Advocates for Arthritis

ACR advocates for arthritis

Advocates for Arthritis is an annual event that brings together rheumatology professionals and patients to advocate on behalf of the rheumatology community. During the event, attendees will hear from top representatives from key legislative and regulatory agencies and meet with their members of Congress to discuss current issues affecting the rheumatology community. Participating in Advocates for Arthritis is a great way for ACR and ARP members to engage in the legislative process and increase awareness of rheumatology on Capitol Hill.

On September 9 - 10, 2019 ACR and ARP physicians, health professionals, and patients will converge on our nation’s capital to make our voices heard for rheumatology. The program will include advocacy training, prominent guest speakers, and visits with senators and representatives in Congress. RheumPAC, Government Affairs, Board members, and fellows-in-training attending Advocacy 101 will arrive in D.C. early to meet on September 8. Please check back to see the recap.

2018 Advocates for Arthritis Recap

On September 24 - 25, nearly 100 rheumatologists, representatives of the broader interprofessional team, and patients converged on our nation’s capital to make our voices heard for rheumatology.

Issues on the agenda included threats to cut Medicare evaluation and management (E&M) services; increasing access to dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA); support of the Restoring the Patient’s Voice Act (H.R. 2077), to eliminate the practice of step therapy; and asking for dedicated, line-item research funding for arthritis in the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP).

Read the full 2018 Advocates for Arthritis recap

Get Involved Throughout the Year

If you are interested in joining us in DC, please check back on this page when the application period is open. In the meantime, here are a few suggestions for how to get involved throughout the year.

Help Strengthen the ACR’s Voice in Washington, D.C.

  • Write, call, or email your legislators. As a constituent, your opinions matter to members of Congress who are elected to represent you. Speak up and let them know how you feel about important issues facing rheumatology.
  • Schedule a meeting with your members of Congress in Washington, D.C. Meeting face-to-face with your legislators and their staff provides the opportunity to educate them on the issues and helps you build and strengthen relationships.
  • Be sure to involve your patients and staff; they are constituents too. Encourage them to take advantage of the tools and resources available through the ACR’s Legislative Action Center and to write, call, or email their legislators.

Set up a Local Meeting with your Elected Officials

  • Invite your legislators to your office, or meet with them in their district office. This is a great opportunity to educate members of Congress on the importance of the rheumatology subspecialty and the effect that arthritis and rheumatic diseases have on quality of life.
  • Volunteer for a campaign. Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the political process. Support the candidate who will best represent the rheumatology community.

We must stay united to affect change. Contact your elected officials and make your voice heard. To find your legislators’ contact information or for more information on ACR advocacy activities, contact the ACR government affairs staff at or visit the Advocacy page.

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