The ACR’s Volunteers to Expand Rheumatology Access (VERA) initiative recently launched a new webpage to provide helpful information to rheumatology healthcare providers interested in volunteering to care for uninsured and underinsured patients with rheumatic disease. This resource, VolunteerRheumCare.org, provides answers to frequently asked questions related to providing free care, as well as links to organizations caring for underserved populations throughout the country. Using these resources, rheumatologists can easily search for opportunities within a specified geographic region.
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Explore This IssueFebruary 2020
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The demand for rheumatology providers far outweighs the current supply and the gap continues to widen. This leaves many patients and their primary care providers struggling without adequate access to rheumatology care, particularly in rural and underinsured communities. Many rheumatology providers recognize the critical need to expand access to rheumatology care to reduce unnecessary patient suffering, yet it can be hard to know exactly how to help or where to start.
VolunteerRheumCare.org includes opportunities to provide:
- Direct in-person patient care;
- Telehealth or online consults; and
- Education and support for frontline primary care providers in underserved communities.
It also includes testimonials from ACR/ARP members who have volunteered their care and expertise, and opportunities to connect with other providers who want to make a difference by expanding access to rheumatology care.
We encourage all rheumatology providers (including trainees and retirees) to visit VolunteerRheumCare.org to find volunteer opportunities. Together we can expand access to rheumatology care, educate and empower frontline primary care providers and reduce patient suffering.
For questions about volunteering to provide patient care or other types of opportunities, contact VERA@rheumatology.org.