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.

2020 Advocates for Arthritis: Applications Open

The American College of Rheumatology is accepting applications to attend Advocates for Arthritis on September 14–15, 2020. The ACR is committed to creating safe and effective activities for rheumatology advocates. While this event is usually held in Washington, D.C., the 2020 Advocates for Arthritis event will be an all-virtual experience!

This annual event brings together patients and rheumatology professionals to engage in the legislative process and increase awareness of rheumatology on Capitol Hill. Attendees will participate in webinars and breakout sessions on September 14 and advocate directly to their members of Congress via teleconference on September 15.

Each year, the ACR also welcomes patients to participate in Advocates for Arthritis. This event is open to all ACR and ARP members and patients residing in the United States. Applicants must have a strong interest in advocating on behalf of rheumatology related issues. If you know of a patient who has a compelling story or would be a strong advocate to communicate the importance of access to treatments, access to rheumatology, and access to care, please encourage them to apply.

There is no fee to participate. The application period is open until July 31, but the ACR encourages advocates to apply today!

Apply Now

Note: ACR and ARP members who attended the Virtual Advocacy Leadership Conference in May do not need to fill out an application. They can reach out to Dan Redinger, ACR Manager of Advocacy and Political Affairs.

2019 Advocates for Arthritis Recap

On September 9 and 10, 112 physicians, health professionals, and patients converged on our nation’s capital to make our voices heard for rheumatology. The program focused on workforce shortages in rheumatology and limiting the effects of step therapy. In addition, rheumatology fellows attended the Advocacy 101 course on September 8. Read the full 2019 Advocates for Arthritis recap.

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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