Interview with Mari T. Brick
Mari Brick is a public health consultant for NACDD with a focus on Arthritis Technical Assistance and Support and over 13+ years of experience in public health. She is the NACDD Public Health Consultant for Arthritis and the Chair of the OAAA’s Policy & Advocacy Working Group.
1. What do you think is the most important issue today in osteoarthritis?
Increasing awareness and debunking the myths of arthritis -like everyone gets it as they age, it’s just an inconvenience, there are worse diseases to address, etc… This will go a long way to elevate OA to the level of disability, work and activity limitations that it deserves.
2. How is your organization working to address this issue or other issues related to OA?
The NACDD has supported the Arthritis Council since 2001. The council is for state health departments to learn about what each is doing in the area of arthritis and public health. The 12 CDC-funded state arthritis programs are part of the council’s monthly calls, which are open to all states and territories. NACDD also has specific arthritis projects with focused activities around working with employers to embed arthritis into employee health and wellness benefits and another that is focused on physical therapists and the development of evidence-based program marketing materials for PTs and their patients.
3. What is a headline you’d like to see about osteoarthritis in five years?
Every state and US territory health department has a funded arthritis program that serves people with arthritis in that state.
4. What is one interesting fact you’d like people to know about your organization?
NACDD general members are state health department employees who manage or staff chronic disease prevention and control programs. Associate/affiliate members are those professionals interested in public health/chronic disease but not employed at state or territorial health departments. Associate members include local health department staff, retired health professionals, college and university faculty, private sector health professionals, and students. Organizational members are persons working for non-profit, for profit, municipal, district, or tribal entities that have programs in alignment with NACDD projects. We encourage people and organizations who aren’t members to consider becoming a part of the NACDD family, which would provide the opportunity to participate in the services and events of the Association like monthly general member informational webinars, access to regional, state and national meetings concerning chronic disease and to professional development workshops, seminars, training and academies.
5. What is your interest in the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance?
We are interested in being a part of a coalition that will elevate awareness of arthritis among the health professionals, policy makers and others.