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Quarterly Newsletter:

July – September 2018

Highlights and updates of OA Action Alliance activities from this past quarter.

Alliance Highlights

Blog Feature with NCOA! 

In July, Dr. Mary Altpeter, OAAA Program Manager for Walk With Ease (WWE) published a blog article entitled “How Walking Can Ease Arthritis Symptoms” on the National Council on Aging website. This article talks about the benefits of the WWE program and how to teach people to be physically active. Check out the blog post here.

OAAA Lunch and Learn Webinars

Upper Extremity OA Watch the webinar recording

Secondary OA Prevention Watch the webinar recording

The effect of diet and exercise on self-efficacy in adults with knee OA: Findings from the IDEA trial –  Watch the webinar recording


In May, we launched our StandUp2OA campaign on preventing the onset and progression of osteoarthritis launched! Now we’re rolling out a six-month-long email series with FREE tips for OA prevention and how you can help spread the message of prevention! Click here to sign up for the email series and please share with your networks:

Have you been to our website recently? Check out our NEW & REVAMPED website and let us know what you think!

In this Issue

Alliance Highlights
Note from the Director and Chair
Take Action Now!

Monthly Member Spotlights

July: American Society for Nutrition (ASN)

August: Joint Academy

September: National Alliance for Hispanic Health

“OAAA Spotted”

OAAA Director, Dr. Leigh Callahan, presented at CDC in September. She gave an overview and updates of the Alliance.

OAAA Program Manager, Kirsten Ambrose, attended the Obesity Action Coalition’s Your Weight Matters National Convention in July.

Celebrated Parks and Recreation Month with NRPA

In July, we celebrated A Lifetime of Discovery with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) for Park and Recreation Month! NRPA challenged everyone to redefine how you think about your local parks and rec and explore the many “undiscovered” offerings. We look forward to celebrating next July!

A Note from the Director

We’re excited to begin the third-year of our cooperative agreement with the CDC! As an Alliance, we are continuing to develop new partnerships, educational resources, and communication channels. The Mini-Grant program currently has 13 mini-grantees implementing the Walk With Ease (WWE) program in their communities. This upcoming year, we are focusing on sustainability strategies. We are making a few changes to the program to establish regional hubs, a model that has the capacity to build a viable infrastructure of program delivery to implement WWE broadly in their local areas. We plan to evaluate the impact of this model and looking forward to sharing the outcomes.  We ended this quarter with our Annual Strategic Planning Meeting in Chapel Hill, NC as Laura describes below. It was energizing to have Alliance members contributing ideas for the continued growth and sustainability of the OAAA. We know that the implementation of the recommendations of the OA Public Health Agenda depends on our ability to work together as a team. Thanks to all who attended, both familiar and new, and our staff team for making this another successful meeting!

Our Alliance staff team continues to grow and we are excited to welcome several new team members. Katie Huffman, a Master’s level gerontologist, will be an asset to the development of our provider educational toolkits, communications pieces, and sustainability efforts. Julie Upchurch is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at UNC. She will be evaluating program implementation outcomes and lessons learned from our WWE Mini-grant Program. Mounica Boggala joins us as an undergraduate in the UNC Exercise and Sports Science program. She will contribute her growing expertise to the Injury Prevention task group and will also help with our communications efforts. And we are pleased to have been selected to host another Public Health Associate (PHAP) from the CDC, Celena Adams-Locke. She will be with us for two years to learn the in’s and out’s of public health through the work we pursue at the OAAA. We are glad to have all of them on board!

Leigh F. Callahan, PhD
Director, Osteoarthritis Action Alliance

A Note from the Chair

Last month on September 19th, we had our annual Strategic Planning meeting. It was wonderful to meet new faces and hear everyone’s great ideas. Our focus this year was sustainability for the OAAA. With the growing prevalence of osteoarthritis, we want to continue raising awareness and providing impactful resources and education well into the future. I’m excited to put our sustainability plan into action this year! Our StandUp2OA campaign that was launched in May is continuing to reach thousands of people. This campaign has gained a lot of attention from many different organizations and we hope to develop new partnerships in the near future. We appreciate your support in spreading the word about this campaign. Be sure to post your selfie or video on how YOU Stand Up 2 OA! Check out Co-Chair, Jeff Driban’s video on how he Stands Up 2 OA and remember to use the hashtag #StandUp2OA.

Our workgroups have some exciting projects in the works.  With funding from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, the Healthcare Systems and Providers workgroup is developing an educational toolkit to encourage pharmacist to identify patients with osteoarthritis and refer them to evidence-based programs in the community. Our Weight Management task group submitted a manuscript entitled “Exercise prescription for management of weight and osteoarthritis in young and middle-aged adults: synthesis from a systematic review.” This is an important contribution to further the connection between osteoarthritis and obesity and to encourage safe, effective engagement in physical activity. I am looking forward to the end products of these new projects and excited to see the impact they will have for increasing awareness and education about osteoarthritis!

Laura L. Payne, PhD
Chair, Osteoarthritis Action Alliance

OAAA Strategic Planning Meeting on September 19, 2018.
A beautiful day in Chapel Hill, NC with our Steering Committee, Workgroup members, Members-At-Large, and OAAA Friends

Take Action Now

Whether you are a member or just a friend, there are many ways you can support the OA Action Alliance:

We love to engage and share messaging on social media. Please like, share and retweet our posts and use the hashtag #StandUp2OA or #osteoarthritis in your posts. Check out our website and share our resources with your networks.

You can join a workgroup(s) or a task force by emailing us.

  • Community Engagement (Workgroup 2)
  • Healthcare Systems & Provider Mobilization (Workgroup 3)
  • Individual Engagement & Education (Workgroup 4)
  • OA Prevention (Workgroup 5) – includes Weight Management and Injury Prevention

Interested in Policy and Advocacy? Join a relevant workgroup above and explore policy avenues and actions!

Send us feedback and let us know how we can better serve you by emailing us at

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