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A publication for volunteers of the Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region
Fall 2013

Articles This Issue

The Ripple Effect
Dr. Barry Shibuya shares his philosophy and how Arthritis Foundation resources benefit his patients.  Find out more.

Friends in the Field
Volunteer Shannon Teslow uses her personal experiences with rheumatoid arthritis to improve events and outreach for people with arthritis.  Read her story.

Mission Spotlight 
The importance of health insurance marketplaces for people with arthritis.  Read more.

Resource Pool
Learn more about the Arthritis Foundation and its countless volunteer opportunities through the new online volunteer orientation.  Discover more.

Your Local Arthritis Foundation
Take a tour and meet the staff of the Spokane office, one of the 11 office locations of the Great West Region. Get started.

Special Specialists
Find out about the most recent individual volunteer opportunities in the Great West Region. Learn more.

Volunteer Ventures

Bring A Friend to the Foundation

Get Connected



The Ripple Effect

Dr. Barry Shibuya shares his philosophy and how Arthritis Foundation resources benefit his patients.


Drop a pebble in the water and you might be amazed and what comes back to you. This effect, the ripple effect, is what happens when the repercussions of an event are far beyond what was expected. It’s these ripples from paying it forward, volunteering and committing to the Arthritis Foundation, that can lead to unexpected and greater things. These ripples can broaden the impact of volunteerism in many different ways, among many communities.

In this ongoing series, we’ll hear from groups, volunteers and organizations committed to the Arthritis Foundation. They’ll share how their partnership with the Arthritis Foundation has benefited their own work and lives in unexpected ways.


Treating the Whole Patient

“I have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and because of the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program at Washington Hospital Women’s Center I have found that exercise really does make me feel better overall, helps me sleep, gives me energy, and has restored a sense of well-being. I bounce back more quickly from a flare and feel less stiff. I am learning how to protect weak joints and strengthen the muscles around them.” - Carol, Fremont, CA

Dr. ShibuyaThis is one of the many testimonials from participants at the Washington Hospital Women’s Center where the Arthritis Foundation Programs for Better Living are offered. Programs for Better Living is a suite of three evidence-based exercise classes that include land-based, aquatics, and tai chi. The Programs for Better Living program was introduced to the Fremont, CA community due to the diligence and dedication of Arthritis Foundation volunteer and rheumatologist, Dr. Barry Shibuya (pictured right). Today, over 100 participants are seeing the benefits of the Arthritis Foundation’s gentle range-of-motion exercises.

Dr. Shibuya has been in private practice since 2002, and opened his own office in Fremont, CA in March 2004. He specializes in arthritis, osteoporosis and related autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. He has seen patients that have continually participated in the Programs for Better Living programs and have improved their health and well-being.

In addition to promoting the Programs for Better Living Programs, Dr. Shibuya believes addressing co-morbidities such as diabetes, blood pressure and weight issues can help patients control pain and improve function. He does this by creating partnerships with patients, primary care doctors, specialists and cardiologists. Programs like group exercise, speaking engagements and behavior therapy help provide patient education thereby positively improving health. His philosophy is that by enlarging the scope of treatment, patients are more engaged to participate in their disease self-management.

Dr Shibuya has also served as the President of the Northern California Rheumatology Society (NCRS) since 2006, and is a current board member of the California Rheumatology Alliance (CRA). He is also a volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation, conducting educational seminars throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.


Find out more:

Learn more about the Arthritis Foundation's Programs for Better Living.  



Friends in the Field

Volunteer Shannon Teslow uses her personal experiences with rheumatoid arthritis to improve events and outreach for people with arthritis.

Shannon Teslow has had a long road of experiences with her rheumatoid arthritis. The disease brought many challenges to her life, but also gave her a sense of purpose in how to help others facing similar challenges.

Now, as a volunteer leader for the Northern Colorado Jingle Bell Run/Walk, and as a member of the Arthritis Foundation’s National Rheumatoid Arthritis Alliance, Shannon seeks to adapt and refine the Arthritis Foundation’s programs and events.

Shannon TeslowName: Shannon Teslow

Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

What’s the story of your arthritis diagnosis?
I was 26 years old when I started having pain in my hands and feet. Because I was a runner, I wrote the foot pain off as running related… but it persisted and got worse. Because I did not have the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) markers in my blood, it took a few months to get an official diagnosis and it was based purely on symptoms. It was pretty devastating given the fact that I was so young and so active.

What was one of the more challenging times for you since your diagnosis?
Having to go off of my medications before, during and after my two pregnancies (about 18 months each time) was very difficult. I was in a lot of pain, especially after giving birth. I remember literally crawling up the stairs at one point because my feet were so sore. My disease also ramped up during this time, probably due to being off the meds, so I needed stronger, different meds once I was able to start on them again. The trial and error process with all the varying drugs was tough.

