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2019 Scholarship Program

April 29, 2019 in Advocacy, Exciting, Important, RPF News

The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of our fifth annual RPF Scholarship Program, designed to support students affected by rheumatoid disease in their higher education pursuits. This year's program will offer five $1,000 scholarships.

Rheumatoid disease can have a heavy impact on one's life in more ways than one, and we recognize the financial strain it often places on families. We also recognize that many people find that they cannot continue in their same line of work if they have persistent and progressive disease, and may need to change careers and get additional education.

It is for these reasons that we want to offer a way to support students and help to ease the financial burden of schooling. Our scholarship program is open to students of any age that are enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution -- college, university or trade school -- in the United States. Applicants must either have a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile idiopathic arthritis (also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) -- or have a parent diagnosed with the disease.

Applicants will be asked to complete an application form and submit an essay in response to several prompts. All essays will be scored by a panel of judges and the five highest scorers will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

For more information about the RPF Scholarship Program and to download an application form, please click here.

RPF would like to thank this year's Scholarship Program sponsor, Myriad Autoimmune.

Myriad Autoimmune is passionate about impacting patient lives for the better. We are committed to providing actionable information with our molecular blood test, Vectra, to guide medical management decisions in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and improve patient outcomes. Vectra is a validated objective measure that combines 12 biomarkers, age, gender and adiposity to provide a personalized score of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. For more information on Vectra, please visit:

Introducing NEW RPF Partner, imaware™, offering the first in-home health test for RA

January 28, 2019 in RPF News

The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is excited to announce a partnership with imaware™, a new at-home health test for rheumatoid arthritis. The imaware™ health test allows people to take their healthcare into their own hands and order a screening test for rheumatoid disease biomarkers, without a doctor or lab visit. Simply order a test online, receive a kit to do a finger prick and collect a small sample of blood, mail the kit back and receive your results within days, in an easy to read and easy to share report.

imaware™ understands the importance of early detection in rheumatoid disease and is working hard to make that easier. The best health outcomes for people with rheumatoid disease (PRD) have been consistently linked to getting early diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, RD can be a tricky illness to diagnose, with symptoms that come and go or that are seemingly unrelated. It takes the average American two years to get diagnosed. By doing an at-home test, you will be able to provide your results to your doctor and more easily advocate for your own healthcare. RPF’s mission is to improve the lives of people with rheumatoid disease, and a big part of that includes finding ways to get PRD diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

The imaware™ test looks for certain antibodies in your blood that may be indicative of Rheumatoid Disease. One of the antibodies the test screens for may even show up in the results 6-12 months before you feel the onset of symptoms. This could be truly life-changing for PRD, allowing them to seek early treatment to hopefully prevent progression of the disease and, hence, damage and disability.

We are looking forward to working with imaware™ to advance earlier diagnosis of RD. imaware™ is committed to RPF’s mission and will be supporting our awareness and education programs so that together we can work toward the day when no one suffers from rheumatoid disease.

To learn more about imaware™ and the at-home RA test, visit their website at:

imaware™ Partners with Rheumatoid Patient Foundation to Promote Awareness and Early Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

January 28, 2019 in Awareness, Press Release, RPF News

Makers of at-home health test for RA offer a $10,000 matching grant for Rheumatoid Awareness Day

Houston, TX - January 29, 2019imaware™, an at-home testing platform for chronic illness and disease, including rheumatoid arthritis, designed by healthcare company Microdrop, today announced it has partnered with the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RPF), working together toward earlier diagnoses and improved patient outcomes.  The newly formed partnership of the at-home testing platform and leading patient advocacy organization for people with rheumatoid disease coincides with the arrival of the 7th annual Rheumatoid Awareness Day on February 2. To further support patients and RPF’s mission, imaware™ is sponsoring Rheumatoid Awareness Day by offering a matching grant for all donations to RPF from now through February 12, 2019, up to $10,000 USD. Donations can be made on the RPF website at:

"RPF's mission is to improve the lives of people with rheumatoid disease,” says RPF Founder and President, Kelly O’Neill Young. “With the medications available today, nothing improves outcomes as much as early diagnosis and treatment. The imaware™ test has the potential to help millions of people have more successful treatment and a better life."

