The Arthritis Foundation is a nonprofit organization that's dedicated to addressing the needs of people living with arthritis in the United States. There are more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children living with arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability.[2] The Foundation works to provide information and resources, access to care, advancements in science and community connections.

The Arthritis Foundation additionally publishes the magazine Arthritis Today.[3] Through local offices nationwide, the Foundation sponsors a variety of year-round events to raise funds and create awareness, from local walks and runs to dinners, galas and additional affairs.

The Arthritis Foundation has contributed to arthritis research after its founding in 1948, and has invested over $470 million toward medical research into the disease[4] In addition, the organisation advocates for changes to health care policies, legislation and government-funded research to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by arthritis.

The Foundation funds two patient registries, the Arthritis Internet Registry (AIR) and the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA),[5] to help control symptoms and accelerate the search for a cure by analysing and correlating biological data.

Access and Advocacy

The Arthritis Foundation holds the annual Advocacy Summit,[6] in which arthritis advocates converge in Washington, D.C., to meet with Capitol Hill lawmakers. Participants tell their storeys and put a human face on arthritis pain. They continue to urge elected officials to join the Congressional Arthritis Caucus,[7] chaired by Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA). The caucus serves as a bipartisan forum to aid senators and representatives in working together to address arthritis.

Tools used by the Foundation for advocacy include state-by-state arthritis prevalence data, regular issue briefs, e-advocacy opportunities, a health care reform Q&A, and sample letters and tips to raise awareness about arthritis.

Types of arthritis

The Arthritis Foundation offers information and assistance for the more than 100 types of the disease, including conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis.[8]

Community events and programs

Community events and programmes run by the Arthritis Foundation help educate the public about the realities of arthritis, raise funds and awareness, and encourage people with arthritis to manage their joint pain and improve overall health. Nationwide activities include Walk to Cure Arthritis[9] and Jingle Bell Run/Walk.[10] In addition, the Arthritis Foundation hosts dinners, galas and specialty parties, from traditional black-tie galas and tribute dinners to wine tastings and themed parties that benefit the Foundation's efforts.

Through community programmes like Walk With Ease[2] and Put Pain in Its Place,[2] the Arthritis Foundation is empowering people with arthritis to get moving and providing tools to help manage their arthritis pain.

History

Organized in 1948 as the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation, the organization's name was changed in 1964 to the Arthritis Foundation. The following year, the American Rheumatism Association (ARA) merged with the Foundation. In 1965, an additional professional society, Allied Health Professions, was established within the Foundation; its name was changed to the Arthritis Health Professions Association (AHPA) in 1980. The American Juvenile Arthritis Organization (AJAO) was established in 1981 as a membership group within the Foundation; in 1991, AJAO became a council of the Foundation. In 1986, the ARA became a separate, independent organisation and now is known as the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). In 1994, the AHPA became a division of the ACR and changed its name to the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals.

The Arthritis Foundation is headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and has more than 100 local offices nationwide.

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