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News for Board and Volunteer Leadership Councils of the Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region
Winter 2014


Articles in This Issue

A reflection on 2013 and the Great West Region’s New Year’s resolution. Read more.

Across the Board
See the many members of the Great West Region Board of Directors and Local Boards/Leadership Councils in action across the Region. See their successes.

Among Your Peers
Jim Fuqua, Central Coast Board Chair, is a long-time believer in the Arthritis Foundation and has a family connection to arthritis. Read his story.

Arthritis Foundation Appoints New National President and CEO
Learn more about Ann M. Palmer, the new Arthritis Foundation, National Office President and CEO.

Give or Get
Consider making a year-end gift to fulfill your board give or get commitment. Learn how.

Alaska Advisory Board Will Hold Inaugural Meeting in January
A new Great West Region Alaska Advisory Board will begin on January 17. Find out more.

Walk to Cure Arthritis
Watch the launch video for the newly branded Walk to Cure Arthritis. View the video.

Mission Moment
Nearly one in ten people say that joint pain impacts daily activity. Learn more.

Arthritis Aid is just a Phone Call Away
The new Great West Region telephone helpline serves as a comprehensive tool to get you the information you need. Learn about the resource.

Get Connected 





A reflection on 2013 and the Great West Region’s New Year’s resolution.

Dear Members of the Great West Region Board of Directors and Local Boards/Leadership Councils:

As we approach the end of 2013, you should feel great pride and a strong sense of accomplishment for all that you have done to help the Arthritis Foundation and the Great West Region support people living with arthritis. With your help this year, a record number of participants took part in our Arthritis Foundation Aquatics, Exercise, Tai Chi and Walk with Ease programs on their journey to better manage their arthritis. Dozens of educational forums throughout the Region provided unique opportunities for attendees to hear directly from health providers and doctors, and an increasingly growing number of individuals subscribed to our e-newsletter series. New special quoteevents garnered local support in key markets, while returning annual Arthritis Walks and Jingle Bell Run/Walks raised funds and awareness through thousands of new participants and team captains. Even more individuals from across the Region pledged their support as donors this year.

We still have many challenges ahead. We seek new ways to grow our events, generate more revenue and expand our educational outreach. Arthritis is not going away anytime soon, and the impact of the disease continues to rise. As you’ll see in the article below, new prevalence data indicates that more than 52.5 million Americans are affected by arthritis, an increase from our previous estimates of 50 million Americans.

With new leadership in place at the Arthritis Foundation, National Office, we are already seeing a refreshed focus on our core special events –the Jingle Bell Run/Walk and the (rebranded) Walk to Cure Arthritis. In 2014 we will see even more of new National CEO Ann Palmer’s vision for a focused, enhanced and efficient Arthritis Foundation.

It’s the Great West Region’s New Year’s resolution to impact more lives and to see greater financial growth by the end of 2014. Thank you for continuing to join us in this pursuit.

Happy Holidays,

Dale Harris, Chair

Scott Weaver, CEO



Across the Board

See the many members of the Great West Region Board of Directors and Local Boards/Leadership Councils in action across the Region. 


The Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region’s many Local Boards and Leadership Council members are often out in their communities, supporting the Arthritis Foundation and promoting our work. Here are some recent examples:

• Thanks to North Puget Sound Leadership Council members Evelyn Ames and Lee Willis for being a vital part of the Bellingham educational forum planning committee. The event will take place on January 25, 2014 in Bellingham, Washington.

M Mills


Mike Mills from the Denver Volunteer Leadership Council was the top fundraiser for the 2013 Denver Jingle Bell Run/Walk. Congratulations Mike! 



Jeff• Many thanks to Jeff Fredericks who after five San Francisco to Santa Monica cycling adventures on the California Coast Classic, decided to think BIGGER this year and came up with the idea to cycle from Canada to Mexico. Jeff’s initial goal was to raise $10,000 for juvenile arthritis programs and research. He has nearly tripled that number thanks to many generous donors. Jeff rides on behalf of his daughter, Lindsey, who has been battling juvenile arthritis since the age of three. Congratulations Jeff! Read about his adventures here. 


D. Hill



Dave "Elvis" Hill joined us at KAT-FISH Family Camp in Washington to help jam in the Rock and Roll theme for camp. Joining Dave is Cindy Bishop (AF staff) and Helen Emery (local, Regional and National board member). 






Dave and Paul


Elvis Hill was joined by Pacific Northwest Local Board member Paul Meyer. Paul and his wife Merete, Anika and their two sons Benjamin (who has JA) and Henrick have been regulars at KAT-FISH Family Camp for years. 






Doug Matsumori, who serves on the Regional Board as well as the Utah/Idaho Board of Directors, will serve as one of the 2014 honorees at the Arthritis Foundation, Salt Lake City Evening of Honors.


