In 1976, a group of rheumatologists convened in Park City, Utah, to discuss the rheumatic diseases of childhood. In many ways, this was the beginning of the pediatric rheumatology subspecialty in the United States.
Just as the subspecialty has grown, so has this meeting, which has historically been held every five to seven years. After the 2003 meeting drew over 400 attendees from North and South America and Europe, meeting participants and planners sought a larger venue and an organization to sponsor and guide the 2008 meeting. The ACR stepped into the role and added the newly named Keystone Pediatric Rheumatology Symposium to its lineup of educational offerings in 2008.
The Keystone Pediatric Rheumatology Symposium will carry on the tradition of the previous Park City and Snowmass pediatric meetings, and will provide attendees with a forum to learn about and discuss the latest scientific advances in the subspecialty.
As the only meeting in North America entirely focused on pediatric rheumatology, the Keystone Pediatric Rheumatology Symposium promotes research, education, and patient care in pediatric rheumatology by enhancing the skills of seasoned physicians, fellows-in-training, and healthcare professionals who care for children with rheumatic diseases.
“The symposium provides a venue for attendees to not only hear about cutting-edge updates in the practice of pediatric rheumatology, but also … to attend scientific sessions reporting findings that have yet to be published,” says planning committee co-Chair, Robert Colbert, MD, PhD. “The research that will be featured will span the entire spectrum from clinical investigation to translational and basic research.” The meeting will also offer abstract sessions and study groups.
“We focused on areas that we thought were important for the meeting—areas where there are a lot of advances,” says Dr. Colbert. “The planning committee has invited speakers from outside the pediatric subspecialty to enhance the program. The keynote lecture, ‘Genes, Genomics and Personal Medicine,’ will be delivered by Peter K. Gregersen, MD, who is well known for sorting out the complex genetics of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.”
In addition, ACR President David A. Fox, MD, will speak about “T-Cell Biology and New Targets in Inflammatory Disease,” a topic that transcends the subspecialty.
“Outside of the physician-based curriculum, there is a significant ARHP component to the meeting,” Dr. Colbert tells “From the College,” including sessions on “Keeping Children with Rheumatic Disease Fit” and the “Evaluation of Quality in Healthcare.”
“This will be an opportunity to hear from national and international experts in the field,” says ARHP organizer, Janalee Taylor, MSN, RN, CNP, “and ARHP sessions will highlight effective, evidence-based tools and interventions for daily clinical practice.”