The University of Arizona

Artists With Arthritis is Topic of Keynote Presentation

By Jean Spinelli, Arizona Health Sciences Center | January 7, 2009

Living With Arthritis 2009, a public program presented by the Arizona Arthritis Center, takes place on Saturday.

French impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir was able to paint despite his rheumatoid arthritis. Shown here is his
French impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir was able to paint despite his rheumatoid arthritis. Shown here is his "Le Moulin de la Galette," 1876.

"The pain passes, but the beauty remains" was the response by famous French impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir when asked how he could continue to paint while in agony from the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.

"Artists with Arthritis: The Challenges and the Progress of New Therapies" is the keynote presentation at "Living Healthy With Arthritis 2009, A Program of Learning and Fun for Everyone," an annual program presented by the Arizona Arthritis Center at The University of Arizona College of Medicine. The program takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at University Medical Center's DuVal Auditorium.

Keynote speaker Dr. James Louie, professor emeritus of medicine, rheumatology, at the University of California, Los Angeles, will discuss how the works of Renoir, Raoul Dufy and other modern artists were and are affected by their arthritis. Louie's multi-image presentation using art will illustrate the effects of arthritis on these talented individuals and show how scientific-based therapies have improved the care and outcome of artists with arthritis as exhibited by their life and art.

The program, which is sponsored by the Arizona Arthritis Center Friends, also will feature sessions on stretching, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, foot health, the Laughter Yoga exercise method, mind-body approaches to healing pain and exercises to correct biochemical and anatomical imbalances caused by sedentary living.

Cost of the program is $10 and includes a light lunch. Members of the Arizona Arthritis Center Friends attend free. Free parking is available in the UMC visitor/patient parking garage.

To register, or for more information, call the Arizona Arthritis Center at 626-5040, or e-mail

A printable brochure is available on the Arizona Arthritis Center Web site, which also includes information about the Living Healthy With Arthritis lecture series.

The schedule for Saturday's program:

9 a.m.-9:45 a.m. Early Bird Stretch Session. A 45-minute class focusing on exercise to promote flexibility and decrease muscle soreness. (Appropriate for all levels; wear comfortable clothing; limited to 50 people.)

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Welcome and Keynote Speaker

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch and Poster Session

12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m. Patient-Focused Breakout Sessions (choose one):

  • Latest Advances in Osteoarthritis Treatment. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 21 million adults in the U.S. Dr. Berchman Austin Vaz, rheumatologist at the Arizona Arthritis Center, will discuss signs, symptoms, current treatments and where our research is heading for the development of new treatments.
  • Latest Advances in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment. Cindy Uthe-Straw, a rheumatology nurse specialist in the UA College of Medicine's Section of Adult Rheumatology, will introduce the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, and discuss current RA treatments and where our research is heading for the development of new treatments.
  • Living With Lupus. Lupus is one of the many immune system disorders known as autoimmune diseases and it can affect nearly every organ of the body. Miranda Adelman, research assistant professor at the Arizona Arthritis Center, will discuss the role the immune system plays in lupus and current and future treatments.
  • Best Foot Forward. Diseases, disorders and disabilities of the foot or ankle affect the quality of life and mobility of millions of Americans, yet most are not aware of the important relationship between foot health and overall health and well-being. Charles Taylor II, certified pedorthist, will explain the complex structure of the foot, associated problems and how to keep feet healthy.

2 p.m.-3 p.m. Breakout Sessions (choose one):

  • Laughter Yoga combines laughter exercises with deep breathing, simple stretching and cultivation of childlike playfulness, laughter meditation and deep relaxation. Anyone can do it – even from a wheelchair! Join Gita (Jill) Fendelman, certified Laughter Yoga teacher and Kripalu-certified yoga teacher, and laugh your way into radiant health. Laughter is the best medicine.
  • Truth and Hope: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing for Pain Patients. Dr. Mark Gilbert, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry, and director of the UA College of Medicine's Mind-Body Medicine Skills Group, will address the definitions of mind-body medicine, healing and hope, and will discuss the research evidence and treatments that benefit patients struggling with chronic pain.
  • Prime for Life: Maintaining Functional Fitness. Sedentary living causes biochemical and anatomical imbalances; exercise and movement correct these. Join Randy Raugh, a physical therapist and fitness director at the Life Enhancement Center at Tucson's Canyon Ranch, and learn about the benefits of exercise at all levels of life.