research funding leading to better treatments and ultimately a cure.”

 The two-day summit is packed with breakout sessions, Capitol Hill meetings, and features two popular events:

  • Kids’ Summit: Designed for kids with arthritis and their siblings, the Kid’s Summit gives child advocates an opportunity to meet other youth impacted by arthritis. In addition, children learn how to advocate for themselves and how to speak with senators, representatives and health care experts.

  • Awards Dinner: This event on March 14 provides the Arthritis Foundation with an opportunity to thank and honor its top advocates for their work throughout the year. At the dinner, the Foundation will highlight the work of volunteers and policymakers who have performed exceptional service in support of the foundation’s mission of conquering arthritis and related conditions. This year, the Arthritis Foundation is honoring Rep. Joe Courtney of Connecticut and Rep. Chris Collins of New York with the Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Leadership Award in part for their work introducing H.R. 1859 – the Ensuring Children’s Access to Specialty Care Act of 2015.

The summit is made possible by the contribution of generous sponsors including Pfizer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Janssen, Genentech, AbbVie, Lilly, Amgen and Sanofi Regeneron. To learn more about the 2016 Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Summit and our advocacy and access issues, please visit: www.arthritis.org/advocacy.

About the Arthritis Foundation:

The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes. Leading the fight for the arthritis community, the Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. The Arthritis Foundation’s goal is to chart a winning course, guiding families in developing personalized plans for living a full life – and making each day another stride towards a cure. The Foundation also publishes Arthritis Today, the award-winning magazine that reaches 4 million readers per issue.

Media Contact:

Rachel Wingard
Cookerly Public Relations
(404) 419-9229; rachel@cookerly.com