When you think about arthritis, what comes to mind? Arthritis is the main cause of disability in the United States. It affects nearly 1 out of 5 adults (that's 50 million people) and it is expected to increase as the nation's population ages and as the obesity epidemic rises. It is not just an old person's disease, however. In actuality, nearly two-thirds of people with arthritis are younger than 65 years of age and it costs the nation more than $128 billion (yes, billion) a year by 2003 standards. These statistics are alarming so why don't you think of them first when you think of arthritis? State health departments and the CDC are out to change the way that you think, and deal with, arthritis. Since 1999, the CDC Arthritis program and CDC-funded states have worked with national, state and local partners to improve the quality of life among persons affected by arthritis. Currently 12 states use CDC funding to improve their ability to monitor the burden of arthritis, coordinate activities with partners and other state programs to increase awareness that something can be done to address the burden and impact of arthritis, and to promote self-management education and physical activity with an emphasis on embedding evidence-based arthritis interventions into existing systems to expand access to and use of these interventions. At NACDD, we are celebrating the work that the State Health Department Arthritis Programs have accomplished with the release of their success stories. We are fortunate that they have provided us with just a glimpse of the important and life-changing work that they do to improve the lives of 50 million Americans.