“We believe that the imaware™ at-home rheumatoid arthritis test will help reduce the number of undiagnosed people with RA,” said Jani Tuomi, co-founder, imaware. “With a partner like the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation, we will be able to better engage with the patient community to educate, screen, and ultimately help patients engage their doctors sooner for diagnosis.”

Rheumatoid arthritis, or rheumatoid disease, is a progressive inflammatory disease causing damage to joint and organ tissues, resulting in severe pain, frequent disability, and increased mortality. Rheumatoid Arthritis Day was established in 2013 by the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation as a way to address public lack of understanding of rheumatoid arthritis. The  goal of the partnership is to improve speed-to-diagnosis and treatment to help those impacted by the disease to access treatment faster and improve their health outcomes.

How imaware™ Rheumatoid Arthritis test works:

Three biomarkers commonly associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis are measured: rheumatoid factors (RF) and cyclic citrullinated peptides (CCP) biomarkers. The combination of these biomarkers has been demonstrated to identify the disease in its early development, even before symptoms may show. Available online at for $99.00 USD, the test uses a small amount of blood obtained by a finger prick and is collected in a vial. People then mail the sample back in and within five days will receive their confidential test results via a secure portal.  The new imaware™ Rheumatoid Arthritis test expands upon the lineup of Celiac Disease screening and monitoring tests, and is currently available in the United States.

About the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation:
The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with rheumatoid disease. RPF was founded in 2011 to address a significant lack of disease education, comparatively low levels of research funding, and difficulty obtaining adequate treatment. RPF is committed to creating pathways to better clinical care and disease outcomes through education, awareness, and patient-centered research. For more information, visit or follow RPF on Facebook or Twitter.

About imaware™

The imaware™ mission is to provide patients with the tools to drive awareness to chronic illness and empower patients to live a better and healthier life - sooner. Each imaware test is designed and validated alongside world-renowned doctors from the most prestigious medical research facilities including Dr. Timothy Niewold, Director of the NYU Colton Center for Autoimmunity, Dr. Kevin Deane, Endowed Chair for Rheumatology Research, University of Colorado Denver, Dr. Stefano Guandalini of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, and Dr. Margaret Spitz and Dr. Melissa Bondy of the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Baylor College of Medicine.
For more information, visit us online at

2018 Scholarship Winners

October 27, 2018 in Advocacy, Exciting, RPF News

For the past few years, the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation has run an annual scholarship program to support students affected by Rheumatoid Disease. Our goal has been to expand the program each year. This year, we have upped our Scholarship Program to award five $1,000 scholarships to students who are affected by Rheumatoid Disease. We'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who applied for our Scholarship Program. We received many wonderful essays and applications. Our judging panel has chosen our five winners this year, and we'd like to introduce each of them to you. Please join us in congratulating these five individuals!

Michelle Carrera (Miami, FL)

Michelle was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 11. Her experience with the healthcare system has made her committed to pursuing a career aimed at improving quality of care and access to care for underserved communities. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy & Management.

Lauren DeMarco (Charleston, SC)

I am from Charleston, SC and am currently a freshman at Wake Forest University. My academic interests include English, Spanish, and visual art. Outside of the classroom, I love to stay active, participate in community service, and spend time outside.

Maxwell Nelson (San Jose, CA)

Maxwell has lived most of his life in Minnesota, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Minnesota. Maxwell was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis at age 17 and has benefited from immunosuppressive drugs. He now lives in San Jose, California and attends Santa Clara University School of Law in Santa Clara, California. Maxwell plans to focus his studies on international law and public interest law.

Ashley Poolman (Hillsboro, OR)

My name is Ashley and I was diagnosed with JRA at age 13. Fast forward 9 years, I am now enrolled in a doctoral program for clinical psychology at Pacific University in Oregon. Within clinical psychology, I am studying health psychology because I am especially interested in how physical health and mental health influence each other. I am also adding an emphasis in Latinx psychology to be able to serve Spanish-speaking populations. I am grateful to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation for letting me share my story and I hope to use my experience with arthritis to help those in similar situations.

Elizabeth Roach (Elgin, IA)



















My name is Elizabeth Roach. I have had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was 14 months old. I am currently in my first year of graduate school for Child Life at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa in Therapeutic Recreation. I am really looking forward to my future working in hospitals to help children like me who have chronic illnesses as a Child Life Specialist.

