Introducing Health Central's New Rheumatoid Arthritis Social Ambassador

Patient Expert

Hi all!

I decided to write a letter to you, the wonderful readers of HealthCentral’s RA site, and the RA community who has grown to be my friends!

It’s amazing what social media has done for our community and how often I hear, “I just wish I had known about this community sooner!”  We are there for each other 24/7 with support, ridiculous photos to cheer each other up, words of wisdom from living many years with RA, and sharing resources when we may not have the answer ourselves.

I’ve been writing for HealthCentral’s RA site for a little over a year now. An opportunity that has been exceedingly rewarding as I get to connect with our ever-growing and evolving community. And now, I get to grow that connection as the new RA Social Ambassador to Health Central!

Fancy title, but what does that mean?! It means that we’re trying to hear more of YOUR voices, and reach those that feel like they are alone in managing their RA. We’ve been giddily dreaming up new ways for all of you to connect with each other, to learn from each other, and to help you manage your own health in a positive and productive way!

So why me? First, I’ve been living with autoimmune arthritis since the age of seven, for 23 years now (I’ll let you do the math!). Second, I write a blog called []( "Britt Johnson's blog "The Hurt Blogger""), and am self-admittedly addicted to [Twitter]( "Britt Johnson on Twitter as "Hurt Blogger""), Instagram and other social media sites for the invaluable connection it provides those living with RA.  The online community has saved my bacon through the years, both emotionally and physically, and I want to do all that I can to pay that forward.

I am both a writer and public speaker and an advocate for autoimmune arthritis and chronic pain, and want to leave this healthcare world a better place than how I found it.  When I’m not online, you can find me training toward my childhood dream of climbing Denali (Mt. McKinley). A lofty goal that I once thought was impossible, but have re-embraced with a creative and positive attitude. My current medication regimen has allowed me to be more active, and find a better quality of life. Now on my sixth biologic (yes, six!), I have learned that we always have to keeping trying. Whether that is a new medication, a new approach to eating, a new way to approach mental health, or a new goal to keep us fired up inside! Trying is the key.

So why now? Our vibrant RA community has a lot to say, and not always a place to say it, or feel like they are being heard. We’ve been listening, and know that the community wants new ways to evolve together. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be rolling out new tweet chats, highlighting parts of RA that sometimes go ignored, and always supporting YOU by sharing and creating resources to answer your concerns.

Growing into this position feels like I’m coming home to family. The caring and support from HealthCentral makes it possible to accomplish my own dreams in our online RA community, and for that I thank them.

I am here to help you, and I am listening.

Be well!

Britt Johnson

Want to reach out to Britt today? Leave her a comment here or find her on [Twitter: @HurtBlogger]( "Britt Johnson on Twitter as "Hurt Blogger"")!