Arthritis Consumer Experts

September 4, 2009
For Immediate Release

Month-long BC tour conducts first workshop in Prince George

(Prince George, BC) — As a part of National Arthritis Month, the Where is Arthritis? provincial tour arrived in Prince George yesterday to conduct their first arthritis workshop of the tour. Recently launched in Vancouver, the Where is Arthritis? tour is taking arthritis "on the road" to raise awareness for better care, education and prevention of the disease this September.

"Although it affects one in six British Columbians, many people are unaware of how common arthritis is. The Where is arthritis? provincial tour is a chance to change how our communities see arthritis, to change how we live with arthritis, and talk about what resources and support are critical to manage our health, wellness, and quality of life" said Cheryl Koehn, founder and president of Arthritis Consumer Experts, who has lived with arthritis for almost twenty years.

As part of the tour, the Prince George workshop brought Cheryl Koehn, of Arthritis Consumer Experts, and leading rheumatologist and research Scientist Dr. Diane Lacaille assistant professor of rheumatology at the University of British Columbia, and research scientist at the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada to the city to conduct the two hour session. The workshop aims to answer questions, provide resources and information to help people manage their arthritis better, and offer the opportunity to talk to a rheumatologist/arthritis specialist.

"In many communities in BC, like Prince George, most residents are being treated by their family physicians, and do not have the same access to see a specialist like Dr. Lacaille," says Koehn. "BC research has shown that family physicians in BC are only using the recommended "first-line" medications for 10% of their rheumatoid arthritis patients. Wherever they live, British Columbians deserve a consistent standard of diagnosis, care, and funding for arthritis and related issues."

The Arthritis Society is supporting the tour as it visits communities in BC. "Arthritis is a vastly misunderstood disease," states Marg Vandenberg, Executive Director of The Arthritis Society, BC & Yukon Division. "People are unaware that arthritis can strike someone at any age, and it is among the top three chronic diseases in Canada. The Arthritis Society works to ensure that British Columbians with arthritis have access to timely diagnosis, education, and appropriate care, and this tour will play an important role in supporting those efforts."

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