Maine: Health advocacy forums are coalitions of voluntary health agencies, which work together to improve access to health services and medications. The Northern and Southern New England Chapter recently initiated a new health advocacy forum in Maine. There are existing health advocacy forums in the four other states the chapter serves: CT, RI, VT and a similar group in NH. Chapter staff chair or co-chair the CT, ME and RI forums and play key roles in the other forums.
Nebraska: A huge "Thank You" goes out to all the individuals took a part in the Legislative Reception on January 25. Many thanks to Dr. Larry Jung, representatives from Senator Hagel and Congressman Terry’s offices and special guest Erica Gerber from Richmond, Virginia. Erica brought forth the knowledge of why this Act is so important, and how we can get involved in the state of Nebraska.
New Jersey: State Senator Robert Singer, has drafted a resolution in support of the National Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act. As the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly are currently on a “budget break,” the resolution will be introduced when the Senate reconvenes on May 10th. The hope is that New Jersey state representatives will approve of the resolution and send this message to Congress, urging their National counterparts to support the legislation. New Jersey advocates can check the progression of the resolution once it has been introduced next month.
Senator Singer, whose staff volunteered to manage the Advocacy table at one of last year’s walk sites, has extended a written invitation to all of his colleagues, in districts where walks are being held, to volunteer staff/supporters to assist with advocacy recruitment. It’s a great way for local politicians to meet their constituents and see the New Jersey Chapter’s grassroots efforts first-hand.
The New Jersey Chapter plans to pilot a “live” advocacy booth at one of its nine Arthritis Walks scheduled for May 2007. With a laptop, a wireless network and a bank of volunteer cell phones, advocates will be encouraged to call and/or email their representatives in Congress. It is our hope that the immediacy of this “intervention” will encourage would-be advocates to make their voices actually heard.
Ohio: Arthritis Foundation Advocates visited the Ohio statehouse on March 6. The goal of the meeting was to educate legislators about arthritis and the Arthritis Foundation.
Pennsylvania: The Central, Eastern & Western Pennsylvania Chapters will host a State Legislative Breakfast on May 22, 2007 at the State Capitol in Harrisburg. Senator Pat Vance [R-Cumberland] and Representative Jennifer Mann [D – Reading] will present resolutions declaring May, National Arthritis Awareness Month in the Keystone State.