ATLANTA—Did you know that Tasmanian wombats have cube-shaped poop or that no matter what size bladder someone has, they still pee in 20–30 seconds—even elephants? What do those factoids have to do with rheumatology? When keynote speaker David L. Hu, PhD, shared the information and how he discovered it, the stories incited laughter in the thousands of rheumatologists and rheumatology professionals present for the opening session of the 2019 ACR/ARP Annual Meeting on Saturday, Nov. 9.
Dr. Hu, a mechanical engineer at Georgia Institute of Technology who studies the interactions of animals with water, talked about how animals have adapted and evolved to traverse their environments, taking advantage of physical laws with results that are startling and ingenious.
These seemingly silly stories—and the full keynote presentation—reminded attendees of the joy, wonder and excitement of “doing science.”
“Stories help us rekindle our love story with rheumatology,” said Paula Marchetta, MD, MBA, the ACR’s 82nd president, a rheumatologist in New York City and the CEO and managing partner of Concorde Medical Group, in her remarks, welcoming attendees to Atlanta.
Dr. Marchetta also discussed the value of the ACR in helping rheumatologists combat burnout. Forty-one percent of rheumatologists report experiencing burnout, and at least one survey has pegged the disappearance of the doctors’ lounge as both a reason for and a symbol of physician burnout.1,2 Dr. Marchetta discussed its loss as an underpinning of isolation and burnout.
“Although our professional society cannot replace the loss of the doctors’ lounge,” said Dr. Marchetta, “in some ways it transcends it.” The ACR offers rheumatologists support and collegiality. The Annual Meeting is a place where rheumatologists and rheumatology professionals can be in the room together. “We are here for you, so you can be there for your patients. Who are we? We are rheumatologists and rheumatology professionals,” she said.
More than 15,000 people were in Atlanta for the 2019 ACR/ARP Annual Meeting, with nearly 11,000 of them scientific attendees representing 103 countries.
The opening session also served as the forum for the College to recognize the distinguished individuals who have made significant contributions to rheumatology research, education and patient care with the 2019 recipients of its Master of the ACR designation, Awards of Distinction and Distinguished Fellow Awards.
The 2019 recipients of the Masters of the ACR designation are:
- Nighat Mir Ahmad, MD, MBBS, Rheumatology Department, National Hospital & Medical Centre, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan;
- Jürgen Braun, MD, Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Herne, Germany;
- Calvin R. Brown Jr., MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago;
- Gerd R. Burmester, MD, Charité—University Medicine, Berlin, Germany; Free University and Humboldt University, Berlin Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Charité, Berlin, Germany;
- Grant W. Cannon, MD, Salt Lake City VA Medical Center and University of Utah, Salt Lake City;
- Rowland W. Chang, MD, MPH, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago;
- Jonathan S. Coblyn, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston;
- Hani El-Gabalawy, MD, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada;
- Simon Helfgott, MD, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston;
- James N. Jarvis, MD, University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, N.Y.;
- Sharad Lakhanpal, MBBS, MD, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas;
- Ronald M. Laxer, MD, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada;
- Linda Kay Myers, MD, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tenn.;
- Lee Nelson, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle;
- Chester V. Oddis, MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburg;
- John J. O’Shea, MD, NIH, Bethesda, Md.;
- Michelle Petri, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore;
- Carlos Pineda, MD, PhD, Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitacion, Mexico City, Mexico;
- Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman, MD, DrPH, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago;
- John D. Reveille, MD, The University of Texas McGovern Medical School, Houston;
- William F.C. Rigby, MD, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H.;
- Lee Stuart Simon, MD, SDG LLC, Cambridge, Mass.; and
- Fredrica E. Smith MD, Retired Rheumatologist, Orono, Maine.
ACR Awards of Distinction
The ACR also recognizes leading researchers, clinicians, mentors, and other professionals exhibiting superior commitment to the advancement of the field of rheumatology with the Awards of Distinction honors. Winners of this year’s awards are:
Presidential Gold Medal: John Patterson Atkinson, MD, MACR, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo.
Distinguished Basic Investigator Award: Bruce N. Cronstein, MD, MACR, NYU School of Medicine, New York
Distinguished Clinician Scholar Award: Timothy Harrington, MD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wis.
Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award:
- Katherine P. Liao, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston
- Amr H. Sawalha, MD, University of Pittsburgh, Pa.
Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award: Susan Manzi, MD, MPH, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Paulding Phelps Award: Alfred Denio, MD, Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa.
Distinguished Service Award: Polly J. Ferguson, MD, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa
Distinguished Fellowship Program Director Award: Marcy B. Bolster, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award: Patricia Katz, PhD, University of California San Francisco
Distinguished Fellow Award
The Distinguished Fellow Award recognizes clinical and research fellows who are in a rheumatology fellowship training program and who have performed meritoriously. The 2019 recipients of the Distinguished Fellow Award are:
- Jonathan TL Cheah, MBBS, UMass Memorial Health Care, Worcester, Mass.;
- Sarah K. Chen, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston;
- Dana DiRenzo, MD, MHS, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore;
- Ali Duarte-Garcia, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.;
- Rebecca Haberman, MD, NYU Langone Health, New York;
- Jean W. Liew, MD, University of Washington, Seattle;
- Mazen Nasrallah MD, MSc, MGH, Boston;
- Brian Nolan, MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago;
- Michael A. Paley, MD, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo.; and
- Natalie Rosenwasser, MD, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle.
The ARP merit awards began in 1982 to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology. The ARP appreciation awards recognizes students, researchers, top member recruiters and outstanding ACR/ARP volunteers. The following individuals are the recipients of the 2019 ARP Merit and Appreciation awards in recognition for their outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology.
- Sandra J. Mintz, MSN, RN-BC
- Geri Neuberger, RN, MN, EdD
- Robert W. Richardson, PT, MEd, FAPTA
- Meredith Christiansen, DPT
- Dana Guglielmo, MPH
- Maura Daly Iversen, PT, DPT, SD, MPH, FNAP, FAPTA
- Heather Benham, DNP, RN, CPNP
- Joni Dean, NP
- Annelle Reed, MSN, CRNP
- Michael LaValley, PhD
- Monique Gignac, PhD
Look for interviews with the recipients in the November and December issues of The Rheumatologist.
For more information on each of these awards, and to view past recipients, visit www.rheumatology.org/Get-Involved/Awards.
A medical editor and writer based in San Jose, Calif., Keri Losavio has been the editor of The Rheumatologist since 2014.
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- Shanafelt TD, Noseworthy JH. Executive leadership and physician well-being: Nine organizational strategies to promote engagement and reduce burnout. Mayo Clin Proc. 2017 Jan;92(1):129–146.