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FOR RELEASE: July 24 , 2007
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Arthritis Network Speaker to Discuss Living with Arthritis

“Make Lemonade!” will be the topic at the August meeting of the Oklahoma Arthritis Network (OAN). The OAN will meet Thursday, Aug. 2, at 2 p.m. at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), 1000 N.E. 10th Street, Room 314, in Oklahoma City. The meeting is free and open to the public.

The guest speaker is Betsy Replogle, chair of the Oklahoma Arthritis Network (OAN) and a grassroots healthcare advocate for 22 years. Despite her own battle with diffuse scleroderma, an often fatal form of arthritis, Betsy saw early on that arthritis will be a major health issue for Baby Boomers and that education, advocacy, and awareness of the challenges facing people affected by arthritis must begin now.

In 2001, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services appointed her to the Advisory Council for the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the National Institutes of Health. Twice the Oklahoma Public Health Association has named her “Volunteer of the Year.” Replogle volunteers her time to such notable organizations as the Arthritis Foundation, the American College of Rheumatology, and the OU College of Medicine, serving as an educator and advocate to Congress.

The OAN features speakers and presentations for the public to help maximize the quality of life for Oklahomans with arthritis and related health conditions by developing resources, promoting access to health care and offering public health education programs.

Programs of special attention include EnhanceFitness, the Chronic Disease Self Management Program, and the Arthritis Foundation’s Exercise, Aquatics and Self Help programs. Visit www.health.ok.gov/program/apep for locations and contact information.

If you live outside the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and would like to attend the August 2 OAN meeting, videoconference locations are available in some communities. Please contact the closest county health department listed below.

  • Rogers Co. Health Department, Claremore  (918) 341-3166 – Linda DeSpain
  • Garfield Co. Health Department, Enid (580) 233-0650, ext. 147 – Teresa Bailey
  • Beckham Co. Health Department, Elk City  (580) 225-1173 – Debra Cook
  • Harper Co. Health Department, Laverne  (580) 921-2029 – Melody Bryer
  • Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma City (405) 271-9444, ext. 56535 – Adrienne Chambers
  • Tulsa Co. Health Department, Tulsa  (918) 582-9355 – Debra Harren

To learn more information about the OAN and upcoming events, contact Marisa (New) Wells, coordinator of the OSDH Arthritis Prevention and Education Program, at (405) 271-9444, ext. 56410, or email her at marisan@health.ok.gov.

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