Leading the fight for the arthritis community, the Arthritis Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. The organization’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 publishes Arthritis Today, an award-winning magazine that reaches 4.2 million readers.
In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month (May): the Arthritis Foundation is asking all Americans to rally and support its new cause campaign “Let’s Get a Grip on Arthritis,” so the disease can be eradicated once and for all. By conservative estimates, about 54.4 million Americans have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and many can’t participate in the activities they love or even perform everyday tasks – such as chopping vegetables or buttoning their shirts – due to the pain, inflammation and/or joint disfigurement caused by their arthritis.
The Arthritis Foundation is very focused on medical research and advocacy work that will best serve the one in four Americans living with arthritis – from advancing treatments to providing resources.
“The nation faces several challenges that will threaten the research enterprise if we don’t continue to invest in and cultivate researchers, including increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health, which is critical, as investments in the NIH over the last two decades haven’t kept pace with inflation or the demand for newer, better treatments,” said Anna Hyde, vice president of advocacy and access, Arthritis Foundation. “In addition to advancing research, we must also help increase the pool of rheumatologists, without whom research breakthroughs wouldn’t reach patients.”
According to the American College of Rheumatology, there aren’t enough rheumatologists to serve the arthritis population, which is estimated to grow to more than 78 million Americans by 2040. Not only does the rheumatologist shortage create a barrier to care, but it also impedes advances in research and better understanding the disease.
“When looking at the rheumatology shortage, we know that advocacy can also play a significant role in correcting this issue,” said Anna Hyde. “Right now, we’re advocating with members of Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that would permit pediatric rheumatologists to be eligible to apply for loan repayment through the National Health Service Corps.”
A win like this would be a significant step forward towards addressing the shortage, in addition to expanding the number of rheumatology fellowship opportunities in communities with the greatest need.
Like Research!America, the Arthritis Foundation is dedicated to raising public awareness and pursuing groundbreaking research. The Arthritis Foundation is tirelessly committed to empowering people to live better, with higher quality of life and less pain; expanding the continuum of care to drive the best possible patient outcomes; and creating the next generation of diagnostic and treatment solutions, bringing them to market faster to get earlier more accurate diagnoses and treatments.
To learn more, visit www.arthritis.org.