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The Osteoarthritis Action Alliance, directed by Leigh Callahan, MD, at the UNC School of Medicine, will expand and improve equity in access and delivery of evidence-based interventions to prevent and manage symptoms of OA, and strengthen partnerships focused on minimizing impact of the disease.

CHAPEL HILL, NC — Thanks to additional support from the CDC, the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance is actively addressing the devastating impact of osteoarthritis on adults and communities through strategic leveraging of partnerships, collaborations, and the resources of its 140+ member organizations.

“This is a crucial time, because osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of disability and work limitations among adults in the U.S.,” said Leigh Callahan, PhD, Director of the OAAA, associate director of the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, and the Mary Link Briggs Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine.

“OA is a serious and costly disease that affects over 32.5 million adults in the U.S. (1 in 7 adults),” she added.

Therefore, it is imperative to address OA prevention and management at the public health level with effective strategies including weight management, injury prevention, physical activity, and self management education.

Widespread integration of arthritis-appropriate evidence-based interventions into key sectors (e.g., communities, businesses, health care) and assuring equity in access and delivery of interventions that prevent onset and improve management of OA would mitigate OA impact.

The OAAA was established in 2011 to advance A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis,”  a blueprint document that outlines national public health actions to address the growing burden of OA. It was developed collaboratively in 2010 by the CDC, the Arthritis Foundation (AF), and over 70 stakeholders. In 2019, the OAAA led efforts with the CDC and AF to update the OA Agenda for 2020.

Under the leadership of Dr. Callahan and transfer of its management to the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center in 2014, the coalition has grown from 30 to more than 140 member organizations, and made significant progress in advancing key components of the OA Agenda.

You can learn more about the many initiatives and educational resources offered by the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance via their website.