• Great West Region Board member Laurie Stewart reached out to her corporate connections and was able to secure a location in Seattle’s Pacific Place for the annual Juvenile Arthritis Cocoa Party. Thank you, Laurie!

J. Yazzolino


• Congratulations to Judy Yazzolino from the Pacific Northwest Local Board for her leadership in chairing the 2013 Bone Bash in Seattle. 




T. Love


• Central Coast Local Board member Tracey Love served as honoree at the 2013 Pacific Grove Jingle Bell Run/Walk. Tracey raised over $1,600 to support the Arthritis Foundation. Susan O’Brien, another Local Board member, did an amazing job as the Pacific Grove Jingle Bell Run/Walk volunteer coordinator. Thank you, Tracey (pictured) and Susan! 




• Many thanks to Andy Chan for launching the Regional Medical and Scientific Committee. Andy championed the reestablishment of this committee, which will then be expanded to other areas of the Region in the coming years. The mission of the GWR Medical & Scientific Committee is to support: (1) clinical and research training in adult and pediatric rheumatology, (2) basic and clinical research applicable to arthritis and (3) professional education and medical outreach. 


Seattle JBRW• Pacific Northwest Local Board member Steve Overman rallied co-workers from The Seattle Arthritis Clinic who created a team of 10 people and raised $1,153 at the Seattle JBR/W.  Dr. Overman braved temperatures in the teens to jingle at the largest Jingle Bell Run/Walk in the country with 11,500 participants.  



B. Ashcroft



• Great West Region Board Member Bruce Ashcroft received recognition at the National Annual Meeting from Arthritis Foundation National Board Chair Dan McGowan. Bruce rotates off of the Arthritis Foundation, National Board of Directors this year. 





Helen Emery received an American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Master Designation at the ACR conference held in October in San Diego. This recognition is one of the highest honors that ACR bestows.


Walk launch


• The Great West Region had many leadership volunteers in attendance at the Arthritis Foundation, National Annual Meeting in Nashville in November. Denver Volunteer Leadership Council member Kelli Schandel was on-hand to lead the unveiling of the new Walk to Cure Arthritis brand. 




Denver JBRW

• Kudos to Matt Kaspari from the Denver Volunteer Leadership Council for his continued leadership as chair for another successful Denver Jingle Bell Run/Walk this year. Matt was joined on the Denver Jingle Bell Run/Walk committee by fellow VLC member Jane Pope-Meehan








Among Your Peers

Jim Fuqua, Central Coast Board Chair, is a long-time believer in the Arthritis Foundation and has a family connection to arthritis. 

In this ongoing series, AFramework will highlight a Board or Volunteer Leadership Council member from across the Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region. 

J FuquaJim Fuqua
Chair, Central Coast (Monterey) Local Board

How did you get involved with the Arthritis Foundation?
My daughter was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 18 or 19, some 30 years ago. After she was diagnosed, I found the local Arthritis Foundation office in San Francisco. I walked in and told them that I want to help, that my daughter had arthritis and that I was willing to do anything to help. Then I gave them a check for $1,000. Soon enough, I was on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco office, which I served on for 15 years.

Working with the local staff team and Board members, we came up with a plan to start a branch office in the Monterey Bay area, a close-knit community 120 miles south of San Francisco.  We were very fortunate that a generous bequest gift provided the initial funding to cover our start-up costs until our own Central Coast Board could become financially established.  With that funding support we were able to hire a staff person, recruit board members and begin our work.  Our goal with this Branch was to find people with arthritis in the community and help them – this would be the best and direct way to build awareness and raise funds.

It is a very active Branch. We held our fourth annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk this year in Pacific Grove, and we have well attended educational forums, volunteer events, Tai Chi, aquatics and exercise programs. Last year, we locally trained 20 new aquatics instructors who will be delivering programs in our area.

We really have the right people involved in the local Board. Everyone on the Board either has arthritis or a connection to arthritis. This motivates each of us to do even more and work even harder.

What does being involved with the Arthritis Foundation mean to you?
I don’t want my daughter to have this disease and suffer. I’m not a doctor or a researcher, but I want to make a difference and find a cure.

I CAN make a difference as a Board member, and can indirectly help people like my daughter by referring people to the Arthritis Foundation, which is a great resource. I’ve met some of the top arthritis researchers, and can see firsthand how the funds that the Arthritis Foundation raises support their vital work towards better treatments and hopefully a cure. I’ve seen the Arthritis Foundation launch the Northern California Arthritis Foundation Center of Excellence in partnership with Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco. These things are making a difference.

What do you think is one of the greatest challenges the Arthritis Foundation faces?
Raising the funds needed to continue to impact lives. We are in competition with various other charities of noteworthy causes. Often from the outside perspective, arthritis doesn’t seem as life-threatening. It seems like it’s not as urgent of a need. There is a need. People with arthritis are suffering.

