The term “affinity group” is used as a bringing together of people who have commonality. Affinity groups are for individuals who identify as members of the group and can speak to the experience of being a part of the group from an “I” perspective. TMA believes in creating safe spaces for communities that share more in common than their myositis diagnosis. Safe spaces can provide a break from judgment, unsolicited opinions, and having to explain yourself where there is no understanding. They allow people to feel supported and respected. This is especially important for people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and other marginalized groups.
Affinity groups play a vital role in ensuring an inclusive environment where all are valued, included, and empowered to succeed and are part of TMA’s commitment to amplifying patient voices and health equity and access. Our affinity groups also serve to help the organization create awareness and connectivity in communities where the groups have natural membership. The ability to effectively participate in this increased advocacy and awareness building is essential to TMA’s work. Increased awareness of myositis has the potential to lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatments, improving the quality of life for those who live with myositis. TMA and our affinity groups also advocate for patients through educational and media events, as well as advancing legislation that removes barriers to accessing the best of myositis care.
We invite you to learn more about TMA’s affinity groups and how they are being successful in engaging our community of patients, care partners, family, friends, healthcare providers, and industry partners!
Adelante! is TMA’s first affinity group in a language other than English! Adelante is Spanish for “moving forward”, as so many who live with myositis and their care partners continue to do despite chronic illness. Spanish-speakers from all over the world meet on the fourth Saturday of every month.
The TMA Care Partner Affinity Group is designed to support caregivers and care partners of those who live with myositis. This is a safe space to address issues specific to the role of caregiving. The group meets on the third Saturday of every month.
Flying Solo is a TMA affinity group designed to support those with myositis who live alone. If you are managing your myositis without the help of a care partner, please feel free to join this group to expand your support network. All are welcome! The group meets on the first Wednesday of every month.
The TMA Men Managing Myositis Affinity Group is a place for men with any form of myositis to gain support from one another and discuss issues particular to their group. All are welcome and the group meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month.
TMA is proud to host LGBTQIA+ programming in the form of TMA’s Rainbow Warriors Affinity Group! This group meets on the fourth Sunday of each month. In addition to providing support around commonality in addition to a myositis diagnosis, this group seeks to create connectivity within the broader LGBTQIA+ community and ensure all LGBTQIA+ patients are provided an affirmative, inclusive, and respectful environment in healthcare settings and throughout their myositis journey.
The TMA Military Veteran with Myositis Affinity Group hosts patients and care partners who have prior military service. This group provides a comfort zone for veterans to discuss issues specific to their community and increases camaraderie by offering veterans opportunities to network with each other. It will also support community involvement efforts with veteran organizations.
Organized in 2019, TMA’s Women of Color (WOC) Affinity Group is a support and advocacy group that promotes awareness through the 3E’s: Encouragement, Education, and Empowerment. They educate women and communities of color about the different forms of myositis and discuss issues specific to this population. Through workshops and support meetings, WOC will be empowered to go into their communities and bring awareness about myositis.
The mission of TMA’s Women with IBM Affinity Group is to improve the lives of women with inclusion body myositis through virtual connections and support that transcends geography. The group meets on the third Tuesday of every month.
All are welcome to participate in any of our affinity groups. If you have interest in joining and contributing to one of our existing affinity groups or an interest in consideration to start and facilitate a new one, please reach out to us at email@example.com