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Explore This IssueFebruary 2013
The history of the ACR, dating back more than 75 years, has been firmly grounded in the support of education and research that fosters excellence in patient care in the field of rheumatology. We approach each and every program, project, and collaboration with an eye towards the support of our members to grow the field, facilitate our important work, and advance rheumatology.
The ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting is the premier showcase of the important work in our field. Every year, fresh connections are forged, groundbreaking discoveries detailed, exciting accomplishments feted, and new efforts announced. The 2012 meeting in Washington, D.C., was no different, but in one way, it was unlike any before.
Since its beginning in 1985, the ACR Research and Education Foundation (REF) has served as the ACR’s fundraising and grant-making entity, establishing a well-earned niche for itself as a highest-quality supporter of academic and clinical rheumatology. Still, despite our success and sterling reputation, something was missing. As an organization, we sought to find out what.
Search for the Missing Piece
A couple years ago, we began looking inward, seeking innovations in the way we served rheumatology. The process took some time—years, in fact. In 2012, we began acting on some of the high-level recommendations that emerged from our work. One of our first announcements brought about fundamental change. At the annual meeting, on November 10, 2012, we had the pleasure of announcing that the ACR REF was now the Rheumatology Research Foundation. The uniformly positive reaction to the announcement launched the Foundation’s new brand identity with more good feeling than we possibly could have imagined. As we continue to roll out our new look, we have received a variety of questions. We would like to address a few of them now.
What Does the New Name Mean for Our Community?
Well, we’re putting rheumatology first—quite literally, as the name “Rheumatology Research Foundation” does exactly that. Organizational monikers aside, supporting rheumatology has always been at the center of our work, but our new name reinforces our commitment to the practice of rheumatology and the men and women who devote their careers to it.
Will Our Work Change?
No. The Foundation’s mission remains the same. We will continue to support research and education as we always have.
What Else Is New?
In addition to the name change, the Foundation’s internal work led to the creation of a five-point strategic plan that will guide our efforts over the next three years and solidify our place as one of the country’s preeminent medical research nonprofits. The elements of our plan are: