Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis Blogger Summit and Rethink RA

On May 31, 2013, I was pleased to attend the first Rheumatoid Arthritis Blogger Summit, sponsored by and courtesy of, Pfizer, Inc

The Summit
RethinKit available at http://rethinkra.com/.
The one-day event was filled with lively group discussions about a variety of topics of interest to us Rheumatoid patient bloggers, including how pharma can help to meet the information needs of the RA community, the role of pharma in social media (in a highly regulated industry), and what it is like to actually live (and blog) life with Rheumatoid Disease.   

Rethink RA
We RA bloggers received exciting sneak peeks of a brand neutral program launching June 19 (that's tomorrow!), designed to educate our community in several aspects of managing our disease. 

Seamus Mullen at work in the kitchen.
Look for his RethinkRA Events here:
This program features the legendary Seamus Mullen, chef, author of Hero Food, and owner of Tertulia, a top restaurant in New York City, for education and inspiration. Seamus has RA, and offered us many helpful tips for managing RA in the kitchen.  

(L-R) Dana Symons (from http://waters-edge.blogspot.com/
and @dsymons on Twitter), Seamus Mullen, and me.

We were treated to an insightful healthy cooking demonstration for lunch and were bowled over! The delicious, anti-inflammatory, lunchtime demo that we got to enjoy eating was a super fun highlight of the summit.

Times Square with (L-R)
Britt Johnson (http://www.thehurtblogger.com/)
and Angela Lundberg (http://inflamed.wordpress.com/).
The Conversation 

One wonderful aspect of the trip to NYC was the opportunity to meet other RA advocates and bloggers with whom I had communicated via Twitter, Facebook, and social media, as well as several faces new to me. 

I look forward to continuing the conversation with both the advocates and pharma representatives I met at the RA Blogger Summit. The organizers at Pfizer were all very generous and eager to listen. They also took care of our travel, which would have been prohibitive for many of us to participate otherwise. Thanks to the wonderful team at Pfizer, Inc.!

Opening the doors of communication between Rheumatoid patients and those who work to make our lives better seems, to me, a great goal. Special thanks also to Seamus Mullen for opening up and sharing his tips and stories about his life with RA!