Arthritis Foundation Hosts Hundreds of Volunteers at 2016 Conference of Champions Meeting

Almost 400 attendees gather in Denver to hear and learn from each other, experts and celebrities – including Matt Iseman and Mark Schlereth

DENVER (October 25, 2016) – Every year, the Arthritis Foundation rallies with its volunteer force to continue its mission of finding a cure for arthritis, the leading cause for disability in America, and helping people with arthritis live a more fulfilled life by being a Champion of Yes. From November 3-4 at the Grand Hyatt Denver, volunteers from around the country will come together to hear from and connect with experts, leaders, influencers and fellow volunteers to celebrate the victories of 2016 and gain the necessary tools to make an even bigger impact in 2017.

To help inspire and energize these volunteers to achieve even more, Matt Iseman, host of NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” and Mark Schlereth, three-time Super Bowl champion, former Denver Bronco and current NFL analyst, will share their personal stories of living with arthritis and how to live a life of Yes during the Conference of Champions. Other special guests include Murphy Huston, former Denver area morning radio personality, and Eric Farone, improvisational trainer and owner of the Bovine Metropolis Theater.

“This meeting brings together volunteers and local staff from across the country who are vital in helping to deliver impact to those living with arthritis,” said Ann M. Palmer, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. “Our mission is to lead the fight for the arthritis community, and, by coming together as an organization, we are able to learn from each other, hear from dynamic speakers and leave feeling engaged and energized to make each day another stride towards a cure.”

Sessions and meeting highlights will include the following:

  • Plenary sessions that share the Foundation’s scientific discovery successes and future plans, strategic direction and approach to measuring and delivering mission impact;
  • Volunteer workshops about building stronger relationships with local community members including focusing on fundraising, advocacy and event participation; and
  • Recognizing outstanding volunteers and leaders who are dedicated to the Foundation and have moved the needle in the arthritis community from fundraising to event leadership.

In addition, the Foundation will recognize two people with its highest awards – the Charles B. Harding Award, the Foundation’s highest volunteer award, and the Lee C. Howley Prize for Research, which recognizes contributions during the previous year that has improved the treatment or prevention of arthritis and related diseases. Sponsors for the Conference of Champions include Eli Lilly and Company, Novartis, Pfizer, AbbVie, and Amgen.

To learn more about the Arthritis Foundation and its 2016 Conference of Champions, please visit: To join the Conference of Champions social conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, use and search for #AFAchieves.

Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes. Leading the fight for the arthritis community, the Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. The Arthritis Foundation’s goal is to chart a winning course, guiding families in developing personalized plans for living a full life – and making each day another stride towards a cure. The Foundation also publishes Arthritis Today, the award-winning magazine that reaches 4 million readers per issue.

I Want to Contribute
I Need Help
  • Donate


    Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.

  • Volunteer


    Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

  • Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Take part to be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis.

  • Partner


    Proud Partners of the Arthritis Foundation make an annual commitment to directly support the Foundation’s mission.


Ways to Give

Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

Make a Donation

Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

Become a Member

Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20 and you'll receive access to helpful tools..... and more. 

Make a Honor or Memorial Gift

Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

Gift Planning

I want information on ways to remember the AF in my will, trust or other financial planning vehicles.


Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

Become a Volunteer

More About Volunteering


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

Get Started


Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.


Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000


Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.


Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.


Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.


Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.


Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.