RA Programs

Our Services

Our support and education programs are the only on-going programs of their kind in the Northeast which combine current RA- related information with peer support.

The Early RA Support and Education Program

  • For people recently diagnosed (within the past 2 years) with RA or Inflammatory Arthritis.
  • Developed in 2007 to address the unique needs of people recently diagnosed with RA or early inflammatory arthritis.

Living with RA: Lecture, Lunch and Conversation

  • For people who have been living with RA for many years.
  • Developed in 1999 to provide essential RA- related information and emotional support for people living with RA.

What To Expect When You Come to the Groups

The first half of each workshop features a lecture by a recognized health care professional who provides essential information about RA management and treatment. Following each lecture, the group participates in a support group discussion, facilitated by a clinical social worker and an experienced rheumatology nurse. 

  • The groups meet monthly for a free 2-hour workshop.
  • The programs take place in a series of four monthly workshops in the spring (March-June) and fall (September-December) of each year.
  • Contact the social work coordinator for more information and required pre-screening and registration.

Additional Services

Short-Term Counseling: Sometimes individual support, in addition to the support provided by the group, can be helpful in coping with RA. We offer:

  • One-on-one, short-term supportive counseling with licensed clinical social workers (westreichj@hss.edu) who are familiar with the particular difficulties involved in living with this illness. This service is free of charge.
  • Referrals to outside counseling and resources, as well as other information about services within the hospital and community are also available.

Public Education Lectures: In addition to the lectures presented in the education and support groups, we present free lectures on RA-related topics to a larger community audience. These bi-annual lectures are offered in collaboration with our Education Division and the Arthritis Foundation, and are open to the public.

Lecture Summaries: To reach a wider audience, and for people who can not attend the workshops, we offer summaries of select lectures