Summer 2020 (Volume 30, Number 2)

Presidential Address

Evelyn Sutton, President of the CRA

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This past April, my husband and I stood witness to the marriage of a young couple. They exchanged vows on the deck of a deserted marina where there was not a single boat moored. They, the justice of the peace and we made the maximum of five people in a gathering. I used my cellphone to record a video of the event and later, with the help of an individual more tech savvy than myself, uploaded it for their parents and guests to view from around the world. We could not hug the bride or the groom nor go out for a celebratory dinner together so we drove down the coast in our separate vehicles and found a place to take a few more pictures of the happy couple with coastal views in the background. The joy emanating from the young couple was contagious and we could not stop smiling.

"Contagious" is either a poor or an appropriate choice of word right now. Everyone’s lives have been affected to varying degrees by a virus we were aware of in February in Victoria at our Annual Scientific Meeting, but whose impact was yet to be felt around the world. I recall hearing attendees looking forward to seeing one another at their upcoming regional meetings or at EULAR, all of course now cancelled.

Like the young couple who married yesterday, we are all being challenged to identify what is truly of importance to us. They did not need the big party, decorations or flowers. They did need the promise that each would be there for the other no matter what the future holds.

The Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) is also identifying what is of importance to members including but not limited to: updates on best practices for our patients on biologics, advocacy for evidence-based prescribing of hydroxychloroquine, pressure on government and suppliers to ensure our patients are not left without medication, and advice on assessing patients remotely. Your committees have been busy on your behalf, and I thank them all. A special shout out to Rosie Scuccimarri and the Therapeutics Committee, Carter Thorne for his tireless and tenacious advocacy on hydroxychloroquine, Janet Pope for her webinars and to Ahmad Zbib and the wonderful CRA staff.

On a personal level, I hope you, your families and loved ones are well. I count myself fortunate to be a member of this national network of wonderful, caring professionals, and I have never regretted making the choice to belong to this wonderful organization. I promise you, no matter what the future holds, the CRA will continue to work with and for you. I do hope we can see each other in Quebec City in February 2021, but if not, we will find a way to stay connected. Best wishes to you all.


Evelyn Sutton, MD, FRCPC
President, CRA


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