For 30 years, the Rheumatology Research Foundation has been working to advance research and training to improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases. The past three decades are replete with the achievement of significant milestones and extraordinary accomplishments.
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Explore This IssueOctober 2015
Funding Research, Training
The Foundation’s efforts began in 1985 when it was established by the ACR. In 1999, nearly 15 years after its founding, the Foundation offered about $510,000 for research and training awards. As the Foundation gained recognition, its support for research and training multiplied by manyfold. By 2005, the Foundation offered more than $4 million in awards, and four years later, Foundation funding rose for the first time to more than $10 million. This year, the Foundation is providing more than $13 million in research and training awards.
In all, the Foundation has committed more than $130 million to the field of rheumatology through more than 2,600 individual awards. Its support has had a significant impact on the careers of rheumatology professionals and the lives of patients. Over the past five years, Foundation award recipients have published more than 1,060 papers, given nearly 1,200 presentations worldwide and earned more than $73.5 million in additional funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This research and its dissemination are helping us better understand and treat rheumatic diseases.
The Foundation’s support for rheumatology training is also helping ensure people with rheumatic diseases have access to appropriately trained doctors and healthcare professionals. Over the past 15 years, as the amount of Foundation support for education and training awards has grown, so too has the number of graduating rheumatology fellows.
The Foundation’s ability to expand its funding for rheumatology research and training over the years was only possible because of growing support from the rheumatology community, pharmaceutical industry and patients and their families. Through the Foundation, they have banded together to make a difference in rheumatology research and training. In 2006, the Foundation launched its first-ever capital campaign, Within Our Reach: Finding a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis, with the ambitious goal of raising $30 million in five years. The campaign wrapped up 2011, having surpassed its goal thanks to the unprecedented generosity of rheumatology professionals and industry supporters, as well as patients and their families.