On the heels of National Arthritis month in the U.S., this segment of The Doctors Roundtable focuses on osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These two illnesses, out of the over 100 musculoskeletal disorders, affect millions of Americans and their ability to maintain high quality physical movement throughout their lives. In the U.S., arthritis is the leading cause of disability and it is not just a disease caused by aging. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are chronic conditions with no clearly known causes. These diseases are progressive and degenerative , leading to the breakdown of cartilage, bones, muscles and membranes surrounding the joints. The effects of this breakdown include: inflammation, pain, fatigue, joint stiffness and at times joint deformity and disability. Imagine standing, sitting, lying down or coughing and all causing pain. Many patients report there is never a day they can forget they have arthritis.
The Arthritis Foundation is the nation’s largest private funder of research, public health programs and advocacy on behalf of the 50 million Americans living with this painful disease. With the aging of Baby Boomers, it has been estimated that by 2030, 67 million Americans will have some form of arthritis. Here, the Arthritis Foundation will discuss an overview of these two diseases and how they are working to fund research, change policies and educate to help arthritis patients today and tomorrow.
John H. Klippel, M.D.
John H. Klippel, M.D. is president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, the largest voluntary health organization serving the 50 million Americans living with the nation’s number one cause of disability. Dr. Klippel has held the position since October 2003.
Prior to joining the Arthritis Foundation, Dr. Klippel served as Clinical Director of the National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). During his professional career at the National Institutes of Health, he authored or co-authored 190 peer-reviewed publications and textbook chapters related to arthritis. He has served as editor of the Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases and the textbook Rheumatology.
Roberta K. Byrum, CPA, is the chief operating officer of the Arthritis Foundation – the nation’s largest national, nonprofit health agency working on behalf of the 50 million Americans living with arthritis.
As COO, Ms. Byrum is accountable for all aspects of the daily operations of the Arthritis Foundation National Office, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to her operations leadership of the national office, Ms. Byrum works closely with the Foundation’s regional CEOs to ensure strategic alignment of nationwide operating activities.