The Committee on Quality of Care continues to expand its production of scientifically rigorous disease criteria, treatment guidelines and quality measures relevant to practitioners. The long-awaited, recently published 2015 RA guideline is just one of the valuable deliverables made possible by our staff and volunteers. We are excited to watch the growth of this important area.
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Explore This IssueDecember 2015
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Advocacy has experienced outstanding success, with much activity planned for the future. This past year, the Committee on Government Affairs enjoyed a number of important victories, including the repeal of the flawed SGR formula, reinstatement of funding to the CDC arthritis program and successful introduction of important legislation around PATA and ICD-10. We will take this momentum into the following year and continue to push for opportunities to improve patient care.
We hold the vision that everyone will know the essential role and value of the specialty of rheumatology and remain committed to the mission of Advancing Rheumatology!
For 2016, we will focus on efforts that support the goals outlined in the 2013–2016 ACR strategic plan. Significant progress has been made toward many of these strategic goals, but work remains to be done.
I look forward to providing guidance as the ACR focuses on continuing to reshape volunteerism, with a goal of including a more diverse leadership pipeline that reflects the demographics of our younger members. This would include modifying the Nominations and Appointments process to appeal to our younger members. Instead of offering only long-term commitments, we plan to launch micro-volunteering opportunities next year. We are researching a variety of methods to provide advanced leadership training for our current and future volunteers, through the Leadership Development taskforce led by ACR Secretary David Daikh, MD, PhD.
The international rheumatology community accounts for over 50% of the attendance at our Annual Meeting. The ACR wants to expand these relationships, and this past year, the board approved recommendations to amplify our international outreach. The recommendations included strengthening existing relationships with our current international partners, increasing educational opportunities and expanding partnerships with emerging new international organizations. We also made changes to our membership application process to make it easier for our international colleagues to join the ACR/ARHP. ACR President-Elect Sharad Lakhanpal, MBBS, MD, will be leading this continuing effort this year, focusing on specific partnerships with PANLAR and APLAR.
With the plans we have to Advance Rheumatology!, ACR Treasurer Paula Marchetta, MD, MBA, and the Committee on Finance will provide support to allow the ACR to continue to strengthen its infrastructure, roll out new programs and projects, and make 2016 another fabulously successful year for the ACR.