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News for Arthritis Foundation Program Instructors in the Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region


Articles This Issue

Instructors in Action
Tracy McCulloch gives as much as she gets from her Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program – and it’s a lot! Find out how.

Quarterly Reports Due
Submit your reports by October 15, 2013. Download the forms. 

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

Coping with Fatigue
Learn the cause of this troubling symptom and what you can do about it.  Find out more.

The Importance of Health Insurance Marketplaces
The Health Insurance Marketplace: Open enrollment begins October 1st. Read more. 

A New Way to Get Program Participants the Information They Need 
The Arthritis Foundation launches a system for simplying online brochure orders.  Discover how.  

Jingle all the Way at a 2013 Jingle Bell Run/Walk 
Find the Jingle Bell Run/Walk in your neighborhood.  See the locations.  

Photos from the Field

The Many Forms of Arthritis
Learn more about the signs, symptoms and treatments for Ankylosing Spondylitis.  

Get Connected 



Instructors in Action

Tracy McCulloch gives as much as she gets from her Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program – and it’s a lot!  

T. McCulloch


Tracy McCulloch, MHE
Community Health Director, Southeastern Idaho Public Health
Pocatello, Idaho

How did you first get connected with the Arthritis Foundation?
In 2004, I became the Arthritis Program Coordinator for Southeastern Idaho Public Health and through that program I became familiar with the Arthritis Foundation.

What were some of the ways the Arthritis Foundation initially supported you?
The Arthritis Foundation has been a great resource for me and my Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program class participants. The Arthritis Foundation trained me to be an Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program instructor in 2006 and a master trainer in 2008. They also assisted me in becoming an advocate in 2010, and because of the Arthritis Foundation, I have been to Capitol Hill twice to advocate for people who have arthritis.

How are you currently involved with the Arthritis Foundation?
I still teach the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program at Southeastern Idaho Public Health on Mondays and Wednesdays each week. I am also always willing to assist the Arthritis Foundation in any way that I can, since they have been a great help to me and my exercise class participants.

What makes a good volunteer?
I think I am a good volunteer because I care and I enjoying helping others! I also have noticed over the years what a difference my exercise class makes in my class participants’ lives, which is quite rewarding.

The Arthritis Foundation considers itself a volunteer-driven organization. Why do you think this is important?
I think this is important because people are volunteering because they are passionate about arthritis and they want to make a difference!

What are some of your favorite Arthritis Foundation volunteer experiences?
Teaching my Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program is my favorite experience!





Quarterly Reports Due October 15, 2013


Third quarter program reports are due by October 15, 2013. 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.



Coping With Fatigue

Learn the cause of this troubling symptom and what you can do about it.  
Reprinted from

fatigueThe most effective approach you can take when dealing with your fatigue is to be aware that fatigue is a part of arthritis, and that you might have to adapt your schedule. Don’t look at your fatigue as a sign of personal weakness or try to deny it. It is simply one more symptom of your arthritis that you can learn to handle.

Here are some fatigue tips that are worth trying:

Adjust your schedule as needed. Many people with arthritis adjust their daily schedules, starting their days an hour or two later. This makes it easier to deal with morning stiffness and may also enable you to sleep longer. Ultimately, the result is less fatigue and a more productive day. Other people may rest or nap in the afternoon, which then allows them to continue their daily activities without exhaustion at the end of the day.

Avoid eating heavy meals. Instead, opt for a light lunch, perhaps with a healthy morning and afternoon snack thrown in.

Get enough rest. Rest is crucial. But doing too little can often lead to deconditioning – which makes you feel more fatigued. Moderate exercise keeps your muscles and joints in condition, and has the added benefit of helping you sleep better at night.

Get a good night’s sleep. A lack of restful sleep is a problem shared by many Americans – and caused by a variety of factors: stress; depression; caffeine, alcohol or drugs; not allowing enough time for sleep; and pain. When you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or other forms of arthritis, pain may keep you from falling asleep easily, or it may awaken you during the night. Research has shown that some people with RA experience light, easily disrupted sleep with many mid-sleep awakenings. This contributes to fatigue.

There are several stages of sleep. During the night, your brain moves between these stages in cycles, and the types of electrical brain waves generated vary from stage to stage. To feel rested, your brain requires what is called “delta sleep,” named after the brain waves that occur in the third and fourth stages of sleep. REM (short for rapid eye movement) sleep is also important. It’s the stage of sleep when dreaming occurs, and without it, you will feel tired.

