Member Spotlight: The Spondylitis Association of America


The Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) was founded in 1983 by 10 patients and two physicians as the first ankylosing spondylitis (AS) support group.  Today, the organization operates more than 40 support groups across America, while simultaneously providing advocacy, education, funding, and research support for AS locally and nationally. Their mission is to be the leader in the quest to cure AS and related diseases, and to empower those affected to live their lives to the fullest.

The SSA is proud to be a member of the National Health Council because of the NHC’s commitment to advocacy and tireless pursuit to improve the quality of care for patients living with chronic diseases.

One program the SSA has used to support their mission is a workshop for new rheumatologists and radiologists called the “Magnetic Imaging Workshop in Spondyloarthritis (SpA).” This workshop was created to educate those groups on spondyloarthritis imaging and to promote earlier diagnoses of the disease. The workshop, conducted by a diverse panel of experts in musculoskeletal imaging, covered both introductory and advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in observing and assessing spondyloarthritis. Participants evaluated images with the experts while encouraging collaboration and dialogue between the experts and rheumatologists and radiologists. This program is one way the SAA builds relationships with medical professionals who can help advocate for patients’ needs, while at the same time actively working towards improving AS/SpA research and increasing diagnoses in the future.

For more information on the Spondylitis Association of America, please contact Cassie Shafer. For information on becoming an NHC member, visit the membership section of our website.