Summer 2020 (Volume 30, Number 2)

The CRA’s Response to COVID-19

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Since the onset of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the CRA team has been monitoring this developing and rapidly evolving situation. We would like to inform members of our initiatives and current measures in place to keep you up to date.

Drug Shortages
Position Statements
  • The CRA’s Therapeutics Committee was able to respond quickly with position statements relevant to Canadian rheumatologists throughout this pandemic. Visit for more information.
Stakeholder Engagement
  • Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) Shortage
    • The CRA remained active on this file, leading the way and connecting with key stakeholders to both inform decision-makers as well as report back to members. This includes active participation in meetings with Health Canada, other professional associations, patient groups and industry to both define the problem and identify solutions for the HCQ shortages.
    • Furthermore, the CRA, through the Stakeholder Engagement Committee Chair, has proactively reached out to the Federal Minister of Health, penning a letter urging the Federal Government to increase Canada’s supply of HCQ to meet the higher demand for all patients who need it.
Keeping You Informed
Weekly President’s Updates
  • Beginning in March, the CRA has been deploying weekly updates to all CRA members regarding COVID-19 related information that impacts Canadian rheumatologists.
  • The CRA COVID-19 Response Webinar Series has been developed to offer health care providers within the rheumatology community additional educational resources.
    • Recent webinars:
      • “Insights from Italy: A Rheumatologist’s Perspective on COVID-19”
      • “Journey of the RA & Rheumatology Patient during COVID-19”
      • And more! Visit to view a full listing of COVID-19 webinars.”
Resource Centre
  • The CRA has launched a COVID-19 resource centre at with information and updates relevant to Canadian rheumatologists.
  • CRA members have access to additional content, including webinars and more.
Staying Connected
Discussion Forum
  • To encourage knowledge sharing amongst our community, the CRA has launched a new discussion forum for members.
  • Visit to log in to your account and access!
Programming and Events
2020 Annual Scientific Meeting
  • The CRA regularly communicated COVID-19 information to all attendees including best practices and implemented a flexible cancellation policy for those who had been feeling ill or did not want to travel.
  • Currently, we are proactively planning to deliver another comprehensive Annual Scientific Meeting in 2021 in a safe and effective manner.
Future Leaders in Rheumatology
  • This year’s Future Leaders in RheumaTology (FLIRT) meeting scheduled in May 2020 was changed to a successful virtual meeting.
Summer Studentship Program
  • We have made the difficult decision to cancel the Summer Studentship program this year.
  • We appreciate the continued support of our members and anticipate the return of our Summer Studentship program in 2021.
COVID-19 Global Alliance Registry
  • The CRA has endorsed the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance Registry.
  • This registry is an international effort to collect information pertinent to COVID-19 infection in patients with rheumatologic disease.
  • Many sites across Canada are ready to participate in the global rheumatology alliance registry, with more being added as we continue to receive interest and ethics approval.
And Many More Initiatives
  • Transitioning Back to In-Person Patient Care Living Resource
  • EULAR coverage from a Canadian
  • COVID-19 podcast
  • Yoga sessions
  • And more – visit for updates!

The access code to enter this site can be found on page 4 of the most recent issue of The Journal of the Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRAJ) or at the top of the most recent CRAJ email blast you received. Healthcare professionals can also obtain the access code by sending an email to

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