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Quarterly Newsletter: April- June 2018

In this Issue

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

Alliance Highlights

Congrats to our 2017 Walk With Ease Mini-Grant Recipients!
Our first round of grantees have completed their project period and we appreciate the work they have done! These organizations are currently sending in final participant data. We look forward to seeing how many people living with arthritis are being physically active. Our second round of grantees is just starting their project period. We can’t wait to see their programs in action.

OAAA Lunch and Learn Webinars

Walk With Ease Implementation and Sustainability in Community Organizations Watch the webinar recording
Impact of Arthritis on Meaningful Activity Involvement and Strategies for Health Promotion Watch the webinar recording
Targeting Secondary Prevention for OA: Who is at Greatest Risk Watch the webinar recording
Check the Upcoming Events below to see what’s next!

Monthly Member Spotlights    April: The American Council on Exercise (ACE) – learn more 
May: Haywood Regional Medical Center – learn more
June: Aberdeen Centre for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Health – learn more

 Follow Us on Social Media

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In May, our StandUp2OA campaign on preventing the onset and progression of osteoarthritis launched! OA is common, expensive, a leading cause of disability and it can be prevented. You can Spread the Message to #StandUp2OA with shareable messages, links to our social media, and by signing up to receive more information (it’s free). Visit our website to learn more!

In April, The Wall Street Journal featured the article “Many in Middle Age Have Arthritis—They Just Don’t Know It” and mentioned our StandUp2OA campaign. “People worry that exercise is going to exacerbate their arthritis, when it’s exactly the opposite,” says Dr. Leigh Callahan. This article also quotes OAAA Medical Adviser, Dr. Amanda Nelson and Honorary Co-Chair, Dianne Rosenbluth. Learn more about the growing burden of Arthritis and why we StandUp2OA!

A Note from the Director


I recently read a letter from the Director of a Charity I support and he noted that a flock of geese flying together can fly 70% faster than a single bird flying alone.  He went on to describe the unity of the team he works with and how they accomplish so much. I immediately thought of the OAAA team that I am honored to be flying with and what our staff and volunteers are able to accomplish together.

Students and trainees have always been a valuable part of the OAAA flock and we hope we provide them opportunities for learning and growth. Our intern, Leigha Vilen worked with us for four years and graduated this past May.  She evaluated implementation of our early mini grant program for her Senior Honor’s thesis and she won the undergraduate research paper contest for the Preventing Chronic Disease journal.  Our summer intern Emma Morris has returned to help us with our education efforts. Through my post-doctoral fellowship mentee, Crystal Mackay, PhD, we have developed strong connections with the Arthritis Society of Canada. It has been almost a year since our CDC PHAP (Public Health Associate), Haley Hudson joined our team. She has become a vital part of our operations contributing to almost every aspect of our work but in particular, our awareness messaging, and data management for the WWE mini grant program. We are hoping another PHAP will join our flock this fall!

In addition to our trainees and amazing staff, we know the success of the OAAA is dependent on the commitment of our member organizations and volunteers. Our comprehensive new StandUp2OA campaign will help us elevate awareness of the impact of OA and what can be done in terms of prevention.  I think we have the right team soar high and accomplish our vision.

Thanks to all who are helping us fly with purpose and vision!

Leigh F. Callahan, PhD
Director, Osteoarthritis Action Alliance

A Note from the Chair

As the newly elected Chair of the OAAA, representing National Recreation and Park Association, I am proud of what the Alliance has accomplished thus far and look forward to what’s in store. In May, the StandUp2OA campaign, the first and only national campaign focused on the prevention and management of osteoarthritis launched reaching thousands of people! For example, the campaign press release was picked up by 229 news outlets, over 65,000 impressions were reached through Twitter, and 2,000 people visited the website. Thank you all for supporting this campaign whether it was posting on Facebook or Instagram, a retweet on Twitter, or a newsletter blurb, it was appreciated. We ask you to help spread the word even more by posting a video or sharing a selfie with your own testimonial on how YOU Stand Up 2 OA! Check out my video below to see why I StandUp2OA. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #StandUp2OA! Again, we appreciate your support and we can’t wait to see your videos and pictures! It takes a village to maximize our reach of #StandUp2OA, and we are grateful for your efforts and support!

Our workgroups have some exciting new projects in the works that we can’t wait to share with you soon (toolkits, white papers and more!). We continue to push out and share our physical activity infographic with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) on the benefits and barriers to physical activity for adults with arthritis from last quarter. Our strategic planning meeting this fall will focus on sustainability planning and I look forward to sharing the outcomes of our strategic planning with you.

Laura Payne
Chair, Osteoarthritis Action Alliance

Upcoming Events


  • Walk with a Doc @ UNC Wellness Center-Meadowmont | Saturday, July 21| Chapel Hill, NC | 10:00am
  • Your Weight Matters National Convention (Obesity Action Coalition). July 19-22 2018, Denver, CO.



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

Conferences, Funding, and More



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