LRI National Coalition advocate Kathleen Arntsen was awarded the first-ever Ann Kunkel Advocacy Award at November’s ACR meeting in Boston. The award is designed to recognize a member of the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) who has been particularly effective in advocating for rheumatologic conditions such as lupus. News of the award was published in the February 2013 issue of the ACR official publication, the Rheumatologist.
Ms. Arntsen, who is president and CEO of the LRI National Coalition’s Lupus Foundation of Mid and Northern New York, was nominated for the award by the chapter’s Secretary, Sandi Frear, and LRI President Margaret Dowd.
By speaking with passion and moving clarity about her journey with chronic illness, Ms. Arntsen gives a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. For more than 20 years—not long after being diagnosed with systemic lupus—she has worked to persuade local, state and national governments to take action.
Whether testifying before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Congress, or the New York State Department of Health, she articulates the risk for lupus among young women and the need for all with the illness to participate in clinical trials to find safer and more effective treatments. Her earnestness, understanding, and conviction are heard by many.
“I am thrilled and honored to be the recipient of the 2007 Ann Kunkel Advocacy Award,” Ms. Arntsen said. “I hope that other health professionals realize that anyone can be an advocate and share personal experiences with policy makers. Each and every one of us has the ability to turn our Emotion into Motion and make a positive impact on health care policy that ensures the well-being of all Americans!”