JointHealth™ express   December 15, 2009

Right across Canada, Canadians are talking about arthritis. Over October and November, almost sixty Ambassador Street Teams hit the downtown cores of Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, and Halifax as part of a National Arthritis Awareness Program. The program, Arthritis is Cured! (if you want it), is a partnership effort between Arthritis Consumer Experts and The Arthritis Society to start the conversation about arthritis. Our Ambassador Street Teams handed out tens of thousands of arthritis information brochures to professionals, students, and members of the general public – and not a brochure was wasted!

Media coverage during the public launch was terrific, despite the fact that H1N1 dominated the news at the time, segments about the program aired on CTV, CBC, Breakfast Television, Shaw TV, News 680, and a story appeared in print in Parent’s Canada. Other print stories for monthly magazines are in progress.

The program was very well received by the public, with the help of our provocative slogan and eye-catching materials. Office buildings in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver supported the program with elevator TV monitor ads and setting up the Arthritis is cured! (if you want it) program poster in their lobbies. In Halifax, we had a 33 foot banner attached to the side of Scotia Square Mall. In Vancouver we “Burma Shaved”, that is, we displayed our signs and waved to passers by, catching their attention as they drove by on the Burrard Street Bridge and the Lion’s Gate Bridge.

The program website was launched on October 20 in both official languages. The site houses information on the program, basic facts about arthritis, and information for the media. As well, the website serves as a jumping off point to sites operated by arthritis community organizations. We encourage you to visit the site and share it with your friends and family. You can visit online at

We produced a short video in English and French to help Canadians understand arthritis better and to identify some of the issues around it. The video is available for download from the program’s website, YouTube, and the program’s Facebook fan page, so that Canadians may share it with friends, family, and colleagues.

The program’s Facebook fan page is growing at a rapid pace, with already more than 190 fans supporting Arthritis is cured! (if you want it). The video has been viewed, in French and English, by more than 1,000 Canadians. One fan’s response to watching the video was “WOW. This is an amazing video, and I can't wait to share it with everyone I know!” If you haven’t seen it yet, please watch the video.

The Arthritis is cured! (if you want it) program has had a receptive audience. Here are a few of the comments we received:

Street Team Feedback:
“I think this campaign is excellent! It provides a succinct message backed up with data around research and populations stats! Wonderful. I hope it shakes some trees!!”

“My mom and I just returned from handing out brochures. What a great experience! We had some good opportunities to debunk arthritis myths and even explained the statistics to some students!”

Facebook fan page feedback:
“Thank-God there is finally a campaign for more awareness of all the Types of Arthritis and to debunk the many myths out there, that it is an 'older' person’s disease. I was diagnosed when I was 38 but I know that I had symptoms way before then, that were constantly missed and I had to endure years of misdiagnosis. Family Doctors need to be more aware of the symptoms so that the earlier they give treatment the better the prognosis! Public Education and Awareness is KEY for this Disease to be taken seriously...Thanks for this initiative!”

Thanks to you and others like you interested in changing arthritis, the Arthritis is cured! (if you want it) National Arthritis Awareness Program is off to a great start and we plan to use this momentum to go into the next phase of our program; reaching out to health care professionals early next year. For more news about the program, keep reading JointHealth™ express and please visit the Arthritis is cured! (if you want it) website:

Many of you have asked how to get involved in the Arthritis is cured! (if you want it) program. Here are some simple steps you, your friends, family, and colleagues can take to make a difference and keep the momentum from the launch going:
  • Distribute materials in your community and workplace and spread the word. You can contact us to get brochures, or download these materials from the Resource Kit section of our website for you to print in either colour or black and white.
  • Share the video available on with your family, friends and colleagues, and let them know about the severe impact of arthritis.
  • Become a Fan of our Facebook fan page. Tell your network about the significance of finding a cure for arthritis and encourage others to become a Fan.
  • Send an email from the website to tell someone about the Arthritis is cured! (if you want it) program and get the message out about the need for all Canadians to help find a cure for this devastating disease.
  • Put up Arthritis is cured! (if you want it) posters in your workplace and in other locations throughout your community. You can download posters in the Resource Kit section of our website in colour or black and white.
  • Help us find a cure by donating to arthritis research and encouraging others to do so as well.
  • Email or write to us to learn more or to let us know how you would like to help:
393 University Avenue, Suite 1700
Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1E6

We welcome your questions and your feedback.

Thank you for taking the time to read this JointHealth™ express and for your participation in this arthritis awareness raising program!

Arthritis Consumer Experts