Making Collaborative Advocacy A Reality

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Today's guest post is written by Seth Ginsberg, co-founder of CreakyJoints and the Global Healthy Living Foundation. Diagnosed at age 13 with spondyloarthropathy, a form of arthritis, Seth quickly understood the need for education and support. Today, CreakyJoints and GHLF are focused on education, research, and improving access to care.

The third annual eAdvocacy Summit scheduled for October 15th, 2013 at the Newseum in Washington, DC, promises to be the best yet. And I'm not just referring to the food.

A lot has happened in the 3+ years since the idea to nurture collaborative advocacy was first conceived over a cup of coffee one spring afternoon when I was visiting Lilly's Director of Digital Government Affairs, Amy O'Connor. I remember saying "it would be nice if we could get everyone on the same page about how to use the internet to achieve their mission, because brick-and-mortar advocacy needs to get with the times." And here we are, with two successful events in our rearview mirror, and enthusiasm for our upcoming third event - a summit that promises more participants, more insights and more focus on the task at hand: using social media to help improve health policy.

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As one of the first Online Patient Communities (OPC), CreakyJoints, a part of the Global Healthy Living Foundation, has been the gathering point for tens of thousands of people living with rheumatic diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis. Bringing everyone together in a positive environment, to share strength and experience, was part one of our mission. Amplifying everyone's voice to improve access to care - this became the second part of our mission, and the one we aim to fulfill for ourselves and every other health advocacy group with eAdvocacy.

We look forward to welcoming NBC's Chuck Todd as this year's keynote speaker, to seeing old friends and making new friends on October 15th.