Shedding Light on Psoriatic Arthritis {Interview}

Shedding Light on Psoriatic Arthritis {Interview}



Many people associate the month of October as a time for wearing costumes and masks and enjoying the festivities that belong to Halloween. But what happens when you are hiding behind a mask of a different kind; the kind that hides how you are feeling every day?

Psoriatic arthritis is a serious and debilitating chronic illness that affects approximately 500,000 Americans with symptoms that may include joint pain, stiffness and swelling, painful swelling of fingers and/or toes, and pain and stiffness in the neck and lower back.[1],[2],[3] Psoriatic arthritis may include external symptoms like thick, red skin with flaky silver-white patches.2 Living with this chronic illness can not only be physically uncomfortable, but also impacts emotional health.

U.S. findings from the recent PsA Narrative global survey of over 1,200 adults with psoriatic arthritis and 1,400 rheumatologists and dermatologists from eight countries, uncovered that psoriatic arthritis impacts many facets of a patient’s life. Data from the PsA Narrative shows that patients often tell their physician they are fine when they are really experiencing symptoms. Furthermore, although patients feel satisfied with the management of their psoriatic arthritis symptoms, there are indications that their treatment plan may not be working well enough. These survey results suggest improving patient-physician dialogue could be a key to helping improve the outcomes for those living with this debilitating disease.

Join me in a recent interview with Leah Howard, chief operating officer from the National Psoriasis Foundation or NPF, a non-profit organization that supports patients with psoriatic arthritis, as she revealed key information on the impact of this disease, the results of the PsA Narrative surveys, as well as ways that patients can work with their doctor to make sure their voice is heard.

Listen to the entire interview here:

For more information, go to



National Psoriasis Foundation Spokesperson Bio

Name: Leah McCormick Howard, J.D.

Title: Chief Operating Officer

Leah McCormick Howard, J.D., joined the National Psoriasis Foundation in 2012. As the NPF’s first Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Howard provides the strategic direction, vision, and leadership to all the Foundation’s mission-related functions (excepting research) – government relations and advocacy, marketing and communications, education and outreach, human resources and the NPF’s Patient Navigation Center. Reporting to the CEO, she is responsible for ensuring the Foundation has proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place to effectively grow the organization and achieve the Foundation’s strategic plan goals. Hired to direct the NPF Government Relations and Advocacy department, Ms. Howard served in that role for five years before being promoted from Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy to the newly created executive position of Chief Operating Officer. She brings to her role nearly 20 years of experience working with national health and disability organizations, local governments and leading health care and research institutions. She has a Bachelor of Arts in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from George Mason University School of Law.

[1] Strauss EJ, Alfonso D, Baidwan G, Di Cesare PE. Orthopedic manifestations and management of psoriatic arthritis. Am J Orthop. 2008;37(3):138-147.

[2] Liu JT, Yeh HM, Liu SY, Chen KT. Psoriatic arthritis: epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment. World J Orthop. 2014;5(4):537-543.

[3] National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) National Institute of Health Psoriatic. Arthritis Overview. Accessed February 16, 2018.

[4] Served as a member of the PsA Narrative Global Advisory Panel and was compensated for his participation in the panel and these interviews.


Interview is courtesy of Pfizer


Cynthia Tait

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