Wow what a day of travel and getting started!  My first session was with Christopher Kush from Soapbox Consulting where we were challenged to introduce ourselves to other advocates in the session based on 5 questions around advocacy. It was interesting to hear how others approached the questions. I was excited to see this year there was a Teen Meet and Greet for high school students from around the country with arthritis, their session focused on what to expect while in DC and how to stay connected after leaving and heading home. I love that they are being encouraged to support one another to continue the advocacy work.

Soapbox provided tips for meeting success when on the hill and a legislative glossary (students I am going to ask permission to share this with you via the class pages on the website).

One thing I liked that was included in the handbook this year was the Advocacy priorities listing the bills we are focusing on for this summit -- over the next couple of days I will share the bills up for discussion starting with support research for a cure. One of the things we will be asking for is to include "post traumatic osteoarthritis" and "rheumatoid arthritis" research at the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense (DoD).
  • Supporting DoD research will help reduce the arthritis burden on our Nation's war fighters, veterans and civilians.
  • Post-traumatic osteoarthritis caused by battlefield injuries is now the primary source of disability for warriors.
  • Veterans have twice the rate of osteoarthritis (OA) as their civilian counterparts.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) strikes at the peak of one's career (mid-late thirties/forties) and often leads to early retirement and disability.
  • "Rheumatoid Arthritis" and " Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis" were both included in the Senate Appropriations FY2014 CDMRP/PRP bill.
  1. Question for students in PSY328, PSY 211, & SED 345 -- If you could ask our Maine legislators one question relating to health care what would it be (e-mail response to dr. Lori)
Now off to bed an early day tomorrow and visits to the senate.