ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - August 22, 2016) - The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) -- the leading U.S. organization representing rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals -- today announced the launch of a national television public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness about rheumatic diseases -- including arthritis, lupus, gout, and hundreds of lesser-known rheumatic diseases -- and the importance of early intervention by a trained rheumatologist. The PSA will be broadcast on television stations nationwide throughout September, which marks the first Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month sponsored by the ACR and its public awareness campaign, Simple Tasks.
The announcement features actress Jennie Garth, known for her starring roles as Kelly Taylor in the television series Beverly Hills, 90210 and Valerie Tyler on the sitcom What I Like About You. The talented actress and busy mother of three has been an advocate for rheumatic disease awareness since her daughter, Lola was diagnosed with Still's Disease, one of the hundreds of lesser-known rheumatic diseases under the general umbrella of arthritis.
"As shocked as we were to learn our five-year-old had arthritis, rheumatic diseases are more common than you may think," says Garth in the announcement.
Garth notes in the PSA that rheumatic diseases are the nation's leading cause of disability -- more than heart disease, cancer, or diabetes -- and often strike in the prime of life. "Incredibly, 52 million Americans -- young and old -- live with painful, debilitating rheumatic diseases," says Garth.
The term "rheumatic disease" remains mysterious to many Americans. Patients living with these diseases often experience chronic pain and other debilitating symptoms for years before seeking treatment or receiving a proper diagnosis.
While there is no cure for rheumatic diseases, early intervention and treatment provided by a trained rheumatologist can help patients maintain quality of life, avoid long-term disability, and remain active in the workforce and society.
"Early intervention by a specialist is critical, so if you or a loved one is experiencing chronic joint pain, swelling, stiffness, or inflammation, don't ignore the signs -- ask your doctor if you should see a rheumatologist," Garth concludes.
The PSA can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_-1KpKXMq8
Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month (RDAM) will be celebrated throughout the month of September. The ACR and Simple Tasks have developed a number of activities, resources, and tools to help individuals and organizations participate in RDAM 2016. More information can be found on the Simple Tasks website at www.SimpleTasks.org.
About the American College of Rheumatology
The American College of Rheumatology is an international medical society representing more than 9,400 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals with a mission to Advance Rheumatology! In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy, and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care.
Rheumatologists are experts in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.
Embedded Video Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6Sms8xnWTA