The ACR is accepting applications for this year’s Advocates for Arthritis, which will be returning to an in-person event held in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 19–20. This annual event brings together patients and rheumatology professionals to advocate for our subspecialty on Capitol Hill.
Apply today to join your colleagues and patients in afternoon advocacy training and breakout groups on Monday, Sept. 19, and advocate directly to your lawmakers via a mix of in-person and virtual Hill visits on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
What is Advocates for Arthritis?
The event consists of meetings with federal lawmakers and their staff about important legislative issues facing rheumatology patients and providers. You, your colleagues and patients from your state will have the opportunity to share stories on why legislative action is needed. To learn more, read some firsthand experiences from this year’s in-person spring fly-in and last year’s virtual event.
Who is invited to attend?
All ACR and ARP members are encouraged to apply, and it is free to attend—the ACR will cover travel and lodging costs. Additionally, we hope you share this opportunity with your patients. Tell them about the power of patient voices and encourage them to advocate on these important issues. They can apply through the same link.
Do I need any advocacy experience?
No—you already have all the experience you need by being able to share personal stories of how certain laws affect you and your patients. You will also be conducting these meetings alongside others as part of a small team, so there is no reason to be nervous. ACR staff and volunteer leaders will also offer pre-event materials and advocacy training to get you up to speed and help you feel comfortable.
What legislative issues will be discussed?
The ACR is still deciding which topics and bills will be most relevant and have the most impact when advocates bring issues to their legislative offices. The two or three issues will be pulled from the ACR’s policy priorities, which can be found on the ACR website.
What does the schedule look like?
- Monday, Sept. 19: Registration and a welcome lunch for ACR/ARP members will begin at noon EDT. In the afternoon, all attendees will receive advocacy training, which will provide meeting logistics, background on the legislative issues and an opportunity for you to meet your “team.” The evening will consist of a reception where you can meet and socialize with other attendees.
- Tuesday, Sept. 20: Expect a mix of in-person and virtual Hill meetings with your colleagues and lawmakers throughout the day. Your individual schedule will be finalized in the days before the event and is subject to change. Plan to be available for the entire day.
This sounds great—how do I sign up?
Space is limited, so we encourage you to apply here today. The ACR will be notifying applicants of their status by July 31, but in the meantime, block Sept. 19–20 on your calendar.