SAN DIEGO—During ACR Convergence 2023 in November, the ACR and the ARP honored a group of distinguished individuals who have made significant contributions to rheumatology research, education and patient care. This month, The Rheumatologist profiles the recipients of the ARP Merit Awards and ARP Master class, recognizing outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology. The recipients of the ACR’s Awards of Distinction, and 2023 ACR Masters and ACR Distinguished Fellows were profiled in the December issue. Look for the ARP President’s Awards in the February 2024 issue.
Addie Thomas Service Award
The 2023 Addie Thomas Service Award is presented to ARP members in honor of the Association’s first president and recognizes active volunteers in arthritis-related activities. This year’s recipients are Hazel L. Breland, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, and Christine A. Stamatos, DNP, ANP-C.
Hazel L. Breland, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is the assistant director of the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Hollings Cancer Center, Charleston. She earned her doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and undergraduate degrees from Howard University, Washington, D.C., and the University of South Carolina, Columbia.
“I am honored to receive the Addie Thomas Service Award and humbled by the recognition alongside the illustrious 2023 awardees,” says Dr. Breland. “I am grateful for the many opportunities to serve and invite all ARP members to lean into professional service.”
Dr. Breland has also distinguished herself as a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (2016) through her commitment to excellence in occupational therapy service and innovations in interprofessional leadership, advocacy and diversity.
Dr. Breland upholds the ACR’s commitment to empowering rheumatology professionals, evidenced by her dedicated professional volunteerism that prioritizes health equity, mentoring diverse leaders and addressing societal needs by positively impacting and promoting independence, justice and wellness for unrepresented and underserved groups.
Her recent service to the ACR, the ARP and the Rheumatology Research Foundation includes active engagement in the Foundation Awards Audit Committee (2023–24), the ACR Committee on Nominations and Appointments (2021–23), the ACR Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Subcommittee (2020–23), the Foundation Portfolio Review Panel (2022), the Foundation’s Strategic Planning Task Force (2021–22), the ACR Governance Task Force (2020–21) and RheumPAC (2020–21). She served as an executive leader for the ACR, ARP and the Foundation as an ARP officer from 2017–20. Dr. Breland was the 50th president of the ARP (2018–19).
Christine A. Stamatos, DNP, ANP-C, is director of the Fibromyalgia/Long COVID Clinic in the Division of Rheumatology at Northwell Health, Huntington, N.Y., and assistant professor at Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies, Hempstead, N.Y. She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice at Stony Brook University School of Nursing, New York, where her research focused on physical and cognitive behavioral strategies for chronic pain in patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs).