Hello patient advocates!
Many people aren’t aware that arthritis is the leading cause of disability among United States veterans and the second leading cause of medical discharge from the U.S. Army, following injuries on the battlefield.
In fact, the CDC estimates one in three veterans currently live with arthritis, compared to one in four members of the general population. Many veterans and active military members struggle with debilitating joint pain, disability, and the risks associated with medical procedures as a result of high-impact and sustained use injuries directly related to their service, which can impact their career in service.
Despite the high rates of arthritis in our Armed Forces and the increasing cost of this disease to the Department of Defense (DoD), no money is dedicated from the DoD’s expansive medical research program to study arthritis prevention, treatment and cures in this highly susceptible patient population.
There is a solution to this public health crisis. The Congressionally Dedicated Medical Research Program (CDMRP) – founded in 1992 to fund research for medical conditions that impact U.S. service members, veterans, and the greater public – is operated by the DoD and currently dedicates funding to study more than 20 diseases, many of which are not directly related to military service.
While Congress has previously supported a portion of general DoD research funds being used for arthritis research, it has yet to dedicate reliable funding to arthritis, a disease which impacts the most service members and veterans.
Please join us in urging congressional leaders to address this issue by appropriating $20 million in existing medical research funding to create an arthritis research program within the DoD.
Together, we can help researchers and providers obtain reliable funding that will meet the growing needs of active duty and retired military personnel who develop lifelong needs related to arthritis. Our service members and veterans have answered the call to serve our country. Now it is our time to be there for them.
Take action! Ask Congress to designate $20 million of the existing budget for arthritis research funding using this quick and easy email created for you!
Dr. Blair Solow
Blair Solow, MD, MSCS, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Rheumatic Diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX, and currently serves as Chair of the Government Affairs Committee.