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OA in the News


Knee Pain Plagues Many Women Over 50

Knee pain is common in middle-aged and older women, a new study finds...Read More

Medicare Offers Expanded Coverage To Battle Expanding Waistlines

National Public Radio
Keeping off the pounds is tough at any age. Now seniors are getting a helping hand from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services... Read More

» More news updates

Alliance Presentations at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting

In late October, OA Action Alliance Steering Committee members Mary Waterman and Tai Baker  presented complementary presentations on the formation of the OA Action Alliance at the American Public Health Association’s 139th Annual Meeting and Expo in Washington, DC. While one presentation provided insights on the National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis 2010 (OA Agenda)and how it influenced the creation of the Alliance, the other provided in depth details about the recruitment of partners and strategic alliances in the formation of the coalition.  Both presentations also shared information with attendees on the activities the coalition has undertaken.

Tai Baker commented, "The coalition allows member organizations to combine resources, increase the impact of each organization’s efforts, and make implementation of the OA Agenda recommendations a reality by elevating OA as a public health priority and promoting program and policy solutions. We hope APHA meeting attendees were able to gain best practices on coalition building which they can utilize moving forward."

November Lunch & Learn

Dr. Amanda Nelson, MSCR, assistant professor, University of North Carolina, Thurston Arthritis Research Center, was the featured presenter for the second installment of the Osteoarthritis (OA) Action Alliance Lunch & Learn informational series which took place on Nov. 16th. Dr. Nelson’s presentation focused on new research indicating the health burden of large-joint OA (ex. hip and spine) among African Americans. Dr. Nelson’s compelling presentation has been archived here. The OA Action Alliance encourages you to review and share this information with others in the public health community and share your valuable feedback through this short survey.

The Lunch & Learn series regularly features presentations by members of the public health community relevant to osteoarthritis. All interested stakeholders are invited to participate. Stay tuned for information on the next installment. For suggestions for future topics or questions about this series, please contact Mary Waterman at


New Working Group Co-Chairs:
Weight Management and Self Management Education


Beginning in February Dr. Patience White, vice president of public health with the Arthritis Foundation, will become co-chair of the Alliance’s Weight Management working group with current co-chair Dr. Barbara Moore, president and CEO of Shape Up America! In addition to her role with the Arthritis Foundation, Dr. White is a professor of medicine and pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. White takes over the co-chairmanship from CDC public health analyst Tai Baker who looks forward to a continued commitment to the working group as a full member.



Also in February, Jeannine R. Galloway, M.P.H., manager of consumer health programs for the Arthritis Foundation, will assume the role of co-chair for the Alliance’s Self Management Education working group. She joins existing co-chair Penney Cowan, founder and chief executive officer of the American Chronic Pain Association. Ms. Galloway brings experience developing, expanding and nurturing strategic partnerships and overseeing turn-key health promotion programs as well as her expertise in community-based programming and public health planning. She assumes co-chairmanship from Erica Odom, lead public health analyst with the CDC. Ms. Odom looks forward to continuing her commitment to the working group as a full member.



Member Spotlight


Seung-Yeon Lee, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Cincinnati
Chair of Healthy Aging Division, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior
Weight Management Working Group Member

“Because obesity is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis (OA), weight management is an essential component for prevention as well as treatment of OA,” says Dr. Lee. “Sustainable weight management requires behavior changes rather than prescribed diet or exercise. Effective nutrition education can facilitate the voluntary adoption of healthy food choices and ultimately is conducive to health and quality of life.” Dr. Lee represents the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) which promotes healthy communities through nutrition education and advocacy. Dr. Lee and the SNEB feel that the partnership with the Alliance and participation in the Weight Management Working Group is critical therefore Lee is glad to be a bridge between the OA Action Alliance and the SNEB for sharing information or resources. For more information about the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, click here.


Dr. Andrew Shiller

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry) Specialist, Private Practice
Representative of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Self Management Education Working Group Member

Andrew David Shiller, MD is a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry) in private practice in Bergen County New Jersey and serves on the staff of Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ.  He specializes in helping reduce pain and increase function for people with arthritis and other painful disabling problems of the neuro-musculo-skeletal systems.  He is the liaison to the OA Action Alliance from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R).

AAPM&R is a member of the OA Action Alliance because of the shared mission and objectives of the two organizations. This shared partnership enables the AAPM&R to provide input into existing policies and interventions that have been shown to reduce OA-related injuries; increases public awareness of the role of physiatrists can play in coordinating prevention, screening, treating and research efforts related to osteoarthritis; and provides the Academy an opportunity to have input into a national policy platform for osteoarthritis. For more information about Physiatry and the AAPM&R, please click here.



CMS Decision on Obesity-related Coverage

On November 29th, 2011 the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services took a major step in the nation’s fight against obesity through its decision to cover obesity counseling for obese adults on Medicare. “Obesity is a challenge faced by Americans of all ages, and prevention is crucial for the management and elimination of obesity in our country,” said CMS Administrator Donald M. Berwick, MD. Read the CMS press release announcing the decision here.

More than 70 million American adults and 12 million children are currently classified as obese and face a greatly increased risk of many chronic conditions, including osteoarthritis. OA Action Alliance member organization Shape Up America!, is working to encourage the Department of Health and Human Services to extend coverage for obesity screenings and physician-based counseling to the rest of the obese population not covered by Medicare. Read more from Shape Up America! here.



Centers for Disease Control, Arthritis Foundation