Having completed her term as ARP president, Hazel L. Breland, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, CLA, has stepped into a new role as chair of the ARP’s Membership and Nominations Committee (https://www.rheumatology.org/Rheumatology-Professionals).
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Explore This IssueFebruary 2020
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Dr. Breland is associate professor of occupational therapy at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Charleston, where she teaches graduate students and serves as the doctoral capstone coordinator for the entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program. She has been a member of the ARP since 2004, serving on its Executive Committee for the past five years as president (2019), president elect (2018), member at large/secretary (2017), chair of the ARP (then ARHP) Annual Meeting Planning Subcommittee (2016) and invited guest (2015). She served on the Annual Meeting Planning Subcommittee for four years before that.
Dr. Breland believes that occupational therapy, which helps people who have lost the ability to do many of the activities that are meaningful to them, including getting and keeping a job, is highly relevant to the autoimmune diseases and musculoskeletal conditions that rheumatologists address. Her professional interests also include access to care for underserved communities, an issue she observed growing up in rural South Carolina and has since studied academically.
The Rheumatologist (TR): How did your journey of volunteering with the ARP begin, and how did it lead to your new role?
Dr. Breland: During my graduate studies in rehabilitation sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, starting in 2002, I attended and presented at ACR conferences. As a student, I didn’t volunteer with the ARP, but once I transitioned into my faculty position at MUSC, I accepted a nomination to serve on the ACR/ARP Annual Meeting Planning Committee. The Annual Meeting is one of the most valuable benefits of ACR/ARP membership. People come and learn with and from each other, colleagues reconnect and members come to expand professional networks.
Once I completed my term as ARP president, I automatically transitioned to chair of its Membership and Nominations Committee, as well as the ARP liaison to our international rheumatology professional partners.
TR: What is the purpose of the ARP’s Membership and Nominations Committee?
Dr. Breland: Our charge relates to all membership recruitment and retention strategies and initiatives. Membership and Nominations oversees all aspects of nominations to ensure the election and appointment of qualified leaders and volunteers representative of the diversity of our membership. We also review nominations and select recipients for our merit awards, including those for graduate students. The work of this committee also depends on a close working relationship with the ARP’s experienced staff and all committee, subcommittee and task force chairs to facilitate a collaborative and productive process.