Getting awareness out about our cause will always be a challenge. There are so many other charity walks and runs. The competition gets tougher every year.

What is one of your favorite Arthritis Foundation moments, events or accomplishments?
Opening the Central Coast Branch office is a big moment for me. I personally recruited many of the Board members – who come from different walks of life and have different connections to arthritis. I love this mix of people.

Another great moment for me is always watching the start of a Jingle Bell Run/Walk, and seeing the thousand or more people start the run, or the kids start the elf run. To see that many people involved in our cause… it’s uplifting.

People that have arthritis need the Arthritis Foundation. I love seeing the Arthritis Foundation’s mission in action and at work. It brings people together for a great cause.

What do you hope for in the future for those with arthritis?
That a cure is found for arthritis. Somewhere out there, in a cutting-edge lab, there’s a researcher funded by the Arthritis Foundation working to find new treatments or medications that will be the key to unlocking a cure for the disease.

I’m working towards a day where the Arthritis Foundation will need to close its doors, because we’ve found that cure.

Find out more:
Learn more about the Northern California Arthritis Foundation Center of Excellence.




Arthritis Foundation Appoints New National President and CEO

Learn more about Ann M. Palmer, the new Arthritis Foundation, National Office President and CEO.


A PalmerThe Arthritis Foundation appointed Ann M. Palmer (pictured left) as President and CEO of the national organization, headquartered in Atlanta. Palmer will lead the Foundation in its commitment to finding a cure and ending arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability. Palmer succeeds Dr. John H. Klippel, who retired in August. Palmer began her position in late September.

“This is an exciting time for the Foundation and with Ann’s leadership capability we will be well positioned to continue our efforts supporting and advocating on behalf the 50 million Americans with arthritis,” said Daniel T. McGowan, chair of the Arthritis Foundation, National Board of Directors. “I am confident this is the right time and she is the right leader to move us forward as we continue investing in research for a cure.”

Palmer is widely regarded for 30 years of leadership and success in voluntary health agencies, including the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and most recently, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation where she was senior vice president of field management.

During the last 12 years at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Palmer led volunteers and staff in 80 offices across the country and was responsible for $120 million of net revenue. Earlier, she served in regional vice president roles at both the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society.

“I am exceedingly proud to have the opportunity to lead a team of passionate and committed volunteers and staff to address the needs and challenges of those with arthritis,” said Palmer.

A graduate of the University of Delaware, Palmer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education.




Give or Get

Consider making a year-end gift to fulfill your board give or get commitment. 

You are an integral part of our success as a Board Member of the Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region.  With your financial support, we continue to provide innovative research and programs that bring us closer to more effective treatments, a better quality of life for those living with arthritis and ultimately one day a cure.  Please consider making a year-end gift to fulfill your board give/get commitment if you have not done so already.  All of these gifts enhance our ability to raise awareness of our mission and respond timely to the needs of our constituents.  Thank you again for your continuing leadership and financial support.  We are truly grateful.





Alaska Advisory Board Will Hold Inaugural Meeting in January

A new Great West Region Alaska Advisory Board will begin on January 17. 

AnchorageThe Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region is forming an Alaska Advisory Board (AAB) to support the fundraising and mission activities in Alaska. This Board will be the first group of its kind formed since the regionalization of the Great West Region.

The initial role of the Alaska Advisory Board will be to support the current activities offered by the Arthritis Foundation in Alaska. This includes:

  1. Jingle Bell Run/Walk in Anchorage and North Pole
  2. JA Services – family meetings, education programs and support of Camp ARCTIC
  3. Helping to make community connections to further the mission and fund raising efforts with corporations, donors, volunteers, medical professionals, allied health care professionals, and community partners (civic groups, churches, etc.)

The Alaska Advisory Board will have its inaugural meeting on January 17, 2014. The group is chaired by Barbara Jones and Stephen Strom will be vice chair.

If you know of someone in Alaska who would be interested in volunteering in a leadership role, please have them contact Scott at




Walk to Cure Arthritis

Watch the launch video for the newly branded Walk to Cure Arthritis. 

WTCA video

The new Walk to Cure Arthritis video is now available for viewing. This piece highlights the new brand for the Arthritis Walk – now called the Walk to Cure Arthritis. The video also features footage from the Denver Walk and spotlights National Youth Honoree Claire Brennan, also from Denver.

Watch the 2014 Walk to Cure Arthritis Video.





Mission Moment

Nearly one in ten people say that joint pain impacts daily activity.

crowdA government report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released recently found the number of adults with arthritis is rising by about one million people each year, and along with it, the debilitating impact of the disease. The report reaffirms previous predictions that cases of arthritis would rise rapidly with the aging of the population. However, the impact of arthritis on activity limitations is exceeding previous estimates, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

“The sharp rise in activity limitations is alarming,” says Arthritis Foundation President and CEO, Ann M. Palmer. “More people are hurting when they walk and climb the stairs, and they may be curbing activities they love due to severe pain and limited mobility caused by the disease. We must reverse this trend by investing more dollars in research to find a cure for arthritis and providing health intervention programs to help people be more active today.”

