Governor Proclaims May as National Arthritis Awareness Month in Kansas

April 12, 2005

Topeka, Kan. — Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed a proclamation, Tuesday, April 12, declaring May as National Arthritis Awareness Month in Kansas. Joining Sebelius for the signing ceremony was Bonnie Henrickson, University of Kansas Women’s Basketball Coach and spokesperson for the Kansas Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.

An estimated 676,000 Kansans, roughly one adult in three, have doctor-diagnosed arthritis or a related disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Another estimated 2,800 Kansas children under the age of 18 have arthritis or chronic joint symptoms.

“We are pleased that Governor Sebelius is recognizing the impact this disease has on Kansans of all ages.” said Dennis H. Bender, president, Arthritis Foundation, Kansas Chapter. “Sadly, our research shows that half the people affected by arthritis believe there is nothing that can be done about their condition. National Arthritis Awareness Month is designed to show there are steps that people can follow to take control of their disease, lessen pain and lead a quality life.”

“Coach Henrickson has become a strong ally in raising awareness for the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate physical activity to reduce the effects of arthritis,” he said.

Governor Sebelius, Coach Henrickson, and several Kansans with arthritis will participated in the proclamation signing at 9 a.m., on April 12 in the Governor’s Statehouse office.

The Arthritis Foundation is the only nationwide, nonprofit health organization helping people take greater control of arthritis by leading efforts to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related diseases – the nation’s number one cause of disability. For free information about arthritis and its related diseases, contact the Arthritis Foundation, Kansas Chapter at 1-800-362-1108 or

Governor’s Proclamation
April 12, 2005

WHEREAS, the term arthritis encompasses more than 100 diseases, conditions and syndromes that affect joints, surrounding tissues, other connective tissues, and may also affect other parts of the body including internal organs; and

WHEREAS, more than 676,000 Kansas adults and children are living with arthritis and related diseases; and

WHEREAS, arthritis is the leading cause of disability for those over the age of 15 in the United States; and

WHEREAS, arthritis costs the nation more than $86 billion annually, including lost productivity; and

WHEREAS, the Arthritis Foundation improves lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases; and

WHEREAS, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Office of Health Promotion, partners with local agencies and other organizations and associations to reduce the disability of rheumatic disease, improve quality of life, and to provide education and community-based services for people with arthritis and related conditions; and

WHEREAS, the annual observance of Arthritis Month each May is an opportunity to increase arthritis awareness amongst all Kansans:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF KANSAS, do hereby proclaim May to be Arthritis Awareness Month in Kansas. I urge all health care professionals and citizens in our state to learn more about arthritis, its treatment, techniques for self-management, and I encourage Kansans to join in the work of the Arthritis Foundation in Kansas to help prevent, control and cure this disease.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Kansas, in the City of Topeka, this 12th day of April, 2005.