Ms. Jones, Ms. Stevens and Dr. Hassett, who will be traveling to Washington, D.C., for the Advocates for Arthritis event, underscore the importance of advocacy. “The one thing we’ve learned in our advocacy [work] is that it’s a big mistake to say, ‘Oh, people are aware of it; we don’t need to continue to bring it to their attention,’” notes Ms. Stevens.
Dr. Hassett adds, “There has always been a bias toward supporting pharmacological interventions, but these non-pharmacological approaches can greatly enhance outcomes, including functioning and quality of life. We need to fight for them.”
The ACR has developed some powerful advocacy tools, so Ms. Stevens reminds her fellow ACR/ARHP members to refer patients, staff and coworkers to the ACR website, where the advocacy help tool furnishes information to help individuals advocate on both the federal and state levels. Referring patient advocates is especially helpful, says Ms. Jones, because personal experience “hits home a little more” with legislative representatives.
“We’re so close. Knowing that [the repeal legislation] has garnered strong support over the last couple years [means repeal is] absolutely going to be one of the pieces that we continue to advocate for, so that we don’t lose momentum on this,” says Ms. Stevens.
Gretchen Henkel is an award-winning health and medical journalist based in California.