Many thanks to all who applied to our Scholarship Program this year. Congratulations to this year's winners, and we look forward to seeing what your futures hold!

A special thank you to our sponsor, Crescendo Bioscience, for making this Scholarship Program possible!

Crescendo Bioscience (a subsidiary of Myriad Genetics) focuses on enabling more effective management of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases by providing quantitative, objective molecular tests and disease information services to rheumatologists and patients. Crescendo Bioscience’s current products are: Vectra® DA, the only multi-biomarker blood test for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease activity, and MyRA, a free mobile app designed to empower people living with RA to regularly track multiple aspects of their RA and easily share the information with their physician.

Rheumatoid Disease Billboard Campaign

September 11, 2018 in Awareness, Exciting, RPF News

In 2017, RPF launched what is to our knowledge the first-ever Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign for rheumatoid disease -- utilizing donated billboard space from Lamar Advertising. Lamar has been a great media partner, participating with us in Rheumatoid Awareness Day, and helping us place longer-term PSAs on billboards throughout the country. Each of the ads may change locations within the given city as space becomes available, with each city running the ads for up to a year. Below is a list of cities that have or are running our billboard campaigns, along with some images of the ads. If you spot one of our billboards, let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram -- and if you can snap a photo, even better! We'd love to hear your feedback and are excited to have this opportunity to bring awareness to the public through this program. RPF uses donated photos from actual rheumatoid patients in all of its ads. If you'd like a chance to be featured on one of our billboards, click here to donate a photo!


Milwaukee, WI -- 2019-2020

Reno, NV -- 2019-2020

Detroit, MI -- 2019-2020

Lancaster, PA -- 2018-2019

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Billboard for Rheumatoid Disease - Public Service Announcement Lancaster Pennsylvania

Dallas, TX -- 2018-2019

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Billboard for Rheumatoid Disease - Public Service Announcement Dallas Texas


Boise, ID -- 2018-2019

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Billboard for Rheumatoid Disease - Public Service Announcement Boise Idaho

Chicago, IL -- 2017-2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Billboard for Rheumatoid Disease - Public Service Announcement Chicago Illinois

Orlando, FL -- 2017-2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Billboard for Rheumatoid Disease - Public Service Announcement Orlando Florida

Seattle -- 2017-2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Billboard for Rheumatoid Disease - Public Service Announcement Seattle Washington

Kansas City -- 2017-2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Billboard for Rheumatoid Disease - Public Service Announcement Kansas City

2018 Scholarship Program is Open!

May 3, 2018 in Exciting, Important, RPF News

We are pleased to announce the opening of our 2018 Scholarship Program. This is the fourth year that we have offered this program as a way to support students who have Rheumatoid Disease (RD) or whose parent has RD. We recognize that beyond the physical, mental and emotional hardship of rheumatoid disease, there is also often a financial toll placed on people with RD due to the expenses of continuous care and treatment, as well as potential disability and loss of income. RPF’s scholarship program helps to support and meet the financial needs of students as they pursue higher education. This year's program has been expanded to include five $1,000 scholarship awards! Visit our Scholarship Program page for full details and to download an application. This year's submission deadline is June 30, 2018.

Click here to read about last year's scholarship winners!


This year's scholarship program is made possible through a corporate sponsorship from Crescendo Bioscience.
Crescendo Bioscience focuses on enabling more effective management of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases by providing quantitative, objective molecular tests (such as Vectra® DA) and disease information services to rheumatologists and patients. Vectra® DA is the only multi-biomarker blood test for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease activity.

Lamar Advertising Partnering with Rheumatoid Patient Foundation in Support of Rheumatoid Awareness Day

January 23, 2018 in Awareness, Exciting, Press Release, RPF News


Outdoor Advertising Company Donating Billboards to Help Organization Raise Awareness and Spur Greater Funding and Research


Baton Rouge, LA – January 23, 2018 – Lamar Advertising Company (Nasdaq: LAMR), one of the largest out of home media companies in the world, is supporting Rheumatoid Awareness Day through the donation of more than 200 billboards in 29 states across the country which will feature messaging designed to raise awareness of this life-shortening disease. Taking place on February 2nd, Rheumatoid Awareness Day is designed to address the lack of awareness for rheumatoid disease, a crippling affliction affecting millions. Lamar’s involvement in the effort was initiated by one of its own employees suffering from the disease.

