“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.” Fundraising efforts, like gathering pledges for a climbing expedition to support people with severe lung disease, are one way friends and family members take action.

The Chronic Disease Coalition, an Oregon-based nonprofit dedicated to protecting the rights of patients nationwide, 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 million 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.

About the Chronic Disease Coalition:
Founded in 2015, the Chronic Disease Coalition is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of chronic disease patients against discriminatory policies and practices. The Coalition fights discrimination wherever we find it: in schools, at workplaces and with insurance companies. We are patients, family members, health care providers, advocacy groups, medical professionals and others who care deeply about the needs of the millions of Americans with chronic diseases. To learn more, please visit http://chronicdiseasecoalition.com.