Arthritis Foundation

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Arthritis Foundation
Arthritis Foundation building.JPG
Motto Take Control. We Can Help.
Formation 1948
Type Non-profit organization
Legal status Foundation
Headquarters Atlanta, GA
Coordinates 33°47′27.37″N 84°23′17.51″W / 33.7909361°N 84.3881972°W / 33.7909361; -84.3881972
Region served
President & CEO
Ann M. Palmer
Main organ
Board of Directors

The Arthritis Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, control and cure of arthritis in the United States.

The Arthritis Foundation offers medical information, physician referrals, a drug guide, books, brochures and other resources to help make living with arthritis easier. It also publishes the magazine Arthritis Today.[1] Through local offices nationwide, the Foundation sponsors exercise classes, as well as a variety of year-round events to raise funds and create awareness, from local walks and runs to dinners, galas and other affairs.

The Arthritis Foundation has contributed to arthritis research since its founding in 1948, and claims to have invested more than $450 million toward medical research into the disease.[2] In addition, the organization 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, AIR and TETRAD, to help control symptoms and advance the search for a cure by analyzing and correlating biological data.

Arthritis Advocacy[edit]

Every year, the Arthritis Foundation holds its annual Advocacy Summit,[3] in which arthritis advocates converge on Washington, D.C., to meet with Capitol Hill lawmakers. Participants tell their stories and put a human face on arthritis pain. They continue to urge elected officials to join the Congressional Arthritis Caucus,[4] chaired by Reps. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., and Anna Eshoo, D-Calif. 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[edit]

While the Arthritis Foundation supports interventions for all types of arthritis and related conditions with information and other assistance, the organization concentrates on three forms of the disease:

The Arthritis Foundation also supports individuals suffering from other types of arthritis, including:

Events and programs[edit]

Events[5] and programs 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. Activities include nationwide Arthritis Walks events throughout the year[6] and Jingle Bell Runs/Walk events in the fall. 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.

The Arthritis Foundation's Programs for Better Living[7] empowers people with arthritis through aquatic, exercise, walking and tai chi classes that are proven to increase mobility and reduce pain, stiffness and physician visits.


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 organization 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, spanning 10 regions.

Great Lakes Region: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Great West Region: Alaska, Northern California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Heartland Region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska

Mid Atlantic Region: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia

New England Region: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

Northeast Region: New Jersey, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania

Pacific Region: Arizona, Southern California, Hawaii, Nevada

South Central Region: Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas

Southeast Region: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee

Upper Midwest Region: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Florida Chapter: Florida


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