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March is Autoimmune Awareness Month, and we are celebrating the tremendous strides taking place in autoimmune awareness and within the autoimmune research community!   

Over 50 million Americans live with an autoimmune or immune-mediated disease – including approximately 4 million living with Sjögren’s – and nearly 80% of autoimmune patients are women.1 With recent studies showing that the prevalence of autoimmune diseases is increasing for both men and women,2 it is important to raise awareness about the critical need for more research.  

The Biden-Harris Administration and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently implemented initiatives for autoimmune research, including the creation of the Office of Autoimmune Disease Research (OADR) within the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) and the Women’s Health Research Initiative championed by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. Although these two initiatives fall under women’s health research, both aim to understand the differences in autoimmune diseases between men and women.  

In February, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) celebrated their Accelerating Medicines Partnership® (AMP®) program, which included the Autoimmune and Immune-mediated diseases (AMP®AIM) program.  This research project has the potential to uncover new information about Sjögren's and how autoimmune diseases may be similar. The AMP® AIM program started in 2021 to better understand the underlying causes of inflammation and autoimmune diseases and move toward better treatments for patients.3 The Sjögren’s Foundation is a proud and active steering committee member for AMP®AIM and participates in overseeing program progression and milestones. You can read more about the AMP®AIM and Sjögren’s Foundation partnership here 

The FNIH also created a new Patient Ambassadors Program as a commitment to patient engagement and diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) across all AMP® programs. Our CEO and President of the Sjögren’s Foundation, Janet Church, was chosen as a patient ambassador for AMP®AIM and she accepted the role to raise greater awareness for Sjögren’s patients. You can learn more about this program and hear Janet’s story on the FNIH website. This video was a presentation Janet gave to the FNIH staff about Sjögren's and what it is like to live with the disease. 

Along with other autoimmune and immune-mediated disease patient advocacy and health organizations, the Sjögren’s Foundation is grateful for the opportunities to raise awareness and let our patients’ voices be heard. As we finish the last half of Autoimmune Awareness Month, we are excited for the various awareness and patient-centric activities planned by the Foundation in April for Sjögren’s Awareness Month! Look for opportunities to get involved on our website such as presenting your own story, or participating in one of our events such as the National Patient Conference and Walks for Sjögren’s by visiting 



  1. “Autoimmune Diseases.” National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 
  2. Dinse GE, Parks CG, Weinberg CR, et al. Increasing Prevalence of Antinuclear Antibodies in the United States. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020;72(6):1026-1035. doi:10.1002/art.41214 
  3. Branch, NIAMS Science Communications and Outreach. “Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP® AIM) Program.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 19 Feb. 2021,….