There are 1.2 million adults and approximately 5,000 children in Alabama with a doctor-diagnosed form of arthritis. Our state has the second highest prevalence of arthritis in the United Sates. Arthritis is our nation's leading cause of disability.
The pain of arthritis is unacceptable and the Arthritis Foundation is leading the way to eliminate arthritis as the leading cause of disability. In Alabama, we improve the lives of individuals with arthritis in the following ways:
Alabama’s researchers and medical facilities have received $5,200,000 in research funding and fellowship re-payments through the Arthritis Foundation since 2000. The Arthritis Foundation has invested more than $400 million in arthritis research, including $11 million during 2011, giving countless individuals back their mobility through life-changing discoveries.
- The Alabama Juvenile Arthritis Initiative: Up until 2007 there was not a pediatric rheumatologist in our state. Today there are five specialists providing care for children in Alabama and across the Southeast. This progress has happened with the Arthritis Foundation as the catalyst, committing $1 million to the Arthritis Foundation Endowment in Pediatric Rheumatology. We seek to support this program in additional ways in the future.
- Camp M*A*S*H (Make Arthritis Stop Hurting): This week-long residential youth camp offers children with arthritis the full camping experience. It also gives them the opportunity to develop social skills, increase independence, meet friends with whom they can share experiences and gain knowledge about his/her disease. We provide scholarships for Alabama children to attend Camp M*A*S*H.
- Juvenile Arthritis Family Support: JA Saturdays are provided as a source of information and support for families impacted by juvenile arthritis, and the SAK (Supporting Arthritis Kids) backpack program offers a resource for parents and children at the point of diagnosis. The SAK contains age appropriate tools and information for children with arthritis as well as information and guidance for parents of newly diagnosed children.
- Arthritis Foundation Programs for Better Living: Movement is key as a weapon in the fight to manage arthritis pain and increase mobility. We provide exercise opportunities through warm-water aquatics, land-based aerobics, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Walk with Ease. These courses are currently offered at more than 20 community-based facilities across Alabama, impacting more than 1,000 individuals through weekly courses.
- Arthritis Information and Referral Help-Line: The Foundation maintains a statewide information and referral service via written correspondence and website (www.arthritis.org) as well as local and toll-free telephone lines (800-879-7896). This keystone service provides: answers to arthritis questions, educational literature, physician referral lists and assistance in obtaining other community services.
- Alabama Arthritis Advocates: This network of dedicated volunteers voice opinions and build relationships with our lawmakers to make them aware their constituents care about access to care and medications, funding for programs and research at a state and federal level that will improve the lives of people with arthritis.
- Community Education Forums: We lead arthritis information programs throughout the state featuring health professionals and lay speakers who present accurate information about arthritis, distribute educational literature and provide information on Arthritis Foundation services for Alabama residents.
We are proud to provide local volunteer and staff resources with offices in Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham and Huntsville.