AFitness header 

AFitness
News for Arthritis Foundation Program Instructors in the Great West Region
Spring 2013

 

Articles This Issue

Participants in Action: Susan Samuels
Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program keeps Susan Samuels feeling mobile and well. Find out how.

Quarterly Reports Due
Submit your reports by April 15, 2013.

Upcoming Trainings
Give someone the opportunity to take control of their arthritis in 2013. Recertify as an Arthritis Foundation Instructor or invite a friend or co-worker to become certified. See the list of upcoming trainings.

Put Pain in Its Place
New Arthritis Foundation education program offers helpful tools to remote geographical areas. Read more.

Arthritis Advocates Travel to Washington DC to Rally Support
Find out the key issues they represented, and how they might affect you.  

A Strong Partner in the Fight Against Arthritis 
The Montana Arthritis Program, in collaboration with the Arthritis Foundation, is working to improve the quality of life for people affected by arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. Learn more.

Photos from the Field

The Many Forms of Arthritis
Learn more about psoriatic arthritis.  

Arthritis Walk Season is Here
Join us for your local community's Arthritis Walk this spring. When you do, you'll help raise awareness and support for all those affected by arthritis. Find your local event.

Get Connected 

 


 

Participants in Action: Aquatic Program Keeps Susan Samuels Feeling Mobile and Well

By Jeanne Jones, Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program Instructor at the Erie Community Center in Erie, Colorado

Susan Samuels is a regular class participant in my Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program class at the Erie Recreation Center in Erie, CO. Her success story is so inspiring, that I wanted to share it with everyone at the Arthritis Foundation. Her story is below. It demonstrates how taking the arthritis classes on a regular basis has helped her in great ways.

Susan Samuels:
Susan SamuelsIn November of 2011 I was mostly couch bound. My arthritis and degenerative disc disease made exercise, walking and even standing nearly impossible. Then I discovered the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program class taught by Jeanne Jones at the Erie Recreation Center. I knew before the end of the first class I attended that this was going to be a lifesaver for me. I went to class three times a week and in very short order the pool was the only place I felt comfortable. I was able to do all the exercises supported by the water that I couldn't do on land. When I left the pool I could feel the weight of gravity again pulling me down. I was back to the place where I was doing something to help myself and it felt great.

In February I had total hip replacement. It went very well. I was out of bed the afternoon of surgery and home in 48 hours. In two weeks my hip was so comfortable it was hard to believe I'd had surgery. I was able to get back in the pool in two weeks which was great because now that my hip didn't hurt my back was complaining even more. I continued to work out in the pool in addition to my physical therapy, and felt that at least there wasn't further decrease in my mobility.

In May I finally had my back surgery, which wasn't as quick a recovery as my hip. It took a good four weeks for me to get the pain under control and another two weeks before I was back in the pool. I had missed it so much! Now, five months after my back surgery, every day gets better. I am beginning to feel that I have my life back. I'm back to my exercises and all the activities I had to give up last year. My plan is to continue with the water classes forever, to keep myself mobile and well.”

 


 

Quarterly Reports Due April 15, 2013

Fourth quarter program reports are due by January 15. Click here to access the forms and our return contact information.

 


 

Upcoming Trainings

Give someone the opportunity to take control of their arthritis in 2013. Recertify as an Arthritis Foundation Instructor or invite a friend or co-worker to become certified. Search the event list for upcoming trainings.

 


 

Put Pain in Its Place

New Arthritis Foundation educational program offers helpful tools to remote geographical areas

put pain logoDo you live a great distance from your local Arthritis Foundation Office? Are you seeking ways to educate your community about arthritis, but don’t have local speakers or volunteers to lead arthritis educational presentations? If so, the Arthritis Foundation now offers stand-alone educational programs to communities in need of arthritis information and resources.

Our most popular program is called Put Pain in Its Place. This one-hour educational program comes to you in a ready-to-use kit, with all the necessary materials. It was co-developed by the Arthritis Foundation and the National Council on Aging. The program focuses on the daily pain of osteoarthritis and ways people can lessen their pain.

With the box comes an educational PowerPoint slide show presentation, a printable version of all the slides, brochures on osteoarthritis and how to manage pain, customizable fliers to promote the program in your community and a script for the speaker. This program is an amazing way to get people the information they need to make themselves feel better!

Put Pain in Its Place officially launches in July, 2013. Contact your local Arthritis Foundation staff person to request this kit upon its release.

The Arthritis Foundation also has other programs catering to the needs of local communities, such as our Arthritis 101 presentation. Please contact your local Arthritis Foundation representative for more information.

