Pronounced "I Am", as in "I am an advocate for those affected by primary joint diseases with an autoimmune component."
Two of IAAM's Founders, Tami Brown and Tiffany Westrich, have been accepted into the NIAMS Coalition, a group of professional and voluntary organizations concerned
with the programs of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and
Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The group meets, typically virtually, to discuss issues and share ideas for advocacy and making a difference is the lives of those affected by arthritis diseases.
In addition to the NIAMS Coalition, IAAM has also been inducted into the NCPAG through the American Autoimmune and Related Diseases Association, the leading 501c3 nonprofit in the US who advocates for all autoimmune diseases.
IAAM's CEO Joins Clinical Trial Review Panel
IAAM's CEO, Tiffany Westrich, was selected to be a part of the American Institute of Biological Sciences research panel, alongside doctors and researchers. The panel convened in Virginia, USA, where they spent three days reviewing and analyzing clinical trial submissions. The group assessed proposals then discussed the pros and cons of each application; the overall goal was to rate the potential effectiveness both medically and from a patient perspective. "The experience of reviewing future scientific suggestions that may potentially benefit myself and other Autoimmune Arthritis diseases, then offer my professional opinions in regards to its' need within our community, was simply outstanding," states Ms. Westrich. "I look forward to working more with AIBS and clinical trial review panels!"
IAAM Establishes World AUTOIMMUNE Arthritis Day (WAAD)- A Day to Differentiate Autoimmune Arthritis Diseases through Awareness & Educational Resources
The first World Autoimmune Arthritis Day, running from May 19th 2012 at 6am ET/USA through May 21st at 5am ET/USA, exceeding it's reach of attendees around the globe, with over 4,000 Virtual Convention visitors from the United States, Canada, Guam, the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Japan, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia. This event included 12 On Demand Presentations and 3 Live Presentations, 3 Live Chat Sessions (all held by Patient Experts), a Chat Room (the "Lounge") where others could communicate in real time, Surveys, 7 Live "WAAM's!" (World Autoimmune Arthritis Messages, or scheduled Awareness Posters that can be shared around the world at the same time), and a Resource Center filled with downloadable articles provided by nonprofits, doctors and patient bloggers.
18 nonprofits around the world signed up to support the event, in addition to support from World Arthritis Day, an annual event hosted on October 12th of each year. In addition, WAAD is listed on over two dozen health calendars internationally.
Moving forward World Autoimmune Arthritis Day (WAAD) and World Arthritis Day (WAD) will bridge forces and aim to collaborate in future years as a way to provide awareness for these diseases year around.
Please visit the official WAAD website at www.WorldAutoimmuneArthritisDay.org, join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WorldAutoimmuneArthritisDay and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WAutoimmuneAD !
You can visit World Arthritis Day at www.WorldArthritisDay.org .
IAAM's Media Awareness Hotline Helps Spur Retraction from
Dr. Phil- Obesity is not a precursor to Autoimmune Arthritis
On September 23rd's episode of "Overweight or Underfed", Dr. Phil McGraw made a statement suggesting that 'childhood obesity could lead to adult diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis'. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints, connective and soft tissues, and sometimes organs. It is caused by a faulty immune system, influenced by genetics and/or environmental influences. Osteoarthritis, otherwise known as "arthritis", is degenerative and only affects the weight bearing joints. It is caused by age, wear and tear or injury. This is the type of arthritis that can be caused by weight putting excessive stress on the joints.
Immediately following this broadcast, IAAM put a Call to Action in motion, reaching out to the Autoimmune Arthritis world to reach a minimum of 500 letters requesting a retraction. Volunteers worked diligently for 3 days, emailing, posting on social media sites and asking bloggers to get the word out to the community. The following week, after learning of this grassroots campaign, MyRACentral contacted IAAM to feature in an article that was to be published about this subject on the morning of World Arthritis Day 2011. That morning IAAM was contacted with information that the article would not be published due to a retraction agreement that would be posted later that day on Dr. Phil's official blog. A combination of factors, including IAAM's mission to involve the public, brought a resolve to this matter. Thank you, Dr. Phil...we applaud you!
IAAM Leaders Selected for the American College of Rheumatology's Capitol Hill Fly-in
On September 20-21st, Tiffany Westrich, Founder and CEO, Tami Caskey Brown, Co-Founder, and Katie Emmerson, Volunteer, for the second year in a row, headed to Washington DC as selected Patient Advocates for the American College of Rheumatology. Their participation will help to educate Congress on the value of the subspecialty and the impact arthritis and rheumatic conditions have on ones' quality of life. Each IAAM representative was partnered with a rheumatologist and other medical professionals, spending the day on Capitol Hill where they met with members of Congress from their individual states.
IAAM will continue the contact with the representatives in their own jurisdictions, providing information that can be helpful in understanding the needs of Autoimmune Arthritis Patients. In addition, Katie has started an initiative to feature patient story a month, complete with profile and interview, in order to assist in understanding the effect of these diseases. IAAM will be sponsoring this program under our Awareness umbrella.
IAAM Becomes an Official 501c3 Nonprofit!
What started as a sole declaration of awareness in the living room of a small apartment in Los Angeles, CA, has officially become a nonprofit! In 2009 a "movement" began, with four major goals in mind- to create an organization that grouped together a very specific strand of diseases, all with similar symptoms, onset, and treatment options. The idea was to create a bridge of like diseases, so that awareness may finally come to fruition. Until IAAM, the "Autoimmune Arthritis diseases", as they were coined, were either represented in organizations that catered to the masses or were included under the umbrella of very specific conditions. Now there is a bridge that focuses on those that are most similar, even though they may not necessarily come from the same disease family. The mission is simple- bring this small group of like diseases together in order to promote stronger awareness, address wellness options for a primarily younger onset, become a hub to unite all different nonprofits under one umbrella, and create a platform where the volunteer can become the leader. There is still work to do, but we are on our way!