As a runner, how have you used your love of the sport to manage your disease?
I wholeheartedly believe that my running has helped me tremendously to manage my RA pain and progression. Beyond being a great stress reliever, it keeps my joints moving, my muscles strong, my weight down and my mood happy - all the things we are taught as RA patients that we should be doing to keep our disease at bay.

How has your love of running motivated you towards a volunteer leadership role for the Northern Colorado Jingle Bell Run/Walk committee?
My love for running and my deep desire to see RA and other arthritic diseases eradicated from our lives combines to make me the perfect volunteer for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk. I can look at the Jingle Bell Run/Walk from a runner’s point of view. I know what attracts runners to races so I love coming up with creative ideas to make our race stand out from others in the area. The more people we can bring in, the more funds we can raise and the closer we will come to our goals of finding a cure and improving the lives of those with arthritis.

You’ve worked hard to recruit volunteers, individuals, organizations and companies in the community to support the Arthritis Foundation and Jingle Bell Run/Walk. What inspires you to be a driver of these efforts?
Selfishly, I don't want to deal with this disease anymore. And I don't want my kids to deal with it. I did not realize until I got RA what a pervasive and debilitating disease this is. I am also very fortunate because I am on a medication that works wonders for me. I know that the development of the medication I am on, and others like it, has only been possible because of fundraising opportunities like the Jingle Bell Run/Walk. If I can help make these strides in research and funding come true by volunteering some of my time, I am thrilled to do it.

What makes a good volunteer?
Someone who is passionate and committed to the cause.

What are some of your favorite Arthritis Foundation volunteer experiences?
Going to Washington D.C. last year as a member of the RA Alliance was amazing. We rallied as an organization to try to get Arthritis Foundation sponsored bills funded. It was inspiring to see what a group of volunteers could accomplish. I have also loved watching our Northern Colorado Jingle Bell Run/Walk grow every year. Seventy degree weather helped tremendously last year and seeing so many people show up in costumes, with dogs, with kids and with smiles on their faces, was the best feeling in the world.

You mentioned serving on the Arthritis Foundation’s RA Alliance. Tell us about that experience and why you think it’s important.
We all have RA on the Alliance so we are in a unique position to give feedback to the Arthritis Foundation on our individual experiences with the disease. We are sort of like a brain trust where we can bounce ideas off of each other and help the Foundation better their services to people with RA. This can include tweaking the Arthritis Foundation website, lobbying in Washington D.C., or advising what exercise programs work best. Our Alliance has been instrumental in helping the Arthritis Foundation direct their focus and dollars in the right direction.

When you are recruiting new volunteers and they are somewhat hesitant, what do you say to them?
Volunteering can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. The people you meet and the people you help will stay with you forever.

Find out more:
Join Shannon and hundreds of other Arthritis Foundation volunteers at a Jingle Bell Run/Walk this season.






Mission Spotlight

The importance of health insurance marketplaces for people with arthritis.

Having health insurance protects you and your family from large medical bills and helps you stay healthy. However, many Americans have been shut out of health insurance due to existing health conditions, such as arthritis, or the high cost of insurance. This leaves many people uninsured.

marketplacesBeginning next year, most Americans will be required to carry health insurance. Starting October 1, 2013, people without health insurance can sign up for coverage through new health-insurance marketplaces run either by their state, the federal government or a combination of both. This offering is the centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed into law in 2010. If you do not have insurance by March 31, 2014, you may be charged a fee.

Selecting health insurance can be a complicated decision, particularly for first time purchasers. The Arthritis Foundation is here to provide the resources you need to understand your coverage and benefits options so you can make a better-informed decision about your insurance options.

The Arthritis Foundation recently launched a Marketplace Toolkit, designed for individuals who do not currently have health insurance. The Arthritis Foundation Marketplace Toolkit has information and tools to help you understand your options and help you make the right decision. The Marketplace Toolkit can also help you connect to experts who can assist you in understanding and navigating all of your health insurance options.

Even if you have health insurance through an employer, Medicare, or Medicare, this toolkit still can be a great resource to you. Many of the tools can help you learn more about the health insurance you already have. Other tools will be more helpful to people shopping for new insurance in the Marketplace.

Choosing insurance can be confusing, especially with the factors related to arthritis. Individuals with arthritis have to look at plans to make sure certain medicines, devices and surgeries are included. You may need coverage for joint replacement. You may need biologics. You may need physical therapy. When you choose a plan, you must think about many of these things.

The Arthritis Foundation is here to provide the resources you need to understand your coverage and benefits options so you can make a better-informed decision about your insurance options.

To learn more about the Arthritis Foundation Marketplace Toolkit, visit



Resource Pool

Learn more about the Arthritis Foundation and its countless volunteer opportunities through the new online volunteer orientation training.

The Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region has launched a new online volunteer orientation training. This orientation highlights how volunteers can give their time and talent to the Arthritis Foundation in a variety of ways in order to create a world that is free from arthritis pain. The new volunteer orientation promotes volunteer opportunities as well as a sampling of the Arthritis Foundation’s specific volunteer programs and community events.

volunteer trainingThe new volunteer orientation training can be located in the Arthritis Foundation’s learning management system at Please search the catalog within the system for New Volunteer Orientation. Once there, click on Sign Up for New Account and enter your information.

Trainings in the learning management system are accessible online at any time from the convenience of anywhere internet access is available.

What volunteers are saying about the online volunteer orientation training:

“This orientation was quite beneficial in preparation for volunteering at the Arthritis Foundation. It helped me to know that I wasn’t volunteering just for ME, but as representation for ALL in doing some good FOR the Foundation. The means of orientation was very appealing. As much as I love being at meetings/seminars with people, learning online was good... short, sweet and very informative, encouraging, with good information and affirmation that being a volunteer would be met with appreciation.” - Nancy, Colorado

“The knowledge I've gained from the Arthritis Foundation's online volunteer orientation was very insightful. I was given a brief summary of the symptoms, the three types of focuses and prevention for the young and old; and also was given the organization's mission, focus and dedication in helping those in need.” - Kim, California

“The volunteer orientation training for the Arthritis Foundation was just the thing I needed! It gave me the information so I could be an integral part in helping the Arthritis Foundation’s mission!” - Ben, Idaho

“With a busy schedule, the online orientation was appealing to me as I was given the opportunity to view and repeat what I didn't understand and was able to do this on my own time.” - Julie, Washington



Your Local Arthritis Foundation

An inside look at our Spokane, WA office with local staff member Duane Hille.


Spokane skyline

 Located in Spokane, Washington, Arthritis Foundation staff member Duane Hille (pictured below right with his wife, Miriam) operates the Great West Region’s Spokane office.

The Spokane office serves as a resource for local residents affected by arthritis. AFriends sat down with Duane Hille, Arthritis Foundation Development Coordinator out of Spokane, to find out more about the local office.

Duane HilleWhat area does the Spokane office serve?
This position serves the Inland Northwest and Montana. My primary roll is in development as I manage the Jingle Bell Run/Walk in Spokane, WA (November 16), Tri-Cities, WA (November 23) and Missoula, MT (December 7). Additional responsibilities include being a resource liason between the people we serve and other Arthritis Foundation offices.

How would you describe a typical day?
I would if there was such a thing…. Typically the day will start with my e-mail messages and then I work on a variety of duties balancing between the three events. This incorporates a vast diversity of tasks such as registration management, logistics, committee building, budget management, sponsorship acquisition and much more. As the only employee in the Spokane office I am responsible for all aspects of office management including banking, accounting, filing and mail runs. I couldn’t balance all of these duties without the support of our Seattle office which is always willing to guide me through the processes and procedures. As a part of my work I travel to Tri-Cities and Missoula once a month for interaction with sponsors, participants and committee members.

What’s hot on your plate?
Currently we are in the throes of event building and logistics for the Jingle Bell Run/Walks. We are actively recruiting participants, building teams, strengthening our marketing efforts and completing the logistic design for each event.

What’s the best part of your job and why?
Being involved with multiple events, because it gives me the opportunity to meet and build relationships with an incredible group of volunteers and supporters in three very distinct cities.

What are some partnerships you have formed and how have they been beneficial?
I have had the opportunity to work alongside three amazing volunteer committees. These great committee members are a dedicated group of volunteers who not only serve as event leaders; they are the hands and feet of the Foundation in their areas.

In closing, is there anything else you'd like to share?
This is a new position in Spokane and we have generated a strong, positive response in the first seven months of our existence. Those who are served by the Arthritis Foundation in these areas appreciate having an Arthritis Foundation presence in Eastern Washington.

Find out more:
To contact Duane Hille in the Spokane office, call (509) 315-9862 or email




Special Specialists

The Arthritis Foundation has countless volunteer opportunities available for people of all ages and ability levels. 


This season, many opportunities are available at local Jingle Bell Run/Walks. Find your local event.

To learn more about all volunteer opportunities the Arthritis Foundation has available around the Great West Region please visit our Volunteer Resource page.




Volunteer Ventures





Seattle Jingle Bell Run/Walk Event Chair, Nick Steen (center) accepting the award for Charity of the Month from KIRO TV at the August 16 Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos game.





The Denver office hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on October 9. Over thirty volunteers attended the event, where the Foundation staff thanked them for their commitment and support.






Bring a Friend to the Foundation


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Get Connected

Find your local Arthritis Foundation office to get connected to programs and events.

Find out about all of our volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer Resource Page or fill out a volunteer application.

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