Following the 2017 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting when the formal transition in volunteer leadership occurred, my overwhelming thought has been that it is an honor and privilege to serve you as the 81st president of the ACR. Honor stems from the heritage of excellence and progress that defines this organization. Privilege comes from the opportunity to represent the amazing group of rheumatology clinicians, researchers, educators, administrators, trainees, volunteers and professional staff that devote their talent and hard work to improving the lives of people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease.
Working with the diverse group of people who make up our organization is remarkably rewarding. Just as rheumatologists enjoy the process of working to understand and treat a wide range of medical conditions, meeting and working with individuals from a wide range of backgrounds with varied skills and interests are highly energizing and inspiring activities.
I started my volunteer work on the ACR Committee on Rheumatology Training and Workforce Issues (COTW), where I worked with fellowship training program directors dedicated to providing the best rheumatology education possible. It was great fun. Another great early experience was being selected to participate in the ACR/EULAR Exchange Program. My work on COTW led to serving on the Scientific Advisory Council of the Rheumatology Research Foundation during the time the Foundation was assuming the responsibility to manage an expanding grants portfolio.