Nearly 150 of the Rheumatology Research Foundation’s most generous supporters gathered in November during the 2015 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting for the Donors of Merit recognition event. In celebration of the Foundation’s 30th Anniversary in 2015, the event reflected on the journey to advance treatments and improve patient care.
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The Foundation’s president, David Karp, MD, PhD, started off the evening by applauding leaders who have played an essential role in the Foundation’s work to improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases. Corporate Roundtable donors, Founders Circle members and Legacy Society members were among those acknowledged for their extraordinary dedication.
“Each gift received does make an impact,” said Dr. Karp. “We appreciate and applaud the contribution that donors at every level have made. These donations ensure that we can continue to provide funding for innovative research and training for medical professionals.”
The event culminated with the induction of the inaugural class of Honorary Board of Advisors, which is reserved for individuals who have made a transformative contribution or performed an act of leadership that made an indelible mark on the Foundation’s future fundraising success. “The Honorary Board of Advisors was formed to honor those who have truly made a transformative impact in growing a culture of philanthropy at the Foundation,” said Paula Reed, the Foundation’s vice president of development.
The 2015 inductees included Mary K. Crow, MD, who encouraged an unprecedented $5 million gift from the American College of Rheumatology, and James O’Dell, MD, who initiated the successful Within Our Reach: Finding a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis campaign to raise $30 million. The late Ephraim P. Engleman, MD, FACP, FACR, was inducted as the first individual to endow an award at the Foundation, establishing the Ephraim P. Engleman Endowed Resident Research Preceptorship. Norman B. Gaylis, MD, was also inducted for his role as the first practicing rheumatologist to make a $1 million commitment to the Foundation, which was used to establish the Norman B. Gaylis, MD, Research Award for Rheumatologists in Community Practice.