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United States Bone and Joint Decade Patients and Advocates Storm Capitol Hill to Advance Musculoskeletal Awareness and Advocacy

Thursday, October 22, 2009 General News J E 4
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Nearly 80 Patients and Advocates Participate in More than 175 Congressional Visits

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Bone and Joint Decade (USBJD) today announces that as part of its 2009 Advocacy Day nearly 80 musculoskeletal patients and patient advocates from across the nation are participating in more than 175 Congressional visits.  Patients and their advocates -- physicians, family members and USBJD participating partners -- are raising awareness of the huge burden that musculoskeletal conditions plays on the U.S. These conditions are some of the most costly, common, and disabling conditions to date.

Beyond the Congressional visits, the 2009 Advocacy Day includes two panels.  The "Health Care: Opportunities and Challenges" panel features Former Assistant Surgeon General Susan Blumenthal, MD, who is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.  This panel is held in the Capitol Visitors Center, HVC 215, at 10:00 a.m.  

The second panel, "Experts in Arthritis", is moderated by Amye Leong, president and CEO, Healthy Motivation and features a panel of experts: Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), David Borenstein, MD, rheumatologist, and John Klippel, MD, president and CEO, Arthritis Foundation.  This panel is held in the Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room 2168, at 1:30 p.m.

Congressmen Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Charlie Melancon (D-La.) are making remarks at a welcome breakfast held in the Capitol Visitors Center, HVC 215, at 8:00 a.m.  Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) are making remarks at the Advocacy Day luncheon held in Russell Senate Office Building, Russell Caucus 325, at 12:00 p.m.

Advocacy Day is part of the 2009 Bone and Joint Global Network Conference held in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 21–Saturday, October 24.  The conference, hosted by the USBJD, brings together the official Bone and Joint Decade National Action Network (NAN) representatives from 56 countries, members of the administration, government policymakers, health care providers, patients, and patient advocates. The Global Network Conference is an education and strategic planning meeting, which will highlight the significant burden of disease posed by musculoskeletal conditions and why raising awareness and engaging in advocacy are important means of advancing prevention and treatment.

The Bone and Joint Decade is an international collaborative movement sanctioned by the United Nations and World Health Organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for people with musculoskeletal conditions and to advance the understanding, prevention and treatment of these conditions.  Musculoskeletal conditions include back pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, traumatic injuries, and childhood conditions. Currently, 63 national governments and more than 750 patient advocacy and health professional organizations endorse the efforts of the BJD, which have formed National Action Networks (NAN) like the USBJD.  The Decade, which received a Presidential Proclamation, is represented in the United States by the USBJD, is a network of more than 100 healthcare professional, patient and public organizations, and has been endorsed by all 50 states, and 125 medical schools.  For more information, please visit http://www.usbjd.org/.

SOURCE United States Bone and Joint Decade (USBJD)

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