Members from all backgrounds will be involved in every step of this strategic planning process. In the past couple of months, interviews have been conducted with a variety of members, including solo practitioners, members in small group practices, and members at large academic medical centers; clinicians and laboratory scientists; and clinical investigators, educators, and administrators—and everyone in between. In addition, we have surveyed all members who currently volunteer for the ACR and we have assessed ACR staff activities. Members of the ACR/ARHP strategic planning committee will include a mix of current volunteer leaders and members who have not been previously involved in the ACR’s activities.

In addition to our volunteer leaders, the ACR has engaged the assistance of a strategic planning consulting firm, OPIS, that will guide the strategic planning process. The facilitators who will work with the ACR were instrumental in creating the “7 Measures of Success” methodology, a strategic planning guide designed specifically for professional associations. We believe that adopting this approach in the ACR’s strategic planning will be extremely beneficial to the organization.

Some Things Will Never Change

For 75 years, the ACR has focused on advancing the specialty of rheumatology. That is the fundamental motivation behind all of our activities. That will never change, so you can rest assured that many of the key programs and services the ACR provides will remain in place, just as they have following previous strategic planning reviews. We will continue to host the premier, worldwide rheumatology scientific meeting annually and we will continue to be the preeminent source of continuing rheumatology education. We will also continue to proactively advocate for our members and support them in practice.

Based on previous strategic planning reviews and our volunteer leaders’ recognition that quality-of-care initiatives and globalization were important trends affecting our professional lives, the ACR created new programs on quality and international relations. Now, with the rapidly changing healthcare environment and the promise of imminent reform, we will redouble our efforts to stay abreast of emerging trends in medicine and will continue to listen to our members, to ensure that we can help you prepare for the future.