In 2011, the Arthritis Foundation (AF) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) mobilized a multitude of stakeholders who were concerned about arthritis, to form the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA). In 2014, management of OAAA activities were transferred from the Arthritis Foundation to the Thurston Arthritis Research Center (TARC) at the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine. The coalition, over 70 member organizations strong, works collectively to advance the recommendations outlined in The National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis (2010).

Vision, Mission and Goals

Leigh Callahan
Leigh Callahan, PhD, Director of the OAAA

The OAAA envisions a nation in which osteoarthritis is more effectively prevented and managed in order to improve the quality of life for Americans of all ages. The Alliance is committed to elevating OA as a national health priority and promoting effective policy solutions that aim to address the individual and national toll of OA.

The primary goals of the OAAA are to:

  1. Invoke policymakers at all levels in all sectors (e.g., lawmakers, businesses, school officials, community leaders) to make OA a public health priority as reflected in policy decisions and funding allocations;

  2. Foster communities to build capacity to prevent or manage OA by disseminating information and resources about effective community interventions (e.g., evidence based interventions, environmental and policy changes) and supporting implementation of these interventions;

  3. Mobilize health systems and health care professionals to proactively identify and comprehensively address OA in their clinical care (e.g., decision prompts, pain management, physical activity as a vital sign, referral to community based programs);

  4. Engage individuals with osteoarthritis, their family/friends, and caregivers with ways to minimize disease progression and optimize quality of life through effective clinical and self-management strategies (e.g., physical activity, weight management, and self-management education);

  5. Prevent the onset of OA through effective injury prevention and weight management strategies.

OAAA Resources

  • Website. The website has resources for physical activity, weight management, injury prevention, our Lunch & Learn schedule, the latest news and announcements, and more.

  • Implementation Guide. This online guide encourages leaders within six public sectors to promote and improve access to physical activity for adults with arthritis.

  • Lunch & Learns. A monthly Lunch & Learn series invites content experts to give a free 30-min webinar presentation to OAAA members and the public. Webinars are recorded and posted to the website for future reference.

  • Newsletters. The OAAA generates an electronic newsletter for members and others who have an interest in OA, regarding relevant events, current OA news, and Alliance updates.

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