CAPA celebrated World Arthritis Day in our first-ever Twitter Spaces event about navigating the workplace with arthritis on October 12, 2022. It was a collaborative event that brough together Take a Pain Check Foundation, Creaky Joints Canada, and CAPA. The event was moderated by special guest Sarah Shaw from Creaky Joints Canada where she spoke with Annette McKinnon (CAPA), Michael Kuluva (Creaky Joints Canada), and Natasha Trehan (Take a Pain Check Foundation). The session participants learned directly from the first-hand experiences of people with arthritis across the life span and through different career stages.

You can now watch this Twitter Spaces event here.

About the panel

Sarah Reneé is the Senior Manager of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Community Outreach covering the chronic disease community, including neurology, autoimmune conditions, and oncology at the Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF). As a migraine patient she also implements migraine patient activities and coalitions, as well as manage GHLF/CreakyJoints patient councils. She holds a B.A. in Journalism & Media Studies and a minor in Labor Studies with a concentration in Diversity in the Workplace from Rutgers University. She is very involved in patient advocacy events and has been featured in various advocacy campaigns, including the Speak Your Migraine Campaign, WebMD’s “In Their Own Words: Moving Beyond Migraine” segment with Robin Roberts, Healthline’s What BIPOC Advocates Want You to Know About Migraine Care, and an avid advocate at the lobbying event Headache on the Hill in Washington, D.C.

Annette McKinnon has had Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 30 years and has seen many improvements in the way RA is treated. A background in market research left her prepared for an active involved retirement centering on social media and health care. Starting with blogging and going on to Twitter and Tweetchats have revealed new worlds of support. She is a board member with CAPA and tweets for CAPA and the Sjogren’s Society of Canada where she has been a board member for 10 years. She served as a Public Member of the Council of the College of Occupational Therapists. In 2014 she was an ePatient Scholar at Stanford’s MedicineX Conference in Palo Alto; she is proud to be a member of The Walking Gallery. She is a Health Mentor for the Centre for Inter-Professional Education of the University of Toronto, and a co-author and patient partner on research projects. In an age where patient engagement is increasing she advocates for the patient voice to be included in health care decision making at all levels.

Michael Kuluva is a fashion designer and a rheumatoid arthritis patient plus advocate. I live in both Canada and the United States. He works very hard to bring awareness to arthritis through different mediums including art, social media, and public events.

Natasha Trehan is a university student studying Biomedical Science in the French Immersion Stream at the University of Ottawa. She was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at the age of 13. As a teenager, she felt alone and was unable to find the instant resources to connect with other people with similar lived experiences. She founded the Take a Pain Check Podcast in March 2021 to ensure that young patients feel supported every step of the way. In October 2021, she founded Take a Pain Check Foundation – an organization by youth and for youth with lived experiences.

During the pandemic, she decided to dedicate her summer to getting involved with research so she could truly learn about her own invisible disability and help others. She is also a trained patient researcher through the PaCER Training Program through the University of Calgary Continuing Education. Natasha’s aim is to create a platform for youth and young adults living with rheumatic diseases, to raise awareness, and make a meaningful impact on the community.