What Is New?
As with every strategic planning exercise, some activities will likely be replaced by new activities that are judged to be more valuable to members. While we will not know what those will be until the strategic plan is complete, I can assure you that any changes will be made with broad input from members and with the goal of providing the most value to members.
Although several issues will likely emerge during the course of this strategic planning exercise review, we are targeting a few topics for special emphasis. One important new goal will be to sharpen the strategic focus of the ACR, which means reducing the number of objectives but ensuring that strategies are more effectively and more rapidly implemented to accomplish those objectives. Another goal is to strengthen the partnership between the ACR and the ARHP. Rheumatology health professionals are vital to the specialty and the ACR will determine how to better integrate the perspectives of our health professional members into ACR activities. This will reinforce the ACR’s belief in an interdisciplinary team approach to rheumatology—an approach that is becoming increasingly recognized as the key to enhancing practice effectiveness across all medical disciplines. A third goal is to more closely integrate the work of the ACR/ARHP with that of the REF. In order to facilitate this integration, the strategic planning review for the ACR/ARHP will occur in concert with that of the REF. This will ensure that the two organizations’ future plans are aligned, that they collaborate more effectively, and that they avoid any duplication of effort. Finally, given the economic challenges of the time, the ACR will work to accomplish its goals as efficiently as possible, ensuring that we provide the best value to members, given our limited resources.
How the Strategic Plan Will Affect You
The final plan will be approved in October 2009, and you should begin to see the changes based on the plan in early 2010. As with previous plans, success will be measured by benchmarking against defined metrics and achieving the specific goals outlined in the plan, not by simply carrying out the tasks specified in the plan.
Because we are just now embarking on the strategic plan review, now is a great time to provide your feedback to the ACR regarding its programs and services, what you find valuable, what you believe needs improvement, and anything else that may be on your mind. In particular, if there are new initiatives that you believe would add value to ACR members and should be considered in our strategic plan, please let us know. The involvement and support of our members have allowed the ACR to successfully advance the rheumatology specialty over the past 75 years, and it is your continued involvement and support that will push us even further over the next 75 years.