Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Summit

2019 Advocacy Summit

Empowered to Live Yes!

The 2019 Advocacy Summit will took place March 11-12, 2019 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View in Arlington, VA. 

Together we are empowered to Live Yes! Your story can move mountains. You have the power to influence your elected officials and break down barriers to the care everyone deserves. By sharing with and educating your lawmakers, you can break down barriers for people with arthritis. The Summit is a forum for volunteers who are dedicated to making a long-term commitment to leadership in Arthritis Foundation advocacy. It is an opportunity to both build meaningful relationships with your elected officials and cultivate the skills to empower and engage other people in your community who are impacted by arthritis. This year’s event will be our opportunity to introduce a new Congress to the many faces of arthritis and the issues most important to the arthritis community.

Welcome to Congress Packet

State Arthritis Fact Sheets

Virtual Summit Sign

For questions, please reach out to Julie Eller, Grassroots Advocacy Manager, at

Share your Summit experience on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook using the hashtag #AdvocateforArthritis

Training Materials & Resources

Preparing for the Summit

In this video, we’ll teach you all you need to know about doing some pre-event research to strengthen your legislative asks by learning a bit more about your legislators through out Action Center. We’ll guide you through what you need to know to make your hill visits the most successful they can be.

What are we Asking Congress For?

This video will set you up for success by teaching you the legislative asks that we are bringing to Capitol Hill at the Advocacy Summit! Together we will urge Congress to make step therapy processes more transparent for patients, spread the word about the benefits of joining the Congressional Arthritis Caucus, and ensure people with arthritis have quality access to the healthcare they need!

When your Hill meetings end, you'll be leaving behind several documents for your member of Congress and their staff to review. Check them out below.

  • Welcome to Congress Packet: Use this resource to educate your members of Congress about the Arthritis Caucus, key federal priorities, and the prevalence, impact, and outlook of arthritis in your state.
  • State Arthritis Fact Sheets: How does your home state stack up against the rest of the country? Find out how arthritis affects people in your state and what you can do to make a difference.
  • To find out if your member of Congress co-sponsored the Restoring the Patient's Voice Act (H.R. 2077) in the 115th Congress, click here.
Legislative Branch 101

This short video provides insight into the federal legislative process and what you can expect on your trip to Capitol Hill.

Virtual Summit - Take Action from Home
  1. Create your sign: Print out this sign and in one sentence, written large and legible, tell us why you #AdvocateforArthritis!
  2. Take your picture: Hold your sign and snap a picture- it’s important that your words are large and easy to read in the picture. Ask a friend to take your picture so they can help make sure your message is clear!
  3. Set an alarm: Our goal is to flood the internet with our messages of hope and determination at 12:00 pm Eastern Time on March 12. Coordinating our posts will help our hashtag gain traction on social media. Set an alarm on your phone or calendar right now to remind yourself to post your picture online at 12:00 pm eastern on March 12!
  4. Plan your post: Your post can be simple, just reiterate the reason that you #AdvocateforArthritis! You’ll want to make sure to include the hashtag #AdvocateforArthritis and tag the Arthritis Foundation.   
  5. Send it live: On March 12 at 12:00 pm Eastern Time, your alarm will ring to tell you it’s time to share your story online. You can view all of the posts in our social media aggregator on our Advocate 101 web page.

If you want to take your post to the next level, you can: 

1. Tag your members of Congress. Your post can tell them why you #AdvocateforArthritis and to keep an eye out for our Advocacy Champions on the Hill that day.  
Example tweet: “I #AdvocateforArthritis with the @ArthritisFdn because patients are the ultimate stakeholders in health care. @ SenatorCantwell& @PattyMurray, look out for our Arthritis Advocates on Capitol Hill this March 12!” 

2. Share a Link to our Action Center. Encourage your friends to take action by your side by sharing a link to There they’ll be able to pick an action alert of their choice that will allow them to send a pre-formatted letter to Congress, emphasizing the asks from our Advocacy Summit. This will help us amplify the voices on Capitol Hill an encourage members of Congress to support our arthritis priorities. 
Example tweet: “I #AdvocateforArthritis with the @ArthritisFdn because patients are the ultimate stakeholders in health care. Take action with me by sharing your story with Congress at 

3. Raise Awareness for your Walk to Cure Arthritis Team Page.By posting your reason to #AdvocateforArthritis with a link to your team or donation page, you have an opportunity to reach new people with your message and motivate them to help contribute to research for a cure. 
Example tweet: “I #AdvocateforArthritis because I am one of the 300,000 children in the United States with juvenile arthritis. You can support my @ArthritisFdn advocacy by joining or contributing to my Walk to Cure Arthritis Team. [Include a link to your team page]” 

Post your pictures with our #AdvocateforArthritis hashtag and we will show the world that we are Empowered to Live Yes! 

