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joint-decisions-2016I’m embarrassed that it’s taken me this long to post about the wonderful experience afforded me by attending this year’s Joint Decisions Empowerment Summit. This is my third Summit and it brings together some of the bloggers and advocates I admire most, including:

The conference is supported by/brought together/made possible by the great folks at Joint Decisions, Creaky Joints, Janssen Biotech, and Tonic Life. This year’s theme, was “Love” as it was held in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.

One of the main things I get from the Summit is, indeed, empowerment. Having RA is exhausting. Having RA and writing about it can be overwhelming. But coming together with this great group of people, exchanging ideas, learning new things is amazingly energizing.

Part of the Summit was spent on what Joint Decisions has on tap for 2017. I applaud the work Joint Decisions does to support people who are living with RA, so if you aren’t already following Joint Decisions on Facebook you can do so here to stay in the know – and at the Summit they also announced the launch of their Instagram!

But there was a special treat for attendees this year. We were given a look behind the scenes with a BioTour of Janssen’s facilities. Learning about the complexities of researching, developing, getting approval for, then manufacturing and distributing biologics was amazing. The most incredible part was being able to spend time with Janssen scientists and executives who were very generous with their time and very open to answering our questions and discussing patient-centered concerns.

I am a strong proponent for the patient’s voice being heard throughout the medical profession. Because of initiatives like Joint Decisions and the sponsorship of Janssen, our voice is gaining volume and attention. I can’t thank you enough.

Janssen Biotech, Inc. paid for my travel expenses for the Summit. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.