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The mission of the Arthritis Foundation is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases.
The Arthritis Foundation, Greater Southwest Chapter was established in 1948, in Tucson Arizona, to provide the programs of the Arthritis Foundation in Central and Northern Arizona. In 1999, the chapter area expanded to include New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. The chapter supports research, education, programs and services, including Juvenile Arthritis programs, for all people affected by arthritis -- the nation's No. 1 cause of disability.
Our chapter's vision is to fund all top-rated research in pursuit of the cure; to provide exercise classes, self-help courses, educational opportunities, and other arthritis-related programs to all people in our service area; and to improve the quality of life for those living with any form of arthritis, thus improving the quality of life in our communities. In Arizona, 1.7 million people are affected by arthritis, including nearly 6,000 children. In New Mexico, 415,000 individuals are affected, including an estimated 2,000 children.
Life Improvement Series -
The Arthritis Foundation Greater Southwest Chapter is committed to its LIS programs in Tucson, Sierra Vista and Green Valley and has an ongoing partnership for service in each of these cities. Instructors from our partnerships teach Arthritis Foundation's evidenced-based programs which include Self-Help, Aquatic, Exercise and Tai Chi classes.
Live and Learn Arthritis Educational Series -
Facilitate 10 free educational programs in Tucson throughout Southern Arizona during the year. The program objectives and goals are threefold: First to educate people about the importance of early diagnosis and seeing a Rheumatologist, secondly to provide information on arthritis care and management, and lastly to convey the significance of medications and treatment modalities. This will be a two hour educational lecture with a question and answer session. These events are free and open to the public.
Juvenile Arthritis -
Our office holds quarterly family activities for JA Children and their families including one educational seminar for parents. We hold a week long summer camp for all children 7-18 who want to attend. This year's camp is June 13-18 at Camp Watamatchick in Prescott. Camp ILA (Imagine Living without Arthritis) family camp will be September 10-12. This year 87 children attended camp from around the state including 22 from Tucson and Southern Arizona. We anticipate over 150 JA children and their families to attend Camp ILA in August.
The Expo is a Wellness and Health Fair with educational breakout sessions for participants to attend. Last year's Expo was held on March 18 with over 500 people attending. The program objectives and goals are threefold: First to provide information on arthritis care and management, second to promote a healthy lifestyle and how to manage daily tasks and lastly to convey the significance of medications and treatment. This year's Expo is schedule in October 2010.
Information and Referral with up to 50 calls monthly, Awareness raising activities, health fairs and speaker bureaus are also included in our activities. Fundraising events are held throughout the year with the Jingle Bell run/Walk being largest event of the year.
- Susan Sweeney
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