“As a medium, outdoor advertising has tremendous power to drive awareness of important issues and inspire action,” said Barbara Campbell, real estate manager at Lamar Advertising of Milwaukee. “Two million Americans like me suffer from this progressive disease. We are proud to support the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation and join with many of their partners to mark the day and help bolster education efforts that hopefully will lead to earlier diagnoses and better treatments.”

Rheumatoid Awareness Day was created in 2013 to, in part, generate support for increases in much-needed funding for crucial research toward effective treatments and a cure. Rheumatoid Arthritis currently receives only 8% of government funding per patient of comparable diseases. In years past, the organization has primarily used digital channels to spread its message. This year, Lamar is making selected billboards in high-trafficked locations available to help the organization reach a wider and more captive audience.
“We are so grateful for this partnership with Lamar Advertising, which has allowed us to broaden our rheumatoid disease awareness efforts across the country,” said Dana Symons, Vice President of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. “Our community has responded with tremendous enthusiasm to the billboards as they help bring this misunderstood and often invisible illness into the public light.”

The billboard creative, designed by the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation, features the faces of actual rheumatoid disease patients who have donated their photos for awareness purposes. The campaign began earlier this month and will culminate on February 2nd.

About Lamar Advertising Company
Founded in 1902, Lamar Advertising Company (Nasdaq: LAMR) is one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the world, with more than 340,000 displays across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Lamar offers advertisers a variety of billboard, interstate logo and transit advertising formats, helping both local businesses and national brands reach broad audiences every day. In addition to its more traditional out-of-home inventory, Lamar is proud to offer its customers the largest network of digital billboards in the United States with over 2,800 displays. Please feel free to explore our website or contact us at for additional information.

About the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation
The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with rheumatoid disease. RPF was founded in 2011 to address a significant lack of disease education, comparatively low levels of research funding, and difficulty obtaining adequate treatment. RPF is committed to creating pathways to better clinical care and disease outcomes through education, awareness, and patient-centered research. For more information, visit or follow RPF on Facebook or Twitter.

Press Contacts:

Greg Kalish
GK Communications
(917) 592-1942

Allie McAlpin
Communications Director, Lamar Advertising Company
(225) 926-1000

Dana Symons
Vice President, Rheumatoid Patient Foundation
(616) 443-1998

Billboards for Rheumatoid Awareness Day

December 18, 2017 in Advocacy, Awareness, Exciting, RPF News

Rheumatoid Awareness Day is February 2nd! This year, we are doing something BIG. Really, big. I'm talking rheumatoid awareness messaging in HUGE letters on billboards across the country! Early in 2017, we launched the first ever Public Service Announcement campaign for rheumatoid disease through the help of Lamar Advertising. Through that program we have placed physical billboards in several major cities across the U.S., including Chicago, Orlando, Kansas City and Seattle. The billboards are run on donated space from Lamar, so that all we have to pay for is the printing cost to get our messaging onto the vinyl. The printed vinyls are good for about a year and will go up and down around these cities as space becomes available.

However, with this being the digital age, we are now also in the world of digital billboards. Besides running our PSAs throughout the year, Lamar has already gotten commitments from over 40 different cities to run digital billboards supporting Rheumatoid Awareness Day, in nearly 200 digital billboard locations. Phoenix and Kansas City also started running digital awareness ads for us. Check out the images below that are running and will be running across the country. We'll also post a list of participating cities below and update that as more are added. A huge thank you to Lamar Advertising (especially Barbara who has coordinated all of this for us). If your city is listed below, be sure to thank your local Lamar office for their support!

Want YOUR face to be featured on a billboard? All of the images we use are donated photos from actual rheumatoid patients. Click here to donate your photos for RPF's use.







