The ARHP has made significant progress toward the goals identified in its long range plan for this year, and I would like to share some of these achievements with you.
One of the ARHP’s primary goals is to have educational offerings that are high quality, current, state-of-the-art, streamlined, diverse, and varied for a worldwide audience. Some of this year’s educational achievements include:
- The 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston this November promises to be another outstanding educational program, designed to meet the needs and interests of every rheumatology health professional. One key offering is the 2007 Clinical Focus Course, “Completing the Puzzle: Other Aspects of Rheumatic Diseases,” designed for advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, nurses, trainees, and other health professionals. The course will provide advanced information on the management of patients with rheumatic diseases;
- The 2007 audioconference series was highly successful and reached a large audience across the U.S. and Canada. Plans are underway for the 2008 audioconference series; and
- Progress continues on the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Post-Graduate Rheumatology Training Program, which is scheduled to premiere at the end of this year. This program, consisting of 19 online modules plus a one-day hands-on course, is designed to provide nurse practitioners and physician assistants with basic knowledge and clinical skills in the management of adults and children with rheumatic diseases.
Another major goal is to promote leadership through identification, placement, and mentoring of volunteers. Progress toward this goal includes:
- We’ve improved the volunteer nominations process for elected and appointed volunteer positions; and
- The ARHP Past Presidents’ Council will conduct a leadership workshop at the ARHP annual meeting to provide participants with insights and skills for conducting effective meetings.
The ARHP strives to be recognized as a leader in interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration, education, research, and patient care. Two notable accomplishments are:
- The ARHP’s journal, Arthritis Care & Research (AC&R), expanded to 8 issues in 2007 and will increase to 12 issues in 2008. The successful journal attracts authors and readers from around the world; and
- The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has invited ARHP to help review its updated Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines, 2nd edition.
Finally, the ARHP is committed to ensuring that its services and products address the international members’ needs. Progress in this area includes:
- The ARHP approved the Pan-American League of Associations for Rheumatology Health Professional Working Group’s adoption of ARHP discipline-specific briefing papers;
- The ARHP authorized Mandarin Chinese and Turkish translations of Clinical Care in the Rheumatic Diseases, 3rd Edition;
- The Committee on Practice and Membership conducted a needs assessment survey of the ARHP international members this spring; and
- I will represent our organization at the EULAR 60th Congress in Barcelona, Spain this June to facilitate information sharing and explore opportunities to collaborate with international rheumatology health professional societies.
These achievements would not have been possible without the enthusiasm, energy, talents, and efforts of the ARHP’s volunteers, members, and staff. I would like to personally thank everyone who helped the ARHP achieve these successes. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”