More than 52 million American adults are living with arthritis. 300,000 children and teens have arthritis. In total, more than one in five Americans has arthritis - and the numbers are expected to rise.
Arthritis is also the nation's leading cause of disability, costing the United States economy $128 billion each year.
Because ignoring the pain and disability of arthritis is unacceptable, the Arthritis Foundation is working to cure this debilitating disease and make a difference in the lives of people with arthritis. Read on below for information on ways to get involved in grassroots advocacy.
Click here to access advocacy events and headlines and learn about our advocacy priorities: access, reseach and prevention, and awareness.
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED IN ARTHRITIS ADVOCACY
BECOME AN E-ADVOCATE
Sign up as an e-advocate and receive Action Alerts in your inbox when important arthritis-related issues are debated on Capitol Hill. In 5 minutes or less, you'll be able to write your elected officials and tell them you care about arthritis and how it impacts your community. Click here to sign up
JOIN THE ARTHRITIS AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
Arthritis Ambassadors are highly committed volunteer advocates who serve as official liaisons with Members of Congress. Each month Ambassadors are asked to work on special assignments to advance advocacy efforts and to share their personal story with important decision makers. Click here to learn more
JOIN THE ARTHRITIS PROVIDERS AND RESEARCHERS ADVOCACY ALLIANCE (APRAA)
Receive monthly e-newsletters with updates from Washington, D.C. on arthritis-related legislative issues important to you. Receive occasional "action alerts" where, in five minutes or less, you can email your members of Congress on urgent and relevant matters. As members of APRAA, you can also share your thoughts on upcoming legislation to ensure the Arthritis Foundation is addressing the specific needs of the medical and research communities. Click here to learn more
JOIN THE YOUTH AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
The Northeast Region's Youth Ambassador Program provides an exciting opportunity for children/teens with arthritis. We are looking for Youth Ambassadors ages 10-17 interested in sharing their story of life with arthritis to help raise awareness of the disease. Youth Ambassadors enable those who do not have a connection with arthritis – especially the nearly 300,000 children with juvenile arthritis – to put a face to the disease.
We are looking for Youth Ambassadors who:
- Can share their personal story, in writing and in front of groups, at programs, events, and meetings with elected officials.
- Are enthusiastic and passionate about finding a cure.
- Are interested in meeting with peers and receiving individual/group training.
TAKE ACTION. MAKE A DIFFERENCE. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD.
BECAUSE MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE FOR PEOPLE WITH ARTHRITIS
… AND EVERY VOICE COUNTS.
The Arthritis Foundation places great importance on making our constituents’ voices heard on national, state and local issues impacting people with arthritis. The key to success in changing government policies is through grassroots advocacy and the recruitment, training and mobilization of our advocates is critical. Providing local trainings empowers advocates and equips you with the information and skills you need to become effective.
The Northeast Region is therefore committed to offering training opportunities to our constituents in New York, New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Speakers at the trainings include local elected officials and/or their legislative aides, Arthritis Foundation national advocacy staff, active arthritis advocates and Ambassadors, Regional Director of Advocacy, and local program staff. Participants at each session receive a comprehensive training binder full of materials on our priority issues, arthritis advocacy resources, training tips, and ways to get involved.
On Tuesday, October 15, 2013 our 5th Regional Advocacy Training was held at the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester. New York Chapter Board member James P. McEvoy, CPA welcomed guests and served as program moderator. New York Arthritis Ambassador Sharon Andrews (with her daughters and Youth Ambassadors Meghan and Julie), Mark Haubner and Mary Wu shared their stories and encouraged attendees to take action as advocates. Staff members Michele Disken Greco, MPA, Regional Director, Advocacy; Katherine Kennedy, MSW, Regional Director, Programs; Aicha-Diallo Bennett, MPH, Program Manager, New York Chapter; and Paula Mejia, Regional Director, New York Chapter are also pictured.
ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL
On World Arthritis Day in October 2013, a group of young adults in New York gathered in New York City to raise awareness about arthritis and recruit new advocates.
If you have any questions about advocacy in the Northeast Region, please reach out to Michele Greco, Regional Director, Advocacy at firstname.lastname@example.org