A newsletter on and about arthritis to keep you informed on treatment advances,
  research, personal accomplishments / features, and opportunities for
  engagement with the Arthritis Foundation, Northeast Region.
  May 2013


Springtime is Arthritis Foundation Walk time
and this May, and June Walks are getting people
moving and supporting the Arthritis Foundation. 

CLICK HERE to find the Walk near you.

Who are Afrthritis Foundation Walkers? Walk participants are advocates.

  • Walking makes a statement that ignoring arthritis is unacceptable.

Walkers and Team Captains are program participants.

  • Program participants have learned first-hand that moving is the best medicine for arthritis.

People at the Walks are individuals and families who are directly affected by arthritis.

  • 25,000 people nation-wide have told us that they support the Walk because they have arthritis.

 Thanks to you, the Walk is more than just a walk. The Walk supports mission growth.


Supporting research is at the core of the Arthritis Foundation’s mission. Our ongoing research addresses four critichttp://www.arthritis.org/cms/js/mfm.php?mode=inpage&office_dir=nyk#al areas:  rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, arthritis in children, and funding the best science. Learn more about Arthritris Foundation research by CLICKING HERE

Walks honor the physicians in our communities.

Meet Frank Congiusta, MD, Medical Honoree for the Walk being held in Colonie on June 1. (CLICK HEREfor a direct link to this Walk) and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Arthritis Foundation in Northeastern New York which is based in Albany. Dr. Congiusta is an orthopedic surgeon in practice with OrthoNY which has offices in several communities in the Albany area. Dr. Congiusta graduated from medical school in 2000, completed his residency in orthopedics, and then a fellowship in total joint replacements, which has become his specialty. Playing football in college spurred his interest in orthopedics.

Arthritis and patients
Dr. Congiusta comments on how arthritis affects his patients: “People with arthritis have difficulty doing even the simplest activities that someone else will take for granted. For example, walking a block or two, going up one or two steps, or getting out of chairs. Often, after joint replacement surgery, patients tell me they are grateful because replacing a badly affected joint has made such a dramatic difference in their lives.”

Taking care of your hips and knees
Expert advice from Dr. Congiusta: “The obesity epidemic means that many individuals carry extra weight, which puts greater stress on hip and knee joints. Keep your weight down, especially if you have arthritis. To keep in shape, focus on low impact exercise, such as swimming, walking, using the elliptical, and bicycle riding.”

About his affiliation with the Arthritis Foundation
Dr. Congiusta has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Arthritis Foundation in Northeast New York since 2007. “There is a natural fit for me with the Arthritis Foundation. Most of my patients suffer from arthritis so it is rewarding to work to help find new ways to treat the disease. As a medical honoree I hope to raise awareness of arthritis, bring awareness of the Arthritis Foundation to my patients, and raise money to fund better treatments and find a cure for the disease.”

Dr. Congiusta wants you to get active
“Support the Arthritis Foundation – get involved with the Walks to raise awareness and treat the disease.”

In Closing, A Personal View of Why We Walk:
A Heartfelt Video

Please view this video and meet Caitlyn. She is two and one-half years old and has systemic juvenile arthritis, an especially difficult form of JA. Her mom, Michele, has created a video to help us learn how arthritis affects children and Caitlyn in particular. The video is touching, personal, and nicely done. CLICK HERE for the video, and you will understand in your heart why we walk, and why we walk for children like Caitlyn.

Where is Your Walk?

Walks are being held throughout the Northeast Region in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York State. There is one close to you! CLICK HERE for a full listing -- get involved, and be prepared for a rewarding and fun experience.

Reader Appreciation

Thanks for reading the Northeast Regional Reporter. To highlight our regard for your interest, the first 50 people to CLICK HERE will receive a free Arthritis Foundation token-of-appreciation. We will need your name and postal mailing address. Hint: the reward is colorful and useful!

When Your Knees Hurt 

If your knees hurt due to osteoarthritis, expert advice is at hand. View, via the internet, the live presentation Boning Up on the Knee: Managing Osteoarthritis on Wednesday, May 15 at 7pm. The speakers are Rashmi Khadilkar, MD, rheumatologist with the Rochester General Medical Group and Edward Tanner, MD, orthopedic surgeon and Chief of Orthopedics at Rochester General Hospital. The program is free of charge and worth your time. CLICK HERE to register and for additional information.

Your knees will thank you.

Getting the Word Out

Traveling? Flying out of JFK Airport or taking Amtrak from Grand Central Station during the month of May? Be sure to take note of the Faces of Arthritis exhibits in these two busy transportation hubs. CLICK HERE to view the full Faces of Arthritis campaign.

 Throw with Joe Montana 

Download an app featuring Joe Montana, Hall of Fame quarterback who played with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, and, in addition to supporting the Arthritis Foundation, you will be entered into a sweepstakes for several great prizes, including a trip for two to San Francisco to meet and throw with Joe Montana.

