Christine’s Volunteer Story
I was encouraged to join the ARP by my physician mentor, initially as a way to learn about this complex medical specialty. During my first annual meeting, I met other health professionals working in rheumatology at the ARP networking luncheons. From there, I was advised to consider volunteering. My first experience was on the Membership and Nominations Committee. I was impressed by the CVs and résumés we reviewed from our volunteer members. The positive energy and excitement about the specialty were infectious. My next position was as an ARP representative on the ACR Committee on Rheumatology Training and Workforce Issues. The opportunity prepared me for a role on a special task force that helped create a training curriculum and Foundation grant for nurse practitioners and physician assistants new to rheumatology. When I mentioned that we needed more pain topics at the annual meeting, I was invited to serve on the Annual Meeting Planning Committee, which was a blast. Imagine coming together with 10–15 diverse professionals to plan a scientific meeting in three or four days. My volunteer journey with the College has been enriching. When the pandemic became a reality, I can honestly say I have never felt alone. The relationships I’ve built with professionals from all disciplines across the country have provided me with genuine support and encouragement every day. This is all a result of saying, ‘Yes‚ I want to volunteer!’
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Explore This IssueOctober 2021
How Can I Become a Volunteer?
The first step to becoming a volunteer is to be a current member in good standing—meaning your membership dues are current. Volunteering is a benefit exclusive to members of the College, so the Membership and Nominations Committee can offer opportunities only to members. Student members are encouraged to participate, and several volunteer positions are available for students each year.
The next—and most critical—step is to submit your nomination form. As part of the DEI and transparency initiatives, the ARP nominations committee only considers those who have submitted a volunteer nomination form for volunteer positions. This ensures everyone has an equal opportunity to be placed in volunteer roles that cater to their interests and provides a wide range of experience. It also ensures fairness throughout the process by eliminating the need for an internal connection to be a volunteer. The volunteer nomination form can be found in your member account on rheumatology.org under “My Nominations” beginning Nov. 1.
To submit your form as a self-nomination, meaning you are expressing interest for yourself, you need to name the top three committees you are interested in, and include your updated CV and a statement of interest. In the case of a peer nomination, meaning you are expressing interest in having someone else serve, you need to name the top three committees your peer would be a good fit for and include their updated CV and a letter of recommendation, indicating why you are nominating your peer.
The documents submitted with your nomination form affect which volunteer opportunities you are placed in. The Membership and Nominations Committee uses the documentation to evaluate your interest and skills. As the ARP moves toward transparency, we encourage you to include the necessary information in your documentation so you are evaluated on all your skills and interests.