The Arthritis Foundation teamed up with U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (Georgia) and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) for a Capitol Hill briefing on arthritis on Wednesday, September 19. Attended by several congressional staff from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, Senator Isakson spoke to the audience about the importance of the Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act of 2007 and his efforts to pass the legislation.
The briefing also included Arthritis Foundation advocates Brenda Crabbs and Emily Smith who shared their personal stories about how arthritis has impacted their lives. Washington Post reporter Jonathon Weisman shared his personal perspective about the lack of pediatric rheumatologists in the Washington, D.C. area. Dr. Christy Sandborg, from Stanford University, discussed how the arthritis bill, if enacted would help alleviate the shortage of pediatric rheumatologists in the nation. Dr. Joseph Flood, chair of the ACR government affairs committee and a rheumatologist from Columbus, Ohio, moderated the briefing and shared with staff the challenges in providing care to patients due to Medicare reimbursement rates for certain services. The Arthritis Foundation and the ACR plan to join forces in the future in advocating for passage of the Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act.