The OA Action Alliance is a group that is being developed by the Arthritis Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is a result of the jointly produced A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis. The agenda calls for developing priority policy initiatives, changing attitudes and understanding of osteoarthritis with a clear communications strategy, and developing strategic alliances that will align “to move the nation from complacency to action.” The OA Action Alliance is the group that will do that and is being formed through the efforts of the Arthritis Foundation and the CDC. It will be made up of federal and state agencies, aging networks and agencies, community organizations, professional organizations, and healthcare systems among others.
What are the vision, mission, and main objectives of the OA Action Alliance?
Vision Statement: Osteoarthritis is recognized as a public health priority whose prevention and control is essential to improving the quality of life of millions of Americans.
Mission Statement: The mission of the OA Action Alliance is to work collectively to advance the recommendations outlined in A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis by promoting action to prevent and control OA and its progression through proven interventions, public policies, communication strategies, and enhanced research initiatives.
Specifically, the mission of the Alliance is pursued strategically by:
• Expanding self-management education as a community-based intervention for people with symptomatic OA
• Widely promoting low impact, moderate intensity aerobic physical activity and muscle strengthening exercise as a public health intervention for adults with OA of the hip and/or knee
• Promoting, implementing, and enforcing existing policies and interventions that have been shown to reduce OA-related joint injuries
• Promoting weight management for the prevention and treatment of OA
• Establishing a national policy platform for OA to improve the nation’s health through evidence-based clinical and community prevention and disease control activities, including core public health infrastructure improvement activities
• Expanding systems to deliver evidence-based interventions
• Assuring quality of and equal access to evidence-based interventions for OA
• Improving workplace environments by adopting policies and interventions that prevent onset and progression of OA
• Initiating and sustaining a well designed communication strategy to enhance understanding and change attitudes and behavior among consumers, healthcare providers, policy makers, employers and the business community, and community organizations
• Pursuing research and evaluation to enhance surveillance, better understand risk factors, refine recommended intervention strategies, evaluate workplace interventions, and examine emerging evidence on additional promising interventions.
Why is the Arthritis Foundation involved in forming the OA Action Alliance?
The Arthritis Foundation is committed to eliminating arthritis as the nation’s leading cause of disability and to making the pain and limitations of arthritis unacceptable. While osteoarthritis is one of the many forms of arthritis, more than half of the 50 million Americans with arthritis have OA. It is a number that is expected to rise as the 78.2 million Baby Boomers age.
Furthermore OA severely limits productivity. Approximately 30% of adults age 18-64 with doctor-diagnosed arthritis report and arthritis-attributable work limitation including working less or working not at all. Much of this is due to OA. OA severely limits physical activity and complicates management of other chronic diseases and escalates health care costs for individuals, employers, and payers.
The pain, cost, and disability of OA are unacceptable and the Arthritis Foundation is joining with the CDC to form this coalition to advance osteoarthritis awareness, resources, and education.
Where can we find more information about the OA Action Alliance?
A website, http://www.oaaction.org/, was launched on April 4 to provide information and updates about the Alliance. On April 12, the Arthritis Foundation and CDC will convene invited organizations and groups to officially form the OA Action Alliance. The groups will brainstorm the best ways to further action towards the four recommended interventions for OA: 1) weight management; 2) self management education; 3) physical activity; 4) injury prevention.