Prioritize your time and energy. There may be times when you feel more fatigued than others, and you will have to deal with limitations to your energy. Think of your energy as a resource that you have to conserve for your most important activities. This may involve saying no to lower-priority activities that take up too much of your energy.

Of course, saying no isn't always easy, but it helps you stay focused on the priorities in your life, such as earning a living or spending time with your children. When you’re feeling fatigued, opting out of an activity may allow you to get the rest you need. Saying no to one activity may allow you to say yes to something more important to you.

Ask for help. Successful managers know that they cannot do everything themselves. Borrowing from their techniques, you can learn to delegate tasks that will help you manage your activities. Asking for help may be difficult at first. Because the effects of RA are not always visible, you may be afraid that co-workers and acquaintances will perceive you as lazy.

You may feel embarrassed to ask for help, especially if you’ve always viewed yourself as a high achiever. When asking for help, be specific. For example, if you ask someone to take you shopping for one hour every other Tuesday morning, you are letting them know precisely what you need. Also, you show that you understand his or her time is valuable.

Also, develop a pool of helpers. Spreading out the tasks keeps the burden from falling on any one person. Keep a list of friends and family and the tasks they’re willing to help with.

Consider bartering or trading services. If you dislike asking for help, perhaps you can provide a service in return. For instance, offer to watch your friend’s children one afternoon a week at your house, if she will run some errands for you.




Good News for Those Who Need Insurance

The Health Insurance Marketplace: Open Enrollment begins October 1, 2013. 


ACAHaving 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.

Beginning 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.

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.

To learn more about affordable health care coverage, visit the Arthritis Foundation’s new health insurance information portal at




A New, Easy, Online Way to Get Program Participants the Information They Need

The Arthritis Foundation launches a new system for simplifying online brochure orders.


AF store

For many years, the Arthritis Foundation has produced high quality, current brochures and books covering a wide range of topics related to types of arthritis and living with a chronic disease. We continue to work with physicians and constituents to determine the relevant subject matter for our publications. We strive to be the number one source for accurate and current disease information, readily available to patients.

As you are likely aware, these materials have been available for purchase at cost through the Arthritis Foundation local offices. We are pleased to add a new and more efficient and cost effective way for you to order brochures. Utilizing the online system, you can order brochures at cost and have them shipped directly to your office or location. The advantages of doing so are:

  • There is less chance that the brochures you want will be on back order. You will be getting them from the same source from which we order them – with no delay in the middle.
  • Ordering online allows you to easily pay with a credit card if you choose to do so.
  • There may be some cost savings to you because the brochures will be shipped only once, directly to you. They will not be shipped to our local office and then shipped from our office to yours. Any cost savings will be passed on to you.
  • The online process is simple and quick – no down time. This may result in your receiving the materials more quickly.

Download our instructions, then visit the Arthritis Foundation store and experience this simple process.

If you prefer to continue ordering the brochures through your local office, we will offer the same high quality customer service that we have in the past.

Many thanks for your use of the Arthritis Foundation materials.




Jingle all the Way at a 2013 Jingle Bell Run/Walk

Find the Jingle Bell Run/Walk in your neighborhood!





Photos from the Field


 WWE instructors

The Montana office trained 19 Walk with Ease instructors at a summer training.  Congratulations to our trainers and instructors!








The Many Forms of Arthritis

Learn more about the signs, symptoms and treatments for ankylosing spondylitis. 

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis that primarily affects the spine or back. With AS, the joints and ligaments along the spine become inflamed and swollen. This inflammation produces pain and stiffness along the lower back, hips, knees and heels and sometimes the upper spine, chest and neck.

This is a chronic long term disease that usually first appears in males aged 17 to 35 but can affect any person of any age. Over time, pain and stiffness may progress to more of the body and can cause the vertebral bones of the spine to fuse and become rigid.

Treatment of AS focuses on reducing pain and stiffness, preventing bone deformities and helping individuals continue their normal life activities. Maintaining good posture can help in the long run for keeping bones from fusing together and many NSAID medications (e.g. Advil, Aleve) can help with the pain and inflammation. Exercise is also very important part of keeping AS at bay; especially exercises that strengthen the back and neck to help maintain posture.

To learn more about AS and other types of arthritis visit the Arthritis Foundation website. 



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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