Youth Advocate from Nevada Takes Arthritis Healthcare Issues to Capitol Hill

Feb 28, 2013, 13:22 ET from Arthritis Foundation, Pacific Region

Hundreds Will Urge Congress for More Arthritis Support in Person or through Virtual Summit on March 4-6

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fourteen-year-old Jonathan Corthell of Henderson, NV will be traveling 2,400 miles to Washington, D.C. to ask Congress to support policies that will ensure more research, better treatments and greater access to care for those with arthritis, the nation's leading cause of disability. 

Corthell, who has suffered with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis for almost 10 years, will join nearly 350 other Arthritis Foundation advocates on March 4-6 on Capitol Hill for the annual Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Summit.  He and his mother, Kristin Sowden, will discuss the need for full-time pediatric rheumatologists in Nevada (there are none) and the financial challenges of securing adequate insurance coverage for his treatment and medications, which cost more than $7,000 per month. 

Advocates will urge Congress to support legislation that will make medications more affordable for patients with arthritis; fund a pediatric subspecialty loan repayment program to address the critical shortage of pediatric rheumatologists in the U.S.; and include 'post traumatic osteoarthritis' and 'rheumatoid arthritis' in the Department of Defense research program. 

In addition to personal visits to Capitol Hill, arthritis supporters can participate virtually in the Summit through live streaming sessions on March 4 ("From Discovery to Drugs:  How Today's Research Evolves into Tomorrow's Treatments") and on March 5 ("Arthritis Advocacy 101").  They can also follow the action through a live Instagram, Twitter stream and guest bloggers, and email elected officials about important arthritis-related legislative issues.  For more information, visit the Virtual Advocacy Summit page on 

About the Arthritis Foundation

Striking one in every five adults, arthritis is a serious, sometimes life-threatening disease and also the nation's leading cause of disability.  The Arthritis Foundation ( is committed to reducing the impact of arthritis, which can severely damage joints and rob people of their ability to live normal lives, including children.  The Foundation provides proven programs to help fight arthritis pain, pursues public policy on behalf of patients, and supports groundbreaking research for effective treatments and a cure.  The Pacific Region of the Arthritis Foundation encompasses Arizona, Greater California, Hawaii and Nevada.  For more information on regional initiatives, contact Advocacy Director, Krystin Herr, at

SOURCE Arthritis Foundation, Pacific Region