November 10-15

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ACR Convergence 2023

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Home // ARP program features timely topics for interprofessional rheumatology team

ARP program features timely topics for interprofessional rheumatology team


5 minutes

Jill R. Blitz, PT, DPT, ATP
Jill R. Blitz, PT, DPT, ATP

Each year at ACR Convergence, ARP offers a robust schedule of programs designed to highlight the most important and timely topics of interest to the diverse group of rheumatology professionals it represents. From the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to issues of equity and bias, the ACR Convergence 2021 program covers today’s most relevant topics and how they relate to improving patient care.

“I’m very proud and excited about the broad range of issues and topics we’ve incorporated into this year’s annual meeting program,” said ARP Co-chair Jill R. Blitz, PT, DPT, ATP, a physical therapist in the Division of Pediatric Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “We’ve kept the focus on rheumatology, of course, but we’re not ignoring what’s going on in the world, and this year’s program addresses some important issues that are pertinent to these times.”

For example, issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion will be addressed in several sessions, with speakers exploring topics such as implicit/unconscious bias and microaggressions, focusing on how these behaviors affect individuals and organizations and how they can undermine patient-physician relationships.

“And, of course, we’ll have a number of sessions looking at the wide-ranging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning with this year’s ARP Keynote Address by Dr. Christine Grady from the NIH who will discuss ethical quandaries associated with the COVID vaccine,” Dr. Blitz said.

Other program highlights, she said, include the always popular Boot Camps, which provide attendees with the basics of immunology, radiology, and statistics, and dedicated programming on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 covering fundamentals in the Business of Rheumatology and Rehab.

Beside the educational program, the annual meeting also provides great opportunities for networking and catching up with friends and colleagues from around the world, Dr. Blitz said, including this year’s expanded Community Hubs, which will offer a mix of formal and informal networking opportunities and interactive study groups.

Radiology Boot Camp 2021
Friday, Nov. 5 | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET

Radiology Boot Camp 2021 will provide attendees with a comprehensive approach to imaging interpretation and the proper selection of modalities to use depending on the disease process in each patient. A different radiologist will present each of three talks. The first two sessions will emphasize disease-specific imaging studies and review different findings both in X-ray and MRI. The third session will focus on chest imaging in rheumatic diseases. The boot camp’s goal is to prepare participants to interpret imaging studies and appraise the most useful studies to effectively assess different disease states.

ARP Keynote: Ethical Quandaries with COVID-19 Vaccines
Saturday, Nov. 6 | 2 – 3 p.m. ET

Christine Grady, PhD, MSN, nurse-bioethicist, senior investigator, and Chief of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, will describe the ethical decision points in the trajectory of vaccine research and testing, with specific attention to COVID-19 vaccines, discuss ethical frameworks guiding COVID-19 vaccine allocation and distribution, including global distribution and the challenges encountered, and consider ethical issues related to vaccine utilization and responses to vaccine hesitancy and uncertainty.

Immunology Boot Camp I: Basic Principles
Saturday, Nov. 6 | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET

In this introduction to the basics of immunology for healthcare professionals, attendees will expand their knowledge of rheumatic diseases and their treatment options. Faculty will provide a basic framework to grasp how the innate and adaptive immune responses interact to result in rheumatic disease, and how we may intervene to manipulate these systems to treat patients with these diseases. This boot camp-style overview should illuminate how the body recognizes self and foreign, how the body responds immediately, and how each person becomes unique in their response to antigen activation.

Implicit Bias: All of Us
Sunday, Nov. 7 | 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. ET

Jillian Rose, PhD, MPH, LCSW, director of community engagement, diversity, and research, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, will describe what implicit/unconscious bias means and how it affects individuals and organizations, identify areas of professional work where bias may be emerging, and discuss evidence-based strategies to mitigate bias to promote more objective, inclusive, and equitable decisions.

ARP Distinguished Lecture: Keeping What You Have and Gaining What You Have Lost: Employment, Poverty and the Rheumatic Diseases
Sunday, Nov. 7 | 2 – 3 p.m. ET

Edward H. Yelin, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Health Policy at the University of California, San Francisco, will review and discuss the many issues affecting people with musculoskeletal diseases who seek employment and long-term careers, including growing evidence related to the labor market vulnerability and unique challenges for this population when it comes to securing jobs.

Kids Coping in the COVID-19 Era 
Tuesday, Nov. 9 | 9 – 10 a.m. ET 

Liz Morasso, LCSW, MSW, Clinical Social Worker in the Department of Radiation Oncology at UCLA Health, will describe mental health challenges and strategies to provide support for pediatric patients with rheumatic diseases during the pandemic, discuss the physical and mental health effects of virtual school and isolation and potential long-term effects on children with pediatric rheumatic diseases, and review chief concerns of illness and immunosuppression during the COVID-19 era as restrictions are lifted for the pediatric rheumatic patient population.

Microaggressions & Gaslighting: Navigating Negative Behaviors in the Healthcare Setting
Tuesday, Nov. 9 | 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. ET

Ashira Blazer, MD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Rheumatology at New York University School of Medicine, will describe the concepts of bias, microaggressions, and racial gaslighting in the healthcare setting, and explore how unconscious bias and microaggressions can undermine patient-physician relationships, affecting the overall quality of care for patients.



If you haven’t registered for ACR Convergence 2021, register today to access all of the valuable content during the meeting, November 3–10. Registration also includes on-demand access to the virtual platform (session recordings, Poster Hall, Community Hubs, and ShowRheum) until March 11, 2022.