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.

Advocates for Arthritis 2021 Application Is Open

The American College of Rheumatology is accepting applications to attend Advocates for Arthritis on September 27 – 28, 2021. Usually held in Washington, D.C., this year’s event will be virtual. Attendees will participate in webinars and breakout sessions on September 27 and then advocate directly to their members of Congress by video conference on September 28.

The ACR also welcomes patients to participate in Advocates for Arthritis. If you know of a patient who has a compelling story, or would like to be a strong advocate to communicate the importance of access to treatments, access to rheumatology, and access to care, please encourage them to apply.

The ACR will begin to notify applicants of their status at the end of July, so don’t wait. Apply today!

Apply to Attend Advocates for Arthritis

2020 Advocates for Arthritis Recap

On September 15, more than 90 rheumatologists and rheumatology professionals and 30 patients met virtually with 149 legislators to advocate for telehealth and other ways to ensure access to care through the pandemic and beyond during the ACR’s annual Advocates for Arthritis event.

The ACR’s advocacy for telehealth to preserve and expand patient access to care supported a major point of discussion, as well as implementing policies to address the growing workforce shortages among rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals.

Advocates had meaningful virtual discussions on providing better access to care and to build relationships with their members of Congress. Attendees were able to see that effective advocacy is not limited to being in Washington, D.C., and found that legislators and their staff are readily available to hear from their constituents and interactions about issues important to rheumatology can occur year-round.

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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