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7.7.17 For the first time, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has declared July 10 as Chronic Disease Awareness Day in the state of Oregon. “Chronic disease affects thousands of individuals throughout Oregon and millions throughout the United States,” the proclamation states. Widespread awareness, increased community engagement and ongoing advocacy are “critical to improve patients’ quality of life and access to care.” The Chronic Disease Coalition supported the proclamation. “Although few chronic diseases are preventable, we must still increase disease awareness, promote early detection methods, improve access to appropriate medical treatment and encourage healthy lifestyles,” Chronic Disease Coalition Executive Director Scott Bruun said. “We also must protect patients’ rights and recognize that discrimination against chronic disease patients, often by health insurers, is on the rise.” An estimated 133 Americans have at least one chronic disease or long-term health condition such as diabetes, kidney disease, hemophilia or arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately one in four adults has two or more chronic health conditions. We’re thrilled to have participated in this effort through Good Days, formerly the Chronic Disease Fund, a group that provides patient assistance programs by working with health care providers and pharmacies to help patients access medication and treatments they need. The city of Portland this year also issued a proclamation recognizing the day. By declaring July 10 Chronic Disease Awareness Day, we can take an important step in building additional awareness, understanding and compassion around the issues of chronic disease.