Our mission is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases through research, programs and services in the DC metro area.
Why do we exist?
1 out of every 4 people in the greater Washington metropolitan area has some form of arthritis.
It could be your grandmother. It could be your co-worker. It could be the five-year-old girl living down your street. It could be you.
More than 800,000 people in this area alone have some form of arthritis… yet arthritis and related diseases have not become the cause celebre of our politicos, grassroots awareness campaigns, or the Hollywood set. Few people are standing in line to speak out on lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic joint pain and deterioration are not inspiring great concern across our nation or in the Washington DC area – but they should. Here’s why:
- Arthritis and chronic joint pain have quietly become the leading cause of disability in our nation, resulting in over $123 billion in economic losses each year – close to a moderate recession.
- Baby boomers will double the population with osteoarthritis in the next two decades.
- Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) affects 3,000 children in the DC area, yet only a handful of local physicians are trained to treat this disease – a critical and often devastating concern for many families.
- Over half of Americans with arthritis do not think anything can be done to help them; they do not have access to the information or services crucial to improving their quality of life.
- The costs of arthritis to our health and our economy, throughout both the DC area and the nation, will rise significantly if we cannot raise awareness, implement prevention strategies, and fund key research.
What have you accomplished?
The Arthritis Foundation, Metropolitan Washington Chapter serves thousands of people in our area through providing exercise classes, education programs and literature, physician referrals, support networks and many other services to people in need. We change lives everyday by providing:
- Information to people who are newly diagnosed.
- Connecting people with others who can support them, sending families with arthritis to annual conferences, teaching people how to manage their pain and speak with their doctors, and providing support networks to unite people with arthritis.
- We work with the National Institutes of Health and local health departments to increase funding for arthritis related research and programs.
- We raise awareness in our community to address the needs of people with arthritis. Over the past 50 years, we have invested over $300 million dollars in important research that has resulted in understanding some of the causes of arthritis and finding better treatments with fewer side effects.
Everyday the Arthritis Foundation helps people like 6-year-old Robbie who has had arthritis since he was 2 years old. Through attending social activities and an arthritis conference, Robbie is learning that he is not alone and that there are things to help him hurt less and be more like other kids who can run, jump and play. Our hope is that someday in the future, Robbie can live a life that is pain free, without the need for excessive medications or surgeries that limit so many people with arthritis today.