According to the CDC study published in the November 8 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, arthritis affects the daily activities of about 23 million adults, up from 21 million in 2009, and not far from the projection of 25 million that wasn’t expected until 2030.

The report also confirms the disease is common, impacting about 23 percent of the adult population. The 2013 report shows that the number of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis climbed from roughly 50 million to 53 million over the last three years. Arthritis also carries a heavy financial burden, costing the U.S. economy $128 billion annually.

Among the report’s findings from 2010-2012:

arthritis stats

“The number of U.S. adults with arthritis is increasing. This amounts to an average increase of approximately 2,400 individuals per day,” says Dr. Wayne H. Giles, Director of the Division of Population Health at the CDC. “Because arthritis occurs so often with other conditions like diabetes and heart disease, arthritis limitations may be interfering with the recommended management of those conditions, especially in regards to physical activity.”

The Arthritis Foundation is working to help address this ever-growing problem by advocating for policies and programs to help people get treatment and care, driving innovative research toward a cure, and providing information and programs to help people manage their disease. In addition, events such as the Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis bring the community together each year to raise funds to fight and cure arthritis.

To learn more about the impact of arthritis and what you can do about it, visit




Arthritis Aid is just a Phone Call Away

The new Great West Region telephone helpline serves as a comprehensive tool to get you the information you need.

Since its very beginnings in 1948, the Arthritis Foundation has operated a telephone helpline to assist people diagnosed with arthritis and provide them with the arthritis resources and information they need. Last year alone, 1,071 callers reached out to the Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region through the helpline to request information on types of arthritis, medications, complementary therapies and local programs in their communities.

“There is always room for improvement in how we educate, inform and assist the people that call the Arthritis Foundation’s helpline,” says Lisa Fall, Chief Mission Office for the Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region. “We need to be able to consistently relay the latest resources that we offer, whether it is new program sites in the community or information on the Affordable Care Act as it relates to people with arthritis.”

In order to do this, the Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region is launching an enhanced, toll-free helpline in December, 2013. The centralized helpline will field calls from across the nine states of the Great West Region to one central resource hub. The new helpline will be led by Mary Haynes, a long-time Arthritis Foundation staff person with a wealth of knowledge about arthritis.

M HaynesMary (pictured right), who works from the Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region’s Salt Lake City office, has been employed by the Arthritis Foundation since 1976.

“If people have questions about arthritis, they should call our helpline. We have arthritis information that is up-to-date. There’s always someone who can provide callers with answers and one-on-one help about their arthritis issues,” Mary says. “Drug guides, local classes, various treatment brochures, information about lab tests, pamphlets on forms of arthritis – we offer it all.”

Mary continues, “I’ve been answering calls from people with arthritis for a few decades, but a lot of the questions that callers ask have stayed the same. People typically want specific information about rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA) and other forms of rheumatic diseases. They also want to know how to find a list of local rheumatology experts.”

Callers don’t necessarily always realize the depth of information that the Arthritis Foundation provides, as Mary attests. “They may not know that we offer educational forums, or arthritis aquatics, exercise, tai chi or Walk with Ease classes in the community. People often don’t know that we have a website with lots of information on it. A lot of people don’t know the value of seeing a rheumatologist instead of a family physician for their arthritis issues.”

Mary’s value in staffing the arthritis helpline comes not only from her professional experience from working at the Arthritis Foundation for the past 37 years, but also from her own personal experience of living with arthritis. Mary has been diagnosed with RA, ankylosing spondylitis, spinal stenosis and OA. She’s had many medical procedures over the years related to her diagnoses, including a fusion of her right thumb, her left hip replaced, and bilateral knee replacements. Mary admits that her forms of arthritis have brought hardships over the years. She has countered these hardships with an active lifestyle including swimming, tennis and golf, and the power of positive thinking.

For those readers who may have hesitations about calling the Arthritis Foundation’s helpline for information, Mary offers this perspective, “It’s best to call us and get the information you need. Learning more will help you deal with the disease in ways you can’t imagine – physically and mentally.”

The Arthritis Foundation’s centralized helpline launches in a few weeks and can be accessed at that time from the Arthritis Foundation’s main toll-free number – (888) 391-9389. New voice prompts will immediately direct callers to the appropriate extension for the helpline.

Find out more:

Beyond of the Arthritis Foundation’s helpline at (888) 391-9389, an abundance of arthritis information and resources can be found on our website –





Get Connected

Find your local Arthritis Foundation office to get connected.

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

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