Frequently asked questions about Arthritis Consumer Experts

Q: What is JointHealth™?
A: JointHealth™ is a web site dedicated to providing the latest research-based information to people living with arthritis, their family members and friends and health policy decision-makers.

The website is owned and operated by Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE). Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) is a national organization that provides science-based information, education and support programs in both official languages to people with arthritis. ACE serves consumers living with all forms of arthritis by helping them take control of their disease and improve their quality of life.

Q: What is ACE?
A: ACE is the acronym for Arthritis Consumer Experts, a registered company in British Columbia, Canada. It is led by national arthritis advocate and person with rheumatoid arthritis, Cheryl Koehn.

Q: What does ACE do?
A: ACE educates, trains, mentors and leads people with arthritis wanting to take an active role in arthritis decision-making processes in Canada. Our objectives include:
  • To educate people with arthritis, helping to empower them to take control of their disease and improve their quality of life.
  • To provide people with arthritis with evidence-based information in easy-to-understand language and training to participate in the peer review process, so they can participate in arthritis research decision-making.
  • To work in coalition with people with arthritis and other health care consumers and organizations to effect reform of Canada's health care policies.
  • To work with individual arthritis advocates, arthritis advocacy groups and other health care organizations to articulate their views to Health Canada and provincial Ministries of Health with respect to emerging health care policy, such as the Common Drug Review (CDR) policy and other regulatory policies.

Q: What are Cheryl Koehn's qualifications?
A: Cheryl Koehn was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1990 and has put both her business and arthritis experience to work to for people with arthritis. Koehn shares her knowledge, leadership and motivation with arthritis consumers, arthritis organizations and governments across North America. Her credentials directly related to arthritis education and advocacy include:
  • Former director and vice president of The Arthritis Society, BC and Yukon Division
  • Served on management and research and development committees of the federally funded Network of Centres of Excellence Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN)
  • Co-author of Rheumatoid Arthritis: PLAN TO WIN (Oxford University Press USA, January 2002)
  • Manages a successful marketing and communications consulting business.
  • She currently serves on the following committees:
    • Co-Chair, Canadian Arthritis Network Consumer Advisory Council (founding member)
    • Consumer Representative, Executive Committee, Alliance for the Canadian Arthritis Program
    • Member, Health Canada Expert Advisory Panel on Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Co-Founder and Member Organization, Best Medicines Coalition

Q: What makes ACE unique from arthritis not-for-profit organizations in Canada?
A: ACE is a privately held company, not a registered charity, led by a person with arthritis. Its work supports and enhances that of non-profit organizations:
  • ACE brings together arthritis consumers with a wide range of arthritis and professional experience, age, culture, language and geographic region.
  • ACE initiatives and strategies are developed and led by people with arthritis.
  • ACE focuses specifically on:
    • the provision of arthritis education
    • government consultation
    • arthritis consumer skills training

Q: From whom does ACE receive funding?
A: ACE receives unrestricted grants and honoraria from not-for-profit and for-profit organizations, and consulting fees for ACE created and led educational activities.

Q: Does ACE promote or "brand" any company or product?
A: No. ACE prohibits the "branding" or promotion of any product or company in its work. Funding sources are acknowledged at the beginning of each presentation and the sources of all ACE materials or documents presented are identified. Please visit our Guiding Principles for further information.

Q: Why does ACE accept unrestricted grants from for-profit organizations?
A: ACE maintains that health care organizations, especially those which stand to gain from the ill health of others, have a moral responsibility to actively participate in endeavours seeking to improve health care delivery. To completely insulate its activities and policies from those of the organizations financially supporting our work, ACE abides by the following guiding principles:
  • ACE accepts only unrestricted grants and consulting fees for educational activities.
  • ACE employees do not own shares in any company providing financial support.
  • No ACE employee has equity interest or personal in-kind support of any kind from any health-related organization. ACE discloses all funding sources in all its activities.
  • The sources of all ACE materials or documents presented are identified.
  • ACE develops positions on health policy, products or services in collaboration with arthritis consumers, the academic community, health care providers and government free from concern or constraint of other organizations.
  • ACE employees do not engage in social or personal activities with funding organizations.
ACE openly acknowledges all sources of support it receives in all of its activities.

Q: From whom does ACE receive unrestricted funding and honoraria?
A: for a list of these organizations from which ACE has received unrestricted grants-in-aid and honoraria in the past twelve months, please click here.