Money raised from the Arthritis Walk®, membership and donations will help fund the mission of the Arthritis Foundation, which is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases.
How exactly does the Arthritis Foundation spend the money you donate? Every dollar is critical in supporting arthritis research, public health efforts and public policy initiatives that help people take greater control of arthritis and improve the lives of the 46 million Americans who have some form of arthritis.
The Arthritis Foundation is the single largest non-profit organization funding arthritis research in the world. Since 1948, it has invested more than $380 million dollars in research supporting 2,200 scientists at 100 institutions. Funding peer-reviewed research is integral to: breakthrough discoveries, such as a vaccine for rheumatoid arthritis; research on aggressive treatments has yielded medications that decrease the impact of arthritis; and cutting-edge clinical research is providing keys to prevention and control.
As the national authority on arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation is in a unique position to present programs that make a vital difference in the lives of people with arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation offers an array of exercise and education programs that were developed by experts and tested to show positive results for people with arthritis, including the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program; the Arthritis Foundation Aquatics Program; and the Arthritis Foundation Self Help Program. These programs which are offered everyday in communities nationwide have been documented to have significant positive outcomes for participants. Money raised by the Arthritis Foundation supports the efforts to build the capacity of these programs by training course leaders, instructors, and trainers, and developing partnerships for broader implementation.
In addition, the money raised supports the Arthritis Foundation’s two public health initiatives that aim to improve the lives of people with arthritis:
- To develop strategies for quicker diagnosis and referral of inflammatory arthritis.
- To create a national awareness campaign about the benefits of physical activity for those with osteoarthritis.
Engaging volunteers to advocate for public policy changes for themselves and their friends and families is a key activity of the Arthritis Foundation. Through our public policy and advocacy efforts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established an arthritis program, which in part provides funding to 36 states for public awareness about arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation also has played a significant role in increasing the funding for arthritis research at the National Institutes of Health. With the assistance of the Arthritis Foundation, Members of Congress introduced the Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act (S. 626/H.R. 1283). This legislation, when passed, will ensure more people are diagnosed early; ensure limited federal research funding is used most effectively; provide for an arthritis prevalence study of children, and a remedy to help increase the number of pediatric rheumatologists.
With 46 million Americans affected by arthritis, community involvement is the best way to help people with arthritis take better control of their disease. Brochures and the Arthritis Answers Information Specialists are free resources provided to help the public cope with arthritis.
All of these initiatives and programs are possible thanks to your generous support.