 


 

Arthritis Advocates Travel to Washington DC to Rally Support

Find out the key issues they represented, and how they might affect you.

 

advocates

At the Arthritis Foundation, we think grassroots advocacy is the key to successfully change government policies. In early March, over 350 Arthritis Foundation staff and volunteers took Washington DC by storm to talk about arthritis during the annual Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Summit. Participants met with state representatives in both the Senate and House of Representatives to give them a firsthand account of life with arthritis, to discuss the needs of people with arthritis and how legislators can help.

The advocates had three key messages to share:

Support Legislation to Address Excessive Cost-Sharing of Specialty Tier Medications

  • Because of increasing costs, many insurance plans that cover prescription drugs have instituted a tiered payment system for medications. A fourth tier, known as “specialty tiers”, utilizes high patient cost-sharing for certain expensive medications. This includes biologic medications which people with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and other forms of inflammatory arthritis use. Instead of paying a fixed amount for medications, patients who receive specialty tier medications pay a percentage of the cost of the drug, resulting in skyrocketing costs for a single medication. Cost-sharing for prescription medications should not be so large as to restrict or interfere with people’s treatment, which can lead to negative health outcomes and additional costs to the healthcare system.

Support Access to Pediatric Rheumatologists

  • Currently, there are less than 250 board certified, practicing pediatric rheumatologists in the United States and about 90 percent of those are clustered in and around large cities. Pediatric rheumatology has one of the smallest numbers of doctors of any pediatric subspecialty. Of those children with juvenile arthritis, only one-fourth see a pediatric rheumatologist due to their rarity. This is why arthritis advocates are asking legislators to support funding for the Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment Program at the Health Resources and Services Administration. The program would incentivize training and practice in pediatric medical subspecialties, like pediatric rheumatology, to help alleviate the shortage and poor distribution of practicing pediatric rheumatologists.

Support Research for a Cure

  • Due to growing evidence linking combat service to increased rates of osteoarthritis (OA), the Arthritis Foundation urges federal investment in arthritis research through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, Peer Review Program at the Department of Defense. A new avenue of research funding for OA and RA could help identify arthritis prior to the onset of symptoms. This research could help identify medical and physical interventions to prevent or minimize joint damage and slow or stop the arthritis disease process before joints are permanently damaged. Targeted research efforts would focus on examining genetic factors, ways to improve diagnosis, screening, and treatment options.

Take action today!

To learn more about each message or to get involved please visit http://www.arthritis.org/advocacy/

 


 

A Strong Partner in the Fight Against Arthritis

 

The Montana Arthritis Program, in collaboration with the Arthritis Foundation, is working to improve the quality of life for people affected by arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. There are over 202,000 Montanans who have doctor diagnosed arthritis and 46% report being limited in their usual activities because of joint symptoms.

The mission of the Montana Arthritis Program is to increase access to, and the use of, arthritis appropriate interventions among Montanans who have reported having arthritis. Together the Montana Arthritis Program and the Arthritis Foundation have partnered with sites throughout the state to implement the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP) and the Walk with Ease Program (WWE). Since January 2013, the Montana Arthritis Program has funded 25 sites with over 30 new class offerings. By July 2014, the Montana Arthritis Program hopes to have at least 40 funded sites across the state.

Addressing the burden of arthritis requires coordinated and collaborative efforts among many types of organizations. If you are interested in adding either of these programs to your sites, or would like more information on the Montana Arthritis Program website, (www.dphhs.mt.gov/arthritis/) you can contact Emily Epperson at (406) 444-0959 or .

montana arthritis program logo

 

 


 

Photos from the Field

 

new instructors

Seventeen Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program instructors were trained or re-certified in the Denver office on March 19. Now, they'll be out in the community leading these vital exercise programs for people with arthritis.

 

 


 

The Many Forms of Arthritis

psoriatic arthritis

Psoriasis, which affects about 2 percent of the U.S. population, most often causes patches of thick, reddened, irritated skin with flaky, silver-white patches called scales.

Learn more about Psoriatic Arthritis.

 

 

 


 

Arthritis Walk Season Is Here!

 

Arthritsi Walk video

 

Join us for your local community's Arthritis Walk this spring. When you do, you'll help raise awareness and support for all those affected by arthritis. Find your local event.

  

 


 

Get Connected

Find your local office of the Arthritis Foundation to get connected to local staff, programs, events and more.

Feedback or ideas for AFitness future content? E-mail Wade Balmer at wbalmer@arthritis.org.


Subscribe to receive future publications

 

Donate Button

Nebo Content Management System Tracking