JJAMD’S RETROSPECTIVE ON THE “TMJ YEAR” OF 2002
2002 WAS A YEAR OF GENUINE PROGRESS in very small increments:
This was evident in our Spring visit, which lasted ten days and covered multiple issues and activities with multiple NIH agencies and a visit to the Hill with other Patient Advocacy organizations. The most hopeful sign of all, is the obvious commitment, determination, and capability of the new NIDCR Director, Dr. Lawrence Tabak, and his “TMJ designate” Dr. Norman Braveman, to advance the status of TMJ research and to implement a well-funded “Natural History [i.e. birth-to-death] TMJ Registry” which will
begin to track patients in the general [non- implant] TMJ population in a comprehensive body-wide assessment. This follows the many years JJAMD has campaigned for such a registry.
ANOTHER HOPEFUL SIGN DURING OUR VISIT WAS THE COOPERATION IN TMJ RESEARCH AMONG SEVERAL NIH AGENCIES led by NIDCR, and including Neurological & Stroke; Nursing; Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease; Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Allergy and Infectious Disease; Heart, Lung and Blood; and the Office of research on Women’s Health. The group, called Temporomandibular Joint Disorders Interagency Working Group [TMJDIWG] [the JOINT in the title being inserted by NIDCR as a result of our intervention] was formed in response to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees expressing specific interest in TMJ research. The meeting of TMJDIWG we attended demonstrated real interest among several of the agencies present, some of whom made presentations on research being done currently or planned for the future.
INCLUDED IN THE
WE ALSO VISITED “THE HILL.” We were given assignments to meet with specific legislators and legislative aides to advocate for increased appropriations as “Friends of NIDCR.”
IN OUR MEETINGSWITH NIDCR OFFICIALS we continued to plug away at trying to get NIDCR to launch a broad public program of “AWARENESS” and prevention.
ANOTHER NIDCR SPONSORED ACTIVITY WAS THE “SECOND SCIENTIFIC MEETING OF THE TMJ ASSOCIATION.” [TMJA]. The meetings extended over two days and included presentations by researchers in a wide ranging group of topics involved mainly with basic scientific research in pain, arthritis, and allied subjects. Some of the medical scientists indicated that they were unaware of the implications of their research on the Temporomandibular Joints as opposed to other joints in the body, until they were made aware of such connection at this conference, by intermingling with TMJ practitioners and TMJ patients, and by hearing testimony from TMJ advocates and patients. Others working in the field of arthritic joints noted that they had never included the Jaw Joints within their research paradigms--another reason for our constant campaign of “AWARENESS.”
THE SCIENCE OF ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE [a.k.a. Complementary
and Alternative Medicine ..
FOUNDERS HAD A PRIVILEGED MEETING WITH THE DEAN OF HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL IN
2002. This turned out to be a difficult
meeting when it should have been a reasoned and informed discussion about why
Medical Education skips right over the Jaw Joints and related disorders. The result is frustration for the millions of
TMJ patients who go to their primary care physicians, orthopedic physicians, or
rheumatologists to seek care. Offered an
opportunity to meet with the Dean as a result of
In June, THE UNITED STATE PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE issued
a Trademark to JJAMD for “JAW JOINTS - TMJ AWARENESS MONTH”® Proclaimed to the Congress by U.S.
Representative Barney Frank and published in the Congressional Record, each
month of November bears this designation.
The trademark will insure that no one uses the designation for purposes
unintended, nor can shorten or change the mark [i.e. TMD Awareness Month,
etc.]. The extensive legal work required
for the multiple year effort was provided pro bono by Goodwin Procter LLP of
JOINT DISORDERS : TMJ AND HEADACHE IN CHILDREN -
CLINICAL INDICATIONS AND OBSERVATIONS.
THIS WAS THE FIRST FULL YEAR FOR BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF
APPRECIATION RECEIVED FROM MANY SOURCES ARE THE ONLY REMUNERATION FOR THE WORK WE DO. During the year we received a thorough recap of NIDCR activities with regard to TMJ and warm congratulation from Dr. Tabak and Braveman for the work we have been doing to advocate for such successful progress. At the end of the year, we received the following e-mail from a dear Colleague of Milton and Renée a prominent physician who had once served as deputy director of NIH and a trustee of the Arthritis Foundation:
“Dear Milton and Renée. May this New Year be most propitious for you both. I have been meaning to congratulate you for the results of your untiring work for the recognition of TMJ during this past year. This has been marked by the issuance by NIDCR of an RFA “Pathobiology of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders” 9/02 and the recent announcement of the intention to fund an “INTERNATIONAL PATIENT REGISTRY AND REPOSITORY FOR TEMPOROMANDIBULAR MUSCLE AND JOINT DISORDERS - (TMJDs) NATURAL HISTORY.” Your many years of hard work and persistence is indeed paying off. Kindest personal regards and may the future be as bright and productive.”
Finally, while we have long since abandoned the idea of
general fundraising, each year we receive a donation from a Wall Street
Please watch this site for further information on 2002 and the prospects for 2003