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Arthritis Australia E-Newsletter June 2013

As we approach the end of another financial year, it has been yet another productive and busy six months for Arthritis Australia.

You can read about some of the activities undertaken in this e-newsletter.


ADVOCACY
Arthritis and disability
Reduce obesity and joint injuries to cut the rise in joint replacements – Media Release 

RESEARCH
Arthritis Australia National Research Program 2014
Overseas Awards 2014 
Zimmer Orthopaedic Fellowship Program
Clinical Trials

HIGHLIGHTS 
A new website for people with joint pain or Osteoarthritis
Arthritis Australia and Packaging Accessibility -   Media coverage and work with NSW Health
Ita Buttrose - 2013 Australian of the Year 

RESOURCES
Information sheets and booklets
Women's Insights into Rheumatoid Arthritis – FREE BOOK 

SUPPORTERS
RESOURCE LINKS
YOUR FEEDBACK 

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 ADVOCACY

 

Arthritis and disability  

Did you know that arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in Australia? One in six people with a disability has arthritis as their main disabling condition. This more than any other condition except back pain.

Arthritis is often referred to as a ‘hidden disability’.  If you're struggling with arthritis you may not have a visible disability but will understand those hidden symptoms such as constant pain, joint restriction, chronic fatigue and limitations in function and mobility.  Anecdotal evidence also suggests that people with arthritis-related disability have difficulty accessing support services because they fall through the gaps between the health, aged care and disability systems.

To better understand arthritis-related disability and the problems people face, Arthritis Australia has commissioned research into the impact of living with disability, including the personal, social and economic impact.  If you would like to participate in this research or would like to share your experience of living with arthritis-related disability, or trying to access support services, please contact Franca Marine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The findings of this research will help inform our advocacy in relation to the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, now known as DisabiltyCare, which begins in some areas from 1 July 2013.  For more information on DisabilityCare visit www.ndis.gov.au

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Reduce obesity and joint injuries to cut the rise in joint replacements – Media Release 

 Escalating rates of joint replacements could be slashed by tackling obesity and preventing sports injuries, according to Arthritis Australia and leading osteoarthritis experts.

“We know that half of all knee replacements for osteoarthritis could be prevented by eliminating obesity and one in five by preventing knee injuries,” said Ainslie Cahill, CEO of Arthritis Australia, in response to new data on osteoarthritis released by the AIHW.

For a complete copy of the media release click Australian-first solution for osteoarthritis sufferers

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RESEARCH

 

Arthritis Australia National Research Program 2014

Along with education and assistance, Arthritis Australia spearheads the effort to further our knowledge of arthritis and to search for cures. Much of our work is directed toward raising funds to provide grants, fellowships and scholarships.

Applications for the 2014 Arthritis Australia National Research Program have opened and are available on our website. The closing date is 5 July 2013.

If you would like more information on the process or you have any other questions about our grants program please visit 2014 Arthritis Australia National Research Program.

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Overseas Awards 2014

The Leanne Stafford Memorial Award – Closing date for applications now extended to 5 July 

The Leanne Stafford Award is to support a young Australian rheumatologist or Australian graduate in the pursuit of a year of research or clinical experience in an interstate or overseas institute.

To be eligible the candidates must be a rheumatologist who has completed their advanced training within the preceding five years.

To download an application form for the Leanne Stafford Memorial Award visit Overseas Awards Leanne Stafford 2014/15.

The Ken Muirden Overseas Training Fellowship

The Ken Muirden Overseas Training Fellowship is designed to give a rheumatologist who is about to or has completed advanced training in Rheumatology within the last two years an opportunity to undertake further clinical or research training overseas in an approved institution in any country.

To download an application form for the Ken Muirden Overseas Training Fellowship visit Overseas Awards Ken Muirden 2014/15.

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Zimmer Orthopaedic Fellowship Program

Australian Orthopaedic Association accredited institutions and supervisors are invited to apply for funding of an Arthritis Australia/Zimmer Orthopaedic Fellowship in the next round of funding for 2013. The closing date for these applications is 30 August 2013.

For more information including eligibility and criteria visit Arthritis Australia/Zimmer Orthopaedic Fellowships.

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Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are helping to develop new interventions and tests that may improve your health care, alleviate the symptoms of your disease or condition or improve the health care of others which will help people live longer and have less pain or disability.