Abilene, TX
Amarillo, TX
Arlington, TX
Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Beaumont, TX
Billings, MT
Boston, MA
Bridgeport, WV
Bristol, TN
Brownsville, TX
Brownwood, TX
Cape Cod, MA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Central OH
Cleveland, OH
College Station, TX
Columbus, MS
Corpus Christi, TX
Dallas, TX
Dayton, OH
Daytona Beach, FL
Decatur, IL
Des Moines, IA
East Missouri, MO
Green Bay, WI
Hammond, LA
Harrisburg, PA
Hannibal, MO
Indianapolis, IN
Jackson, MS
Johnson City, TN
Kingsport, TN
Lake Charles, LA
Lancaster, CA
Laredo, TX
Las Vegas, NV
Lexington, KY
Los Angeles, CA
Lubbock, TX
Madison, WI
Midland, TX
Milwaukee, WI
Mobile, AL
Monroe, LA
New Hampshire
New Mexico/El Paso
New York, NY
Ocala, FL
Odessa, TX
Oklahoma City, OK
Omaha, NE
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA
Providence, RI
Rapid City, SD
Rockford, IL
Rocky Mount, NC
Salem, OR
San Angelo, TX
Temple, TX
Toledo, OH
Topeka, KS
Tulsa, OK
Tyler, TX
Victoria, TX
York/Lancaster, PA

2017 RPF Scholarship Winners

September 30, 2017 in Exciting, RPF News

The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is pleased to announce this year's scholarship winners! We received many well-written essays and applications, but have chosen four winners to each receive a $1,000 scholarship to use toward their higher education. Thanks to all who took the time to apply -- we wish you all the best of luck in your educational and vocational pursuits. Also, a special thanks to this year's scholarship sponsor: Crescendo Bioscience!

2017 Scholarship Winners:

Ellis Hamabuchi (Fort Lee, NJ)

At eight years old, I was a ballet dancer, black belt in karate, violin player, swimmer, gymnast, and basketball player. At age nine, I was just an arthritic. Today, I am eighteen years old, and I am still an arthritic, but I am also an entrepreneur, leader, and advocate for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!








Carley Jones (Lodi, CA)

I am 24 years old in my first year of veterinary school where I hope to develop a career in shelter medicine and wildlife research. I was diagnosed with JRA at the age of 12, but have been fortunately in remission for the last few years. In my free-time I enjoy snorkeling, yoga, and hiking with my 5 year old Catahoula Hound, Rueski.







Claire Kennedy (Bozeman, MT)

"The quieter you become, the more you can hear."--Anonymous
I am a third year college student pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Community Health. My main focus with this degree is to bring awareness and support to the chronic disease community. I have watched my mother struggle with Rheumatoid arthritis for as long as I can remember, and it has propelled me into this healthcare field. Thank you to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation for this opportunity, and for providing hope to those afflicted by this condition.








Rachel Sauls (Chapel Hill, NC)

Rachel Sauls is a sophomore transfer student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her major is Global Studies, with a focus in Global Health, and her minors are Literature, Medicine, & Culture and Medical Anthropology. Rachel has been living with rheumatoid disease since the age of eleven, and is passionate about increasing accessibility, promoting empathy, and making space for health narratives. She hopes to work with children and teenagers with chronic illnesses in the future as a social worker, hospital chaplain, or professional advocate.

Billboard Public Service Announcements for Rheumatoid Disease

May 18, 2017 in Exciting, RPF News

The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is excited to announce the launch of a billboard campaign through Lamar Advertising, featuring public service announcements (PSAs) for Rheumatoid Disease.  By running these as a PSA, Lamar donates the billboard space to us, so RPF only has to pay the printing costs for each billboard.  We will be starting with two billboard designs -- one in Orlando and one in Chicago.  The specific location of the advertisement will vary throughout the year depending on when and where Lamar has open space in each of those markets to run a PSA.  This means, if you live in the Chicago or Orlando areas, you may see our ads in multiple locations throughout the course of the year! Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on where you can find the billboards.

Our initial campaign will feature one ad with messaging that brings awareness to the fact that Rheumatoid Disease is not "just arthritis," and another ad focused on the invisible nature of this disease.  Check out the previews of our designs below!

Rheumatoid Arthritis billboard advertisement PSA

Rheumatoid Arthritis Billboard advertisement PSA Invisible Illness

We want to give a big shout out to Barbara at Lamar who helped us set up this program, and also to the RD patients who donated the photography that we used in these ads.  Want to see your face on a billboard? Donate a photo, and you could be next!