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Through their advocacy, outreach and research programs, the Arthritis Foundation is dedicated to improving lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases. AF is committed to raising awareness and reducing the unacceptable impact of arthritis, a disease which must be taken as seriously as other chronic diseases because of its devastating consequences.
Since its inception, AF has been building involvement in the cause via advocacy, events, fundraising, appeals, media relations and consumer information. The foundation also provides access to information and resources needed to minimize the impact of arthritis by mobilizing funds and creating a broad reach of engagement that helps people adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. There are three major types of arthritis (although the AF does not discriminate against the less prevalent varieties), Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Juvenile Arthritis. Arthritis strikes 1 in 5 adults and over 300,000 children under the age of 18. Contrary to popular belief, arthritis does not favor particular ages. In fact, more than two-thirds of people affected by the disease are under the age of 65. Annually, arthritis results in about 44 million outpatient visits, 1 million hospitalizations, and more than 9,000 deaths.
The Arthritis Foundation, in their steadfast dedication to take effective action, has instituted numerous outreach programs, including the Ambassador Program, whereby Arthritis Ambassadors serve as official liaisons between the AF and their member of Congress. Recently, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved spending for Fiscal Year 2014 that for the first time will provide resources to a student loan forgiveness program for pediatric rheumatologists willing to provide care in underserved areas. It is thanks in great part to such AF programs that has made such strides in policy possible.
To donate or get involved, visit the Arthritis Foundation website.