Welcome to the inaugural newsletter for the Center for Enhancing Activity and Participation among Persons with Arthritis (ENACT)! This first issue of our newsletter will introduce our new Center staff and students, describe our recent achievements, and highlight upcoming events.
In only six months, we launched our website, created marketing materials, planned research studies, started several community programs, and hired new staff members. We also prepared our databases, recruitment materials, and training programs.
ENACT’s research program is actively underway. We are ready to start recruiting participants for our employment retention clinical trial, “Efficacy of a Modified Vocational Rehabilitation Intervention.” Additionally, we just finished a pilot study for our physical activity adherence trial, “Can Computer-based Telephone Counseling Improve Long-term Adherence to Strength Training in Elders with Knee Osteoarthritis?” We are eager to get these studies in the field.
This is just the beginning! Much more is under development.
Our first round of community education and exercise training programs were immense successes! We recently hosted our first Arthritis Foundation Consumer Forum, “Arthritis vs. You: Who’s Winning?,” at the People’s Baptist Church in Roxbury. We also offered our first Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program instructor training. These programs will be featured in this newsletter.
ENACT’s pre-doctoral training program has gained significant momentum! Our first fellow, a very promising fellow with an occupational therapy background from Jordan named Rawan AlHeresh, recently started. The applications continue to come in. If you’re interested in working with us, learn about our fellowships and contact us NOW!
Finally, we would like to acknowledge the wonderful work the Missouri Arthritis Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (MARRTC) who housed the NIDILRR Arthritis RRTC for the past two decades. MARRTC’s faculty and staff made numerous scientific and educational advances for the field of arthritis rehabilitation. We hope ENACT follows in their footsteps and makes the lives of people living with arthritis better.
Why are we here?
Arthritis and rheumatoid conditions can have huge, draining impacts on individuals and on our nation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that nearly 50 million people, about 20 percent of the adult population, have self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Of these diagnosed individuals, almost half of them experience difficulty with daily physical activity such as walking three blocks, climbing stairs, stooping, or grasping objects. Approximately 1/3 of people with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, and Scleroderma cease working within ten years of diagnosis.
These statistics are staggering.
In addition to being both chronic and painful, arthritis also inhibits activities and limits participation. ENACT’s goal is to get these activities back. We hope ENACT’s programs will make a positive impact with and bring activity back to people’s lives.
Please keep in touch with us as we continue to develop our Center. We welcome your feedback as we create a Center that truly improves the lives of people with arthritis.
Julie Keysor and the ENACT Team