November 10-15

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ACR Convergence 2023

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ACR Board of Directors discuss initiatives at meeting


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On Saturday, the ACR Board of Directors met to discuss current and future initiatives, as well as challenges and opportunities that impact the ACR’s 9,500 members. ACR President David I. Daikh, MD, who completes his term at this Annual Meeting, led the meeting. Paula Marchetta, MD, MBA, will become ACR President during the Business Meeting today at 1:30 pm in Room W184a.

ACR Strategic Plan: Data Driven

The ACR’s five-year strategic plan is in full swing, said Dr. Daikh. “We are trying to focus on making our strategic plan measurable using a dashboard with defined metrics, to track our progress. The vision behind this strategic plan is aimed at  continually advancing and protecting the specialty,,” he said. The strategic plan  targets five key areas: data-driven approaches, technology-enabled education, targeted membership growth, personalized content and sustaining the future of rheumatology.

Foundation Launches Ambitious Campaign

Rheumatology Research Foundation President Abby G. Abelson, MD, presented a report on the Foundation’s impact on rheumatology research and training. “We continue to recruit the best and the brightest to rheumatology,” she said. The Foundation’s third and most ambitious campaign, Leading Boldly: Transforming Rheumatology, officially launched at the Annual Meeting Opening Lecture and Awards with a goal of raising $75,000,000, said Dr. Abelson.

ARHP Changes Its Name

The Board of Directors approved a new name for the ARHP: Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP). The new name and messaging will more accurately reflect its interprofessional membership and broad constituency, said President Sandra Mintz, MSN, RN, BC, and Executive Director Tami Brehm.

Search Underway for New Executive Vice President

The Executive Committee and Board of Directors are working with an executive search firm, Spencer Stuart, to recruit candidates for the next ACR Executive Vice President after Mark Andrejeski retires in 2019, Dr. Daikh said. The first round of candidate interviews will take place in early November, with a second round of interviews and meetings with board members to take place in January. The board hopes to have a new Executive Vice President begin work on June 1, 2019.

Training-focused Task Force

The board formed a team to explore the formation of a new ACR standing committee focused on the cross-cutting areas of the academic rheumatology enterprise, including rheumatology training and workforce issues, research and the important role of rheumatology division directors in these efforts, said Dr. Daikh. The Training, Research and Workforce Committee Structure Task Force will be chaired by William St.Clair, MD, ACR past president, and will make recommendations to the board at the February meeting, he said.

ACR Open Rheumatology Launches

The ACR’s new open access journal, ACR Open Rheumatology, launches in 2019. The journal is now accepting article submissions. Article publication charges will be waived for manuscripts submitted before March 31, 2019, with a discounted fee for ACR and ARHP members after March 31.

CORC and APM Updates

Colin Edgerton, MD, chair of the Committee on Rheumatologic Care, presented a position statement on the copay accumulator used by payers, a practice where a patient’s insurance plan does not count copay cards toward a deductible. The position statement was approved.

Data analysis is underway to validate the ACR’s rheumatology-specific Alternative Payment Model (APM). A qualitative survey will be available shortly after the Annual Meeting to supplement financial data.


New ACR President

Dr. Marchetta led the board in thanking Dr. Daikh for his dedicated service to the College, and shared her thoughts on how the ACR can embrace the future and accomplish its ambitious strategic plan. She welcomed input and debate from all members.

“Good decisions are rarely made when everyone agrees,” she said.