JointHealth™ express   December 19, 2019

From Arthritis Consumer Experts (“ACE”), greetings of the season. It’s hard to believe this is the 20th year in a row I’ve had the privilege of saying that to you, our members, subscribers, followers, colleagues and friends. Where did the time go?

Over the past 20 years, our team of dedicated staff, expert scientific, clinical and informed consumers/patients have worked every day, all day, to serve our national community of 50,000 and the public. Our focus this past year has been laser sharp: We’ve brought the latest in research into our education and information programs to people who need it, when they need it. Our advocacy work has been integral to developing and implementing new arthritis health policy, making the best treatments more affordable and accessible. We’ve partnered with the research community to ensure they look for answers to questions that are most important to people like us – over 6 million Canadians living with arthritis. To learn more about all that we’ve accomplished, please take a few minutes to read this month’s issue of JointHealth™ insight, and overview of some of our many activities and accomplishments in 2019.

As ACE enters 2020, there is a lot to be excited about and look forward to. We will continue to bring a credible, research-based arthritis patient community voice to the forefront in provincial, territorial and federal government consultations on arthritis treatments and models of care. We are thrilled part of this work will be done in partnership with the Arthritis Research Canada’s Arthritis Patient Advisory Board, the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance and the Canadian Spondylitis Association. Working together, this “consumer-patient coalition” will hold Models of Care Summits with provincial governments to continue the valuable work of the Arthritis Alliance of Canada, which held its last meeting in November. On an international level ACE will continue to lead the Global RA (rheumatoid arthritis) Network, an alliance of 20 patient organizations from around the world. Together, we will address the world-wide issue of significant lags in time to RA diagnosis in a campaign aimed at educating and informing policy development to address this gap in care causing delayed treatment leading to permanent damage and disability.

And as we do each and every year, ACE will bring you the latest research information and education on all forms of arthritis through our JointHealth™ family of programs and through our platform of 11 social media channels.

That’s just a hint of what’s planned for the next 12 months to help our fellow patients with arthritis across Canada. But before that, we are going to take the holiday season with our friends and families to reflect on how grateful we are to have had the support and collegiality of so many over the past 20 years. It really does take a village to make change. We can’t wait to get back at it in January.

Wishing you everything shiny and bright in health and life,

Cheryl L. Koehn
Founder & President, Arthritis Consumer Experts
Person with rheumatoid arthritis