November 10-15

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ACR Convergence 2023

San Diego, CA

Home // ARP program highlights need for self-care and empowering patients

ARP program highlights need for self-care and empowering patients


4 minutes

Susan Murphy, ScD, OTR
Susan Murphy, ScD, OTR

Every year at the annual meeting, ARP strives to highlight the most important and timely issues to the diverse group of rheumatology professionals that it represents.

For ACR Convergence 2020, ARP will have a special emphasis on two topics: Self-care for the rheumatology professional and empowering patients. ARP Subcommittee Chair Susan Murphy, ScD, OTR, said that the subcommittee planned to emphasize both topics this year before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the meeting to go to an all-virtual format.

“Healthcare professionals, especially those working with people with rheumatic conditions who have high symptom burdens and a lot of threats to quality of life, can really feel the toll.” Dr. Murphy said. “It’s a taxing job, and we wanted to make sure that people take some time for self-care while they’re trying to offer the best care to patients.”

ARP will have much happening during the dedicated Community Hub times, 1 – 3 p.m. and 6 – 8 p.m. EST daily. Attendees will have the chance to engage with experts and connect with peers in numerous areas of interest. Events will be a mix of formal and informal networking opportunities and study groups. Two Interprofessional Team Networking Forums will connect colleagues from around the world.

Dr. Murphy saluted ACR staff and volunteers for the transition from an in-person to all-virtual annual meeting that will still offer a deep well of educational opportunities, with the ability to actually experience more education thanks to the chance to see all of the sessions and posters after the official end of the virtual meeting.

“A virtual meeting provides opportunities for greater access to people from all over the world to participate,” Dr. Murphy said. “And I always feel that I can only attend a small portion of the sessions and do not have time to see all of the poster presentations. A virtual format will allow for more control over how and when to view the content.”

ARP Keynote Lecture: Empowering Patients to Make an Impact on the Future of Healthcare

Friday, Nov. 6 | 10 – 11 a.m.

Keynote speaker, Jen Horonjeff, PhD, founder and CEO of Savvy Cooperative, will explain how patients can affect the larger healthcare landscape and how rheumatology professionals play a role in empowering patients.

“In recent years, we’ve tried to have more things, such as posters, that come from a patient’s perspective, and we’ve tried to include patients as speakers more often,” Dr. Murphy said. “These are the people we serve, and we’re trying to do the things that they value.”

ARP Distinguished Lecture: How to Promote Physical Activity and Its Benefits for Patients with Rheumatic Diseases

Saturday, Nov. 7 | 3 – 4 p.m.

Patricia Katz, PhD, professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco, will speak about the benefits of physical activity in rheumatic diseases, including its impact on symptoms such as fatigue, disease activity, and mental health.  The session will close with recommendations for promoting physical activity and for future research.

Impact of a Worldwide Pandemic: Physical Rehab Needs Post-COVID-19 & Psychosocial Implications for Patients

Monday, Nov. 9 | 10 – 11 a.m.

The ARP subcommittee helped organize a special session that will cover the physical manifestations of COVID-19 patients and the psychosocial consequences to both patients, families, and communities.

“This session is particularly timely as new evidence is rapidly emerging that shapes our understanding of how best to support patients and families affected by COVID either directly or indirectly,” Dr. Murphy said.

Grit, Gratitude and Grace: Resilience Despite the Pain

Monday, Nov. 9 | 10 – 11 a.m.

ARP Past-President Afton Hassett, PsyD, a psychologist and resilience researcher, and Cassandra Metzger, who lives with a chronic rheumatic condition, will co-present this session. Dr. Hasslett will share evidence-based strategies that help patients manage their chronic conditions, and Metzger will talk about those strategies from a patient perspective.


Popular with both ARP and ACR members, Stats Bootcamp (12 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, and 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, and Sunday, Nov. 9), Immunology Bootcamp (12 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, and 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8), and Radiology Bootcamp (10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10) return to the annual meeting. The Stats Bootcamp has been designed for audiences at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, so participants can select the level best-suited to their expertise.

Down & Dirty 30

New to the ARP program, these shorter sessions offer a high-level overview of critical rheumatology topics of importance to professionals. All sessions are on Sunday, Nov. 8, with Therapeutic Exercise for Bone Health starting at 10 a.m., Therapeutic Exercise for Joint Health starting at 10:45 a.m., Rheumatoid Arthritis From Diagnosis to Treatment at 3 p.m., and Psoriatic Arthritis starting at 3:45 p.m.