Janet’s Volunteer Story
My volunteer journey started when I was encouraged by rheumatologists Thomas Medsger Jr., MD, and Virginia Steen, MD, to present at an ARP meeting many years ago. At that meeting, I connected with several rehabilitation colleagues from Pittsburgh, who recruited me for the Practice Committee of the AHPA [Allied Health Professions Association], as it was called back then. After my first conference, I was hooked. I was stimulated and inspired by the research done by health professionals, and I enjoyed networking with rheumatologists and health professionals who were so knowledgeable about scleroderma and other conditions. Since then, I have served on and chaired or co-chaired numerous committees, such as the Research and Annual Meeting Planning committees, acted as a grant reviewer for the Rheumatology Research Foundation and served as the ARP liaison to the ACR’s Education and Research committees. Volunteering has been inspiring and rewarding personally and professionally, and through the ACR/ARP, I have developed lifelong friendships and collaborations.
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Explore This IssueOctober 2021
What Opportunities Are Available?
Many volunteer opportunities exist for rheumatology professionals with different levels of commitment, interests and skills. General volunteers serve three-year terms that begin after the annual meeting. Special project volunteers serve in micro-opportunities on an as-needed basis.
The ARP has six committees that members can volunteer with: 1) Executive; 2) Membership and Nominations; 3) Practice; 4) eLearning; 5) Annual Meeting Planning Committee; and 6) Research.
ARP members can also submit a nomination to be placed on ACR and Foundation committees through the volunteer process.
Time commitments and responsibilities vary, but generally, committee members are expected to dedicate a minimum of about three hours per month to fulfilling their volunteer duties. This includes attending meetings and completing any committee work that you are asked to work on.
Opportunities are also available for those interested in executive leadership, with a significant focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and transparency. Our goal is to cultivate your interest in leadership and provide you with the necessary tools to succeed.
With the creation of the ARP Leadership Pathway, there has been a swift shift to mentoring future leaders and providing them with a wide range of experience and education about the inner workings of the ACR so they can help the College modernize, engage and grow. The Leadership Pathway also ensures that everyone on a committee meets the leadership requirements and creates fairness in the volunteer process. If you are interested in executive leadership with the ARP, we invite you to submit your nomination form this November.