Five years ago, the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation (SSF) set out to reduce the time to diagnose Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) by 50%—from six years to three.

As April marks both the completion of the project and national SS awareness month, the foundation has announced that it not only met the goal, but surpassed it. The time to diagnose SS is now 2.8 years, a significant improvement from five years ago. The SSF accomplished this by increasing public awareness, involvement from friends and partners, and education and awareness among medical professionals of all specialties.

“It is still our hope to have Sjögren’s at the top of physicians' minds when they hear a patient complaining of dry mouth, dry eye, fatigue or joint pain because no patient should have to suffer from the lack of a physician’s awareness and education,” the SSF said in the announcement. “This is why our awareness efforts continue to work on educating all specialties within the medical community, as well as encourage the general public to be their own health advocates by knowing the symptoms of Sjögren’s.”

The Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation. Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation accomplishes 5-year breakthrough goal. Accessed April 3, 2018.