Key members of Congress in collaboration with the Arthritis Foundation developed the Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act, introduced in 2004. The Foundation is leading the advocacy efforts with other organizations interested in arthritis and rheumatic diseases to ensure the proposed legislation will become U.S. law. This legislation places a high priority on juvenile arthritis through advocacy for increased juvenile arthritis research, CDC and juvenile arthritis epidemiology research, and addressing the shortage of pediatric rheumatologists through a loan repayment program.
To enhance advocacy efforts, the Arthritis Foundation has expanded the annual advocacy summit to include a juvenile arthritis summit. Families are encouraged to bring their school-aged children to learn how they can become effective advocates and to help educate members of Congress that Kids Get Arthritis, Too.
It is also a goal to improve access to quality healthcare for children with juvenile arthritis and increase the number of parents/children and health professionals who are active advocates utilizing advocacy Web tools.
- Get more information on our advocacy efforts.
- Check out the highlights from the 2008 Advocacy and Kids' Summit.
- Take a look at the Special Advocacy Edition of Kids Get Arthritis Too (PDF).
- Kids can spread awareness too.
Advocates in the News
Eric Terry, a nine-year from Virginia, walked the halls of Congress along with 400 advocates during the 2008 Advocacy and Kids' Summit.
- New Mexico Senator signs cosponsors arthritis bill after meeting 13-year-old advocate, Megan Belzer, from Santa Fe.
- Michigan family visits their Members of Congress. The Brian daughters, Jessica (12) and Olivia (9), "just want to find a cure." Watch them tell their story.
- IL high school senior attends Advocacy Summit for sixth time because "somebody has to have a voice." Kristen Hartman has juvenile arthritis and has missed 25 days of school simply because she could not get out of bed. She is proof that arthritis isn't an old person's disease and the passage of the Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act will benefit 46 million Americans, 300,000 children.
How You Can Get Involved
You may not have made the trip to Washington, but you can still visit Congress. Send a personalized message that includes a picture or even video to stress the impact that arthritis has on our nation.
- Review the arthritis priorities.
- Become an Advocate.
- Schedule/attend a town hall meeting.
- Send a personal message.