Summer 2019 (Volume 29, Number 2)

Presidential Address

A Message from the CRA President, Dr. Vandana Ahluwalia

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As I enter my second year as President of the CRA, I am excited for the year ahead with many initiatives and projects set to take off as we approach our association’s 75th anniversary in 2021. Today, I look back at an amazing membership-focused year, teeming with collaborative efforts across our various committees and partner organizations.

Building upon the great work of Dr. Joanne Homik, my predecessor, and focusing on the CRA’s strategic priorities have allowed our association to tackle various challenges that we face. We will be striving to understand and serve our members’ needs and wants based on their gender, demographics and career stage.

Communications and collaboration, both internal and external, remain a priority for our association. Our communications-related priorities have been several-fold through knowledge transfer and support by virtue of our Indigenous Health Competency Initiative, a member-exclusive program; communicating drug shortages; developing a Medical Cannabis Position Statement; and updating the Biosimilars Position Statement. In addition, the Human Resources committee has also kicked off with new co-chairs this past year who are scoping the ongoing issues in workforce management and preparing the 2020 edition of the “Stand Up and Be Counted" survey. Collaboration this past year is setting the stage to work closely with national and international organizations towards “living” or dynamic guidelines, as well as the development of a special interest group in pediatric musculoskeletal (MSK) care at the Canadian Paediatric Society. With the initiation of the new Stakeholder Engagement Committee, this group will be focused on building relationships and elevating the CRA’s voice. With this voice, I am sure that we will be able to lead our membership on new evolving and controversial issues.

In this new age of developing technologies and ever-decreasing funding, opportunities as well as challenges arise as we look to empower the CRA and our membership. We must continue to leverage newly formed partnerships and tap into the expertise of our membership to open new doors while remaining at the forefront of the conversation and leading arthritis care.

For members attending the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) meeting this November, I am excited to connect at our next annual Canada Night in Atlanta. I also look forward to seeing you all on February 26-29, 2020, in Victoria, British Columbia, at our 74th Annual Scientific Meeting. Don’t forget to make time in your schedule to attend one of our new offerings on February 26: the CRA review course for practicing rheumatologists or the CRA/ Arthritis Society Research Day for the arthritis research community.

Vandana Ahluwalia, MD, FRCPC
Canadian Rheumatology Association
Former Corporate Chief of Rheumatology,
William Osler Health System,
Brampton, Ontario


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