ATLANTA, Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly a quarter of adults in the United States – more than 50 million people – suffer every day from arthritis, yet common misperceptions hold that arthritis isn't that serious and only affects older populations. In reality, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States and costs nearly $950 billion in treatments and lost wages a year. However The Arthritis Foundation is out to change both the impact and perception of the disease with new strategies to be unveiled over the next few days at its annual meeting in Atlanta.
The annual meeting, being held today and tomorrow, will outline a new scientific strategy centered on delivering efficient results and brand messaging focused on the ways the Arthritis Foundation is "Leading the Way" to a better life for people living with arthritis today.
"The number of Americans affected by arthritis is expected to grow 34 percent to 67 million people by 2030. We cannot stand by and allow them to suffer in silence," said Arthritis Foundation CEO Ann Palmer. "This is a new day in the fight against arthritis as we push the envelope with new research that produces results more quickly and new messaging to raise awareness about an often-overlooked disease."
The new scientific strategy outlined at the annual meeting focuses on three pillars: "Delivering on a Promise," "Decision Making With Metrics," and "Building Human Capital."
- Delivering on a Promise is a plan to restructure the Arthritis Foundation's research strategy to emphasize science that translates knowledge into treatment more quickly, ultimately increasing the impact of research on people living with arthritis.
- Decision Making with Metrics is a plan to coordinate with other authoritative sources of health information to better utilize existing data to aid in research efforts.
- Building Human Capital is a plan to improve the talent pipeline of arthritis researchers through training programs with leading experts.
"The millions of people who deal with arthritis every day are looking for relief, and our new scientific strategy places an emphasis on delivering results more quickly and efficiently," said Amanda Niskar, DrPH, national director of science at the Arthritis Foundation. "We are restructuring our program to make better use of existing resources and develop smart investments in the future of rheumatology and scientific research."
In addition to the new scientific strategy, the annual meeting will outline a new branding strategy designed to encourage and empower those who deal with arthritis. The new branding will highlight the powerful stories of those who fight the disease every day.
Many of these special individuals will be spotlighted during the Evening of Honors reception on Friday. Hosted by Elizabeth Cohen, senior medical correspondent at CNN and author of The Empowered Patient, this awards event will recognize those who have made exemplary contributions to advancing the mission of the Arthritis Foundation and bring the annual meeting to a close.
The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org) is the largest and most trusted nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the needs and challenges of those living with arthritis, the nation's leading cause of disability. Since 1948, the Foundation has remained committed to leading groundbreaking research for better treatments and a cure; fighting for patients' access to affordable and effective health care; and providing trusted information and resources to the more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children living with the disease.
SOURCE Arthritis Foundation