Sponsored by Joint Juice, this company has launched an Apple app that features Joe Montana. The cost of the app is $.99 and all of the app proceeds from April 30 to December 31, 2013 will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation.
CLICK HERE for the link for the app. Don’t miss out on your chance to Throw with Joe.

The Young Adult Connect Group is Getting Away for a Weekend


What:  The 2013 Young Adult Connect Get-away is a FREE weekend event.  Located in the mountains of western New Jersey (Yes…there are mountains in New Jersey) at an ADA compliant campsite

Who:  Any young adult, age 18-29 with arthritis or rheumatic disease, is invited to attend

When:   Friday, July 19 (5:00pm-6:00pm check-in time) through Sunday, July 21 afternoon (3:00pm)

WHY: This is a weekend of having fun and socializing. Meet and greet old and new friends; fun and challenging activities such as zip line, rock wall climbing; pottery making; pool party; practical information on accommodations at college / workplace; learn how to Make Your Voice Heard.

Where:  Camp Merry Heart (also the home of Camp CHAT) in Hackettstown, NJ. (See article on camps for information on Camp CHAT.)

To register, CLICK HERE.

Camps Available:
New Jersey – New York – Pennsylvania


Hello to children and teens who have arthritis. Plan your get-away to camp for this summer.
(Be sure to ask your parents first!)

Three camps are available in our Northeast Region.

New Jersey ChatCamp CHAT is located in Hackettstown, NJ in association with the Easter Seals Camp, Camp Merry Heart. Camp CHAT takes place from July 21-26, 2013. Camp CHAT is specifically designed to host campers with juvenile arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. To receive additional information on Camp CHAT, call (732) 283-4300 extension 6365 or email plotkowi@arthritis.org.

New York State Double H Ranch, located in Lake Luzerne in the Adirondacks, is the place to be from August 8-13, 2013. Double H Ranch hosts campers with juvenile arthritis and rheumatic diseases as well as campers with various chronic illnesses. For additional information on Double H Ranch call (631) 427-8272 or email nsimingt@arthritis.org.

Pennsylvania Camp JRA is held at Camp Victory in Millville, PA, approximately 10 miles from Bloomsburg, PA. Camp JRA takes place from July 14-19, 2013. Camp JRA is specifically designed to host campers with juvenile arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. To receive additional information on Camp JRA, call (267) 238-9724 or email dmstephens@arthritis.org.

Every Voice Counts 


 Advocacy Training held on March 23 in King of Prussia, Eastern Pennsylvania

Volunteers, members of the Board of Directors; program; Walk, and Jingle Bell Run participants; exercise instructors; new and prospective advocates found that their voices count during the Advocacy Training held recently in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Participants now are energized to actively engage with elected officials to let them know that ignoring arthritis is unacceptable. Close to fifty people attended and discussed topics including Why Your Voice Matters; Telling Your Story – the Power of One; and Grassroots Advocacy: How You Can Get Involved.

Advocacy trainings are interactive and lively. Want to learn more and become and advocate right now? CLICK HERE and you can view the advocacy training, titled "Make Your Voice Count," that was held previously in New York. 

Advocacy Summit 2013: A Success

 “Ignoring arthritis is unacceptable!” This is the message given to Congress by 350 advocates from all 50 states who gathered in Washington DC in early March for the Arthritis Foundation’s annual National Advocacy Summit. Among those attending were fifty advocates and volunteers from the Northeast Region.

The Summit is a powerful event in which everyone benefits.

  • The Senators and the Congressional Representatives learn about arthritis, the number of people who are affected, and our compelling reasons for petitioning the government for support. Some become aware for the first time that children get arthritis, too.
  • The children and teens attending the Summit experience advocacy in action, learning skills they will use on their own behalf and for others.
  • Volunteers and Arthritis Foundation staff become energized by the experience as they speak with legislators and their aides.

Is the Arthritis Foundation Advocacy program for you? Give it a try. Very likely, you too will feel the excitement of discovering the empowerment of speaking up and seeking action regarding  arthritis. CLICK HERE to begin the advocacy adventure..

Both veteran and new advocates from New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and New York State gathered at the Advocacy Summit in March 2013 to speak out for the needs of the 50 million people in the United States who have arthritis. Our Region’s group included volunteers, members of the Board of Directors, and staff. 

Close to Home


We are where you need us to be, which is in your community. The Arthritis Foundation works in partnership with hospitals, businesses, and local organizations to bring helpful and engaging programs to you. Read on for offerings close to your home.

Eastern Pennsylvania
111 S. Independence Mall East
Suite 500 - Bourse Building
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-574-3060
Email: info.epa@arthritis.org

Veterans: enlist in the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease program at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. Meeting for six weeks in June, August, and September, Walk With Ease gets you going at your own pace so you build stamina, strength, and even self-confidence. Walking in a group is fun and motivational. This program is open to Veterans. For information contact Danielle Stephens at dmstephens@arthritis.org.