Event Information

Getting There and Getting Around

Getting to the Hotel

Reagan National Airport (DCA)

The Renaissance Capital View provides complimentary airport transportation from Reagan National Airport only (5AM - 11PM daily; Shuttle phone: (703)413-1300). You may also take a taxi from Reagan National to the Advocacy Summit or the Metro subway system. The hotel is about a 15 minute walk from the Metro, and a taxi is recommended if you have excess luggage or mobility concerns. 

Dulles International Airport (IAD) 

Advocates arriving at Dulles International Airport (about 30 miles from the Renaissance Capital View) are encouraged to take Super Shuttle van sharing, which is $30, and requires a reservation. Advocates may also take the Silver Line Express shuttle to the Metro Silver Line. Read more information for those flying into Dulles International Airport.  

Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI)

The Baltimore airport is located approximately 30 miles from Washington, DC. Advocates may utilize Super Shuttle van sharing, or take the MARC train from Union Station. At $7 per ticket, the MARC train is a quick and easy way to go from Capitol Hill to the Baltimore aiport. Read more about ground transportation options from BWI. 

Click here to view a map of the DC Metro, or visit their website.

Parking at the Hotel

Electric car charging stations: 4, Complimentary

On-site parking, fee: 11 USD hourly, 32 USD daily

Valet parking, fee: 37 USD daily

Getting to your Hill Meetings

Your ride to and from Capitol Hill is on us! The Arthritis Foundation is proud to partner with Lyft ridesharing to help our attendees travel to and from their Legislative Meetings on Capitol Hill worry-free. Download the Lyft app to get aquainted with it ahead of the Summit!

If you will require a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV), please email Stephanie Livingston at for more information.

Hotel Information

Renaissance Arlington Capital View

2800 S. Potomac St., Arlington, VA 22202

If you have not yet reserved your room at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View hotel, please email Stephanie Livingston at to do so.

Please be advised that the hotel will require a credit or debit card to place on file during your stay. There is a $25 dollar per day hold placed on all debit cards, while credit cards are simply authorized, no dollars are held.

Event Agenda

Sunday, March 10

5:00 - 8:00 PM  |  Participant Registration

7:00 - 9:00 PM  |  (Invite-Only) - Platinum Ambassador Reception

Monday, March 11

7:00 - 8:00 AM  |  Morning Wellness Activity

7:00 - 10:00 AM  |  Registration

8:00 - 9:00 AM  |  Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 8:45 AM  |  Kids & Junior Ambassador Summit Check-In (Ages 6-12 and 13-17)

9:00 - 11:45 AM  |  Kids & Junior Ambassador Summit 

9:00 - 10:00 AM  |  Opening Session

10:00 - 10:45 AM  |  Capitol Hill Panel Discussion

10:45 - 11:00 AM  |  Coffee Break / Junior Ambassador Summit Check-In

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM  |  Advocacy Training Sessions

Advocacy 101, 201, and 301 based on participants' advocacy level

12:15 - 1:15 PM  |  Working Lunch: Delegation Meetings

1:15 - 5:00 PM  |  Kids & Junior Ambassador Summit

1:15 - 2:30 PM  |  Breakout Sessions

Live Yes! Advocacy Connect Module
State Implementation Fireside Chat
Precision Advocacy Through the Year
Advocacy Family Feud

2:30 - 2:45 PM  |  Break and Action Center Demo

2:30 - 3:45 PM  |  Breakout Sessions

3:45 - 4:00 PM  |  Break and Live Yes! Online Community Demo

4:00 - 5:00 PM  |  Breakout Sessions

6:30 - 8:15 PM  |  Excellence in Advocacy Dinner

Tuesday, March 12

7:00 - 8:00 AM  |  Continental Breakfast

8:00 - 8:30 AM  |  Final Send-Off

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM  |  Hill Meetings

Kid's & Junior Ambassador Summit

The Advocacy Summit will host a concurrent Kids Summit (ages 6-12) and Junior Ambassador Summit (ages 13-17). These programs will give kids and teens the opportunity to learn about advocacy and how they can use it to make a difference on Capitol Hill, their states, and in their own lives. There will be interactive activities and games to help them learn how to tell their story not only to lawmakers, but be able to advocate for themselves at school, their doctors’ office, and beyond. 

Kids and teens will be in groups of similar ages on the first day, and attend Capitol Hill meetings with their delegations on the second day.   

Accessibility Information

The Renaissance Arlington Capital View hotel is a fully ADA accessible property. Accessible Guest Rooms have been arranged for guests that have requested them. If you or someone traveling with you will need a shower chair, please request one at check-in as these items are at a first come, first served basis. If you will need a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle for your Hill Meetings, please contact Stephanie Livingston at

Accommodation requests related to accessibility should be made to Stephanie Livingston at as soon as possible.

If you wish to rent a wheelchair or scooter, please call Spectrum (301-587-2992) or Mobility Solutions (301-650-0035) to reserve equipment in advance of the Summit.

Read More on the Advocacy Blog