2009 World Network Conference Washington

The Bone and Joint Decade
2009 Patient Advocacy & World Network Conference

Washington DC, USA
October 21-24, 2009

CapitolbldgThe 2009 Bone and Joint Decade World Network Conference and Patient Advocacy Seminar took place in Washington DC from 21 to 24 October 2009, hosted by the US BJD.
Delegates of the four-day advocacy and strategic planning session, came together to highlight the enormous burden posed by musculoskeletal disorders and develop an ambitious yet achievable roadmap for the future of bone and joint health policy around the world.
Amidst urgent health care reform talks in Washington DC, timing was right to underline the enormity of the musculoskeletal burden by comparison to the fraction of expenditure currently directed to this area of great need, and to ask policy makers to take action.
Once again the annual forum brought together 200 Patient Advocacy Leaders and National Action Network Coordinators from around the globe for a unique, multifaceted programme.
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The programme can be found here.
A newsletter report of the event can be found here.
The focus this year was on Advocacy and Advancing the Bone & Joint Health Policy Agenda. Issues supporting  this theme included the global burden of disease by disease area, and regional needs, with dynamic break-out sessions to build synergy and strategies from all perspectives.

Highlights of the events held during the conference included:

•  Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill – Our two-day Patient Advocacy Seminar became a true advocacy and lobbying experience, when BJD Delegates were welcomed on Capitol Hill by Former Assistant Surgeon General Susan Blumenthal, MD, and Senators John Barrasso and Chuck Grassley for discussions about health care policy reform. US delegates were then given the opportunity to speak to Congress Members from their own States, and international delegates were able to visit their country Ambassadors to the US to discuss musculoskeletal issues relevant in their region.

•   A very lively and heartfelt speech by television celebrity Jill Zarin, (below with Prof  Lidgren) whose daughter suffers from childhood rheumatic disease, about the power of the collective voice and neworks for patient empowerment. IMG_0069 washington

•   One-day intensive focus on the Burden of Musculosketelal Disease by disease area, led by internationally renowned experts in the field. This was then followed by strategic planning sessions to focus goals and devise strategies for our efforts in each priority area over the coming years.

•   Second-day strategic planning through Regional Discssions to devise a global plan for musculoskeletal health according to region. Break-out groups crafted straegies and pinpointed priorities for the next decade.