Families who have a child with arthritis or other rheumatic disease are invited to attend Family Day, Saturday, June 1, 8:30am to 12noon at ArtsQuest, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. While the kids explore ArtsQuest, adults attend presentations by April Bingham, MD on medications and Lisa Robbins, RN on school issues. There is a parent panel, expo, ask the doctor and ask the nurse, and time to meet with other families. To register, go to www.jafd.kintera.org. Family Day is free of charge.

Learn to teach the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program and / or the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program. Three instructor trainings are being held in May and June. Contact Danielle Stephens at dmstepens@arthritis.org.

Long Island
501 Walt Whitman Road
Melville, NY 11747
Phone: (631) 427-8272
Email: nsimingt@arthritis.org

Date: Wednesday, May 22 Time: 10am Place: Freeport Recreation Center Be sure to stop by the Arthritis Foundation table at the Health and Wellness Expo sponsored by HealthCare Partners. There will be many interesting vendors to help you make the best decisions for your health and well-being. The expo is free of charge. See you there!

New Jersey
555 Route 1 South
Suite 320
Iselin, NJ 08830
Phone: 732-283-4300
Email: info.nj@arthritis.org

Journey to Health / Unleash the Power of Age: A full day festive on successful is being held on Thursday, May 23 at Stockton College in Atlantic County. The arthritis track features the keynote presentation, Arthritis and the Savvy Consumer with George Halko, DO and additional presentations on treatment and self-management. In addition, there are free eye exams and 20 exhibitors on various topics relating to aging. Journey to health / Unleash the Power of Age is presented by Stockton College and the Arthritis Foundation’s New Jersey office. Thanks are expressed to Abbott and Horizon Foundation of New Jersey for sponsoring the day. To register, contact Helen Crilley at (856) 673-1360 or hcrilley@arthritis.org.

Become involved with your community and enhance your own well-being by working with the Arthritis Foundation in New Jersey to present two quality of life programs: Put Pain in its Place and Arthritis Basics for Change. Thanks to funding provided by the Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, training is available for volunteers to learn to deliver these two programs. For information, contact Peggy Lotkowictz at (856) 673-1365 or plotkowi@arthritis.org.  

New York
122 East 42nd Street
18th Floor
New York NY 10168-1898
Phone: 212-984-8700
Email: info.ny@arthritis.org

Arthritis Basics for Change (ABC) is a one-hour educational program providing you with the necessary tools for arthritis self-management including diet, exercise, treatments, and helpful resources. Arthritis Basics for Change is available two times, in two formats, and in two languages in the coming weeks: Phillips Ambulatory Care Center 10 Union Square East, 2nd floor, Manhattan Tuesday, May 21 at 2pm. To register call the New York Arthritis Helpline at (212) 984-8730 or info.ny@arthritis.org.

And En Español! A Patient Education Webinar Tune in to the web-based program live, or share with our community. For more information or to sign up for this Spanish language web-based program contact the New York Arthritis Helpline at (212) 984-8730 or info.ny@arthritis.org.  

Northeastern New York
855 Route 146
Suite 170
Clifton Park, NY 12065
Phone; (518) 456-1203
Email: sandrew@arthritis.org
***Please note the new address above for the Northeastern New York office.

Come to Family Day on Saturday, May 18, 11:00am at family-centered Howe Caverns. On the agenda: Tour the caves, ropes course, and zipline. At lunch, Lilliana Barillas, MD, Pediatric Rheumatologist at Albany Medical Center, will speak and answer your questions. For information, contact Sonya Andrew at (518) 456-1203 or sandrew@arthritis.org.

Upstate New York
3300 Monroe Ave
Ste 319 Rochester, NY 14618
Phone: (585) 264-1480
Email: info.uny@arthritis.org

Yes – get started with exercise with the Arthritis Foundation. Choose your favorite type of exercise: in the pool, traditional exercise seated or standing, tai chi or walking. We offer it all! Exercise that is appropriate for you is the best pain reliever “on the market."

Editorial Board

Stephen A. Smiles, MD
Member, Northeast Regional Board and New York Chapter Board, Arthritis Foundation
Co-Director, Center for Arthritis and Autoimmunity NYU Medical Center,
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine NYU School of Medicine

Suzanne Bliss
President and CEO
Northeast Region, Arthritis Foundation

Sharon Jaycox Daitz
Vice President, Program
Northeast Region, Arthritis Foundation

Beth Gottlieb, MD
Chief, Division of Pediatric Rheumatology
Director, Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Training
Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York

Andrew B. Weinberger, MD, FACR
Immediate Past President, New Jersey Rheumatology Association
Member, New Jersey Chapter Board, Arthritis Foundation
Rheumatologist, West Orange, New Jersey

The Northeast Regional Reporter is supported in part by the following funders:
Pfizer, Genentech, Amgen.

Nebo Content Management System Tracking