For information about Australian Clinical Trials and links to more information on how you can participate, visit the Australian Clinical Trials website: www.australianclinicaltrials.gov.au
 

Currently Arthritis Australia has various clinical trials featured on our website. If you, your family or friends are interested in taking part, read more about these trials clinical trials

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HIGHLIGHTS 

 

A new website for people with joint pain or Osteoarthritis

In March, Arthritis Australia launched www.MyJointPain.org.au - a world-first osteoarthritis specific website. It provides the latest information on managing osteoarthritis (OA) and has software features that help people manage the disease and joint pain. The website also screens people for OA and guides those at risk to their GP for diagnosis.

In the weeks since it was launched, the site has attracted nearly 13,000 visitors.

There is considerable evidence to show that those who actively manage their disease experience less pain, greater mobility and a better quality of life. If you have – or think you have – OA do visit www.MyJointPain.org.au to learn more about the right treatment options for you, or ring our Arthritis Helpline on 1800 0 11 041 to learn about the services in your state/territory.

Researchers from the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne are evaluating the impact of the new website on the quality of care that people with OA receive.

We are grateful to Bupa Health Foundation for being our website development partner, and to AstraZeneca and Pfizer for their additional financial support. 

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Arthritis Australia and Packaging Accessibility -   Media coverage and work with NSW Health

 There has been a buzz in the media recently about the topic of packaging accessibility – a term used to describe easy-to-open and easy-to-use packaging. Starting in December, Readers Digest in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Asia ran a cover story about accessibility and the injuries caused by packaging. The article was supported by a Readers Digest survey which revealed that packaging is a major cause of frustration and injury for the entire population, not just those living with arthritis. Arthritis Australia was acknowledged as a leading advocate for driving change with government and industry.

In February Choice Magazine published an article, ‘Pack Attack’ with a similar theme and, later A Current Affair televised Arthritis Australia’s perspective on the packaging accessibility issue.

Since our last e-Newsletter, the Initial Scientific Review which estimates what percentage of the population can safely open packaging has now become mandatory for many of NSW Health’s food suppliers.

We’re working with NSW Health and NSW Department of Finance & Services to help ensure that all food packaging in NSW hospitals is easy to open and easy to use. From now and into the future, the needs of people living with arthritis, and Arthritis Australia’s design reports, will become central to the purchasing of packaged food for the NSW government-funded hospitals, aged care facilities and prisons.

Arthritis Australia has also developed comprehensive new Food Packaging Guidelines for industry and government to help companies design easy to open packaging. The guidelines give companies a better understanding of the needs of consumers and, with time, should translate to easier to open beverage bottles, cereals or packaged meals for hospitals, hotels, airlines etc.

Enquiries about our guidelines are beginning to filter in from Europe, Africa and South America and we look forward to a future of packaging accessibility being the norm globally!

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Ita Buttrose - 2013 Australian of the Year 

 The Arthritis Australia team were thrilled to learn that Ita Buttrose AO OBE was appointed Australian of the Year 2013.

Ita has a long-standing association with Arthritis Australia, firstly as media spokesperson, then president (2003-2006) and, currently, Emeritus Director.

While Ita has had a stellar career in media, this award is in recognition of her work in championing health and social issues.

Arthritis Australia is honoured to be the beneficiary of Ita’s commitment to arthritis and other chronic, preventable health conditions. 

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RESOURCES

 

Information sheets and booklets

With our review process currently underway, you will be pleased to know that we will be adding to our multicultural information sheets in the coming months. Keep an eye out for these updated and new sheets on our website.

To find a complete list of arthritis information sheets including multicultural information sheets and disease specific information booklets visit our website www.arthritisaustralia.com.au

If you would like hard copies of any of these resources, please contact your local Arthritis office on 1800 011 041. 

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 Women's Insights into Rheumatoid Arthritis – FREE BOOK  

The Women's Insights into Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) publication continues to be in demand, featuring  stories of 12 inspiring Australian women with rheumatoid arthritis - as shared with their local female Federal MP and rheumatologist.

If you know someone who has been affected by RA and would like a free copy of this publication, send your contact details, including postal address to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please allow up to 21 days for processing and delivery.

Please note: free booklets only available in Australia

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SUPPORTERS

We are extremely thankful for our supporters who have allowed us to continue our work in raising awareness, delivering education and support services, providing annual research grants and developing advocacy programs. Many have contributed expertise, time, funding, goods and services.

Our supporters   

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RESOURCE LINKS

Arthritis Australia lists selected consumer groups and government organisations in the ‘Resource links’ section of our website. We perform due diligence on any organisation that does appear on our website to ensure that it meets all of our required standards.

If you are looking for health or medical information or any information relevant to arthritis, click on the Resources links section for details. 

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YOUR FEEDBACK

We welcome your feedback about any of the information provided. Please forward any comments to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your privacy is of course protected by Arthritis Australia. Any personal details submitted will not be passed onto third parties under any circumstances.

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