Arthritis support services and programs will be enhanced, and vital medical research progressed in a new partnership between Arthritis SA and The Hospital Research Foundation Group.
Arthritis SA members voted in favour of the constitutional change, giving effect to the merger, at their Annual General Meeting overnight.
“We’re extremely pleased and proud to welcome Arthritis SA into our group. The partnership presents a genuine opportunity to collaborate and improve the quality of life of people with arthritis and related conditions,” said Paul Flynn, CEO of The Hospital Research Foundation Group.
“Both organisations share similar values around optimising the health and wellbeing of communities and we are grateful Arthritis SA has put their faith in the tangible and sustainable outcomes this merger will generate for people living with arthritis” Mr Flynn said.
Arthritis is an extremely common condition, affecting more than 3.9 million adults and children in Australia. The chronic condition, the cause of which is still not well understood, can impact different parts of the joint and nearly every joint in the human body resulting in debilitating symptoms, including chronic pain.
Arthritis SA CEO Adj A/Prof Steve Morris said the partnership ensures that vital support services such as hydrotherapy, education, advocacy, and medical research activities can continue well into the future.
“Coming under the auspices of The Hospital Research Foundation Group means the future of Arthritis SA is secure. Our capacity to expand and improve existing services and programs will be greatly increased – as will our reach to the many people living with arthritis including their family, friends and agencies who support them,” Mr Morris said.
“Arthritis does not discriminate. In Australia, one in six people have the condition, with two in every three people aged between 15 and 60 years’ old.
“This joint venture will ensure we can guarantee the sustained provision of existing and enhanced services to the South Australian community, with an additional focus on research into the chronic condition.”
Both organisations will continue to work closely during this exciting transition phase, with members consulted and kept informed throughout the process.
The merger will formally take effect on 1 March 2023.