National Fibromyalgia Association
Karen Lee Richards
Medical education programs
|Method||Assistance to support groups
Fibromyalgia AWARE Magazine
Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
Leaders Against Pain Coalition
Ongoing media presence
Board of directors:
John Fry, PhD
Michael Seffinger, DO, FAAFP
N. Charle Morcos, MD, PhD
L. Scott Stoney, MD
|Slogan||To help empower patients|
|Mission||To develop and execute programs dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with fibromyalgia.|
The National Fibromyalgia Association's mission is to help people affected by FM by organizing awareness events, media coverage, support and training for support group leaders across the United States. The NFA produces informational materials, hosts patient and health care provider web sites, and publishes the magazine Fibromyalgia AWARE.
First known as the National Fibromyalgia Awareness Campaign, the NFA was founded as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 1997 in Orange, California, by Lynne Matallana and Karen Lee Richards. Since then, the NFA has developed the educational website FMaware.org in 2002, founded the international magazine quarterly Fibromyalgia AWARE as the only consumer magazine on fibromyalgia published in the United States, and advocated the development of continuing medical educational programs.
Through 2006, the NFA hosted six international conferences, featuring authorities on fibromyalgia who presented their research and expertise to attendees, including patients and health care professionals. More than 1,000 people attended the 2006 FAME (Fibromyalgia Awareness Means Everything) conference.
The NFA partnered with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Institute of John Hopkins Nursing in 2007, to form “The Fibromyalgia Circle of Care”, a collaboration that hold three annual initiatives that work to assist healthcare providers in diagnosing fibromyalgia, raising awareness of the condition, and taking care of patients diagnosed with the illness.
Co-founders Matallana and Richards have both been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. They first met in 1997 through discussions in online fibromyalgia chat groups, and shared similar concerns over incorrect diagnoses as well as a lack of available information and patient support. Matallana had first experienced symptoms of pain and fatigue in 1993, and by 1997 had visited 37 doctors before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Richards said that she had become ill in 1989, but did not receive a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia until 1996. After the two met, they organized gatherings with other fibromyalgia patients who wanted to increase public awareness of the issue, initiating the National Fibromyalgia Awareness Campaign, which developed over the following five years to become the NFA. Matallana is past president of the NFA, having served through 2011 and is publisher and Editor-in-chief of Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine. Richards served as NFA's vice president from 1997 through 2006, and as executive editor of Fibromyalgia AWARE for four years after the magazine's 2002 launch.
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