November 10-15

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ACR Convergence 2023

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ARHP Health Professionals track takes a different path


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Christine Stamatos, DNP, ANP-C
Christine Stamatos, DNP, ANP-C

The ARHP Health Professionals track will explore new directions during this year’s Annual Meeting. Taking inspiration from the always-popular Immunology Boot Camp (11:00 am Sunday, October 21; 7:30 am Monday, October 22; and 7:30 am Tuesday, October 23), the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) is expanding the program with a variety of courses covering the essential basics of rheumatology.

“Our hottest offering is the all-new Immunology Breakthroughs: Impact on Diagnosis and Therapy (1:00 pm Saturday, October 20),said ACR Annual Meeting Planning Committee ARHP subchair Christine Stamatos, DNP, ANP-C. “This is a three-session preconference for all clinicians. It doesn’t matter whether you are a physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or nurse, this is where you will learn more about the hottest clinical topics in rheumatology today. You are coming to Annual Meeting for the opening session on Saturday anyway, so just come to Chicago a little earlier that day!”

Three afternoon sessions cover the microbiome and how it influences rheumatic diseases, strategies to inhibit the complement cascade for maximum clinical effect, and the growing impact of cancer immunotherapy in rheumatic disease.

Another first for 2018 is the Radiology Boot Camp (11:00 am Tuesday, October 23). This session is designed specifically for newcomers to rheumatology. “We are focusing on basics like, what are the most important images you have to be able to examine and where do you start?” Dr. Stamatos said. “We will be reviewing X-rays and CT scans of the chest.”

Nurses new to rheumatology can head for Rheumatology 101 (8:30 am Tuesday, October 23), one more first for health professionals in 2018. This 90-minute session focuses on phone triage, labs,  and common rheumatology medications. And all of the presenters are practicing rheumatology nurses.

Dermatology Update: New Findings on Rheumatic Skin Disease Across the Lifespan (9:00 am Wednesday, October 24) is a repeat session and fairly obvious with clear links between rheumatic diseases and dermatologic conditions. The links between rheumatic diseases and psychiatric  conditions, however, are less obvious. That’s why every provider should also make time for a brand-new session, Psychiatry for the Rheumatology Practice (2:30 pm Sunday, October 21).

“We know that certain diseases like lupus can be associated with psychiatric episodes,” Dr. Stamatos said. “This session will help providers identify psychiatric conditions in rheumatology and help differentiate whether it’s the disease, the medications, or a comorbidity that needs to be addressed.  The focus will be on identification and recommendations for treatment and referral.  The psychosocial wellbeing of our patients is essential to promote wellness; this session will help you address these important issues.”