Arthritis Foundation Taps Dr. Laura Robbins as National Chair

Robbins Selected as Organization's Top Volunteer

Atlanta, GA—November 20, 2004

The Arthritis Foundation appointed Laura Robbins, DSW as the organization's new national chair, effective Nov. 20. She will play a vital role in leading the only national, nonprofit health agency helping 70 million Americans with arthritis take greater control of the nation's leading cause of disability.

Robbins has served as treasurer of the Arthritis Foundation since 2002 and a volunteer with the Atlanta-based organization for more than 15 years.  In her role as chair of the Arthritis Foundation Board of Trustees, Robbins will be a guiding force in establishing and implementing nationwide policy and strategic direction for the Arthritis Foundation and advancing the efforts of volunteers and staff in chapters across the country. 

"Laura Robbins clearly stands out as the natural choice to assume the role of the Arthritis Foundation's top volunteer," said Dr. John H. Klippel, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "Having already proven herself as a passionate advocate for people living with arthritis, Laura has a strong grasp of the direction in which the Arthritis Foundation needs to be heading in order to continue to improve lives through the prevention, control and cure of arthritis."

"The Arthritis Foundation has already made a significant difference in the lives of millions of people who have been affected by arthritis," said Robbins. "As national chair, I look forward to contributing to the progress of the Arthritis Foundations in achieving its mission through a continued commitment to research, public health and public policy."

Robbins has more than 20 years of experience in medical research and education related to arthritis. In her non-volunteer role, she is vice president for education and academic affairs at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, associate scientist in the research division and associate scientist and professor in the clinical epidemiology and health services research program at Weill Medical College at Cornell University.  Her research focuses on barriers to utilization and access to health care services. She is particularly interested in culturally determined health beliefs and behaviors and interventions aimed at reducing health disparities. 

Robbins oversees education and academic training at the hospital through various departments; public and patient education, professional education and academic training that includes training medical students, residents and fellows.  She teaches qualitative research methodology and multiculturalism in health promotion and disease prevention to medical students, residents and fellows in training at Weill Medical College at Cornell University.

Robbins is also part of a National Institutes of Health consortium that is developing a nation-wide musculoskeletal curriculum for middle school children from diverse cultures that teaches children not only the importance of strong bones but also the biochemistry of the skeletal system, an approach that simultaneously exposes young children to the potential for careers in science, aiming to encourage young students to enter careers in clinical medicine or basic science.

Robbins received her bachelors of social work at the City University of New York, her masters of social work at Hunter College, School of Social Work and her doctorate of social work at the University of New York, Hunter College School of Social Work.

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 arthritis information, contact the Arthritis Foundation at 800-283-7800 or on the Web at

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s largest academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2017), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at


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