The ARHP is committed to advancing the knowledge and skills of health professionals in the area of rheumatology in order to improve health outcomes for people with or at risk for rheumatic disease and musculoskeletal conditions. In 2005, the ARHP Executive Committee developed a three-year, long-range plan, which identified the following priorities for our organization:
- Increase the supply of highly qualified health professionals;
- Increase research capacity for inter-professional research;
- Increase research productivity of rheumatology health professionals;
- Increase volunteer leadership skills and opportunities;
- Improve communication across ARHP members and ACR staff and members;
- Maintain outstanding health professionals and inter-professional educational services; and
- Market ARHP products and services.
The past year was a very successful one for ARHP and significant progress was made toward meeting these objectives. ARHP membership reached an all-time high, surpassing 1,100; ARHP members now make up over 13% of the total ACR membership. Other significant accomplishments included the premier of the Clinical Care in the Rheumatic Diseases 3rd edition, the expansion of Arthritis Care & Research to eight issues per year, the initiation of ARHP list serves, and the development of an aggressive new marketing plan to fortify ARHP’s position as the rheumatology resource for health professionals.
ARHP will continue to build on these successes as we meet new challenges and create new opportunities for growth and success in the coming year. The following are a few of ARHP’s key goals and initiatives for 2007:
A major ACR/ARHP initiative is the NP and PA Post-Graduate Rheumatology Training Program, which is scheduled to debut in the fall of 2007. This comprehensive program consists of 19 Web-based modules and two skills training sessions designed to provide NPs and PAs with basic knowledge and clinical skills in the management of adults and children with rheumatic diseases.
The 2007 Rheumatology Audioconference Series commences on January 17. The audioconferences are convenient, economic, one-hour educational programs that provide busy health professionals and physicians with up-to-date information on the management of rheumatology patients.
ARHP will continue to collaborate with the ACR and Research and Education Foundation (REF) to advance an inter-professional perspective in research priorities and promote increased funding opportunities for health professional investigators. We are also working closely with the ACR to implement the College’s quality initiatives and ensure that the health professional perspective is integrated into these efforts. These quality initiatives aim to improve patient outcomes through the development of evidenced-based classification criteria, outcome measures, response criteria, treatment guidelines, and quality indicators.
The strength and essence of any professional organization is its members. One of ARHP’s greatest assets is the diversity of its membership. ARHP membership continues to grow and we are confident we will increase our membership by 15% by the end of 2007.