CARRA February 2021 Newsletter - Issue 2


CARRA President's Report 

GOOD-BYE 2020   ~   HELLO 2021

It’s month #2 of 2021. I am waiting to see if somehow the new year will return us to “normal.” And I am trying to reconcile my wish for normal with the nagging reality that the normal of the past was not so great for many. Although somewhat cliché, the opportunity to re-create is real. As I reflect on 2020 and the pain and tumult that has surrounded us, I am pleased to report that despite the disruptions in our personal lives and at work, 2020 was a successful year for CARRA. As a community we have transitioned to a virtual world, and while the land of zoom has its ups and downs, we have taken many significant steps toward advancing our mission. 

Some important highlights of the year include the following:

  • Launching the CARRA Diversity Equity and Inclusion Taskforce, led by Andrea Knight, Ken Schikler and Sangeeta Sule. This group is developing recommendations to the Board for the formation of a permanent committee and specific actions that we can take to improve DEI across CARRA. 

  • Creating an ambitious CARRA Registry re-consenting initiative, led by our Registry leadership team.

  • Welcoming three additional staff members to the Registry team, Leslie Hanrahan, Senior Director of Research Operations and Nick Rogall, Research Administrative Manager and Karin Tse, Senior Manager Research Operations.

  • Adapting Registry enrollment procedures to allow for continued enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Awarding $228,393.20 in grant funding in 2020 

  • Launching the Registry Patient and Parent Advisory Council (RPAC) to help inform CARRA research.

  • Creating the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Implementation Science Funding Program, aimed at closing the gap between what is known to optimize health and what is actually implemented in everyday practice when treating patients.

  • Launching the CARRA Early Investigator Development Program, led by the CARRA Early Investigator Chair and Vice Chair.

Looking ahead, there is much for the CARRA community to be excited about in 2021. Here are some of the important firsts that you can expect:

  • CARRA will announce the first recipient of the CARRA Outstanding Service Award, at the upcoming ASM. This award was created to recognize individuals who have made meaningful contributions to the organization and who have consistently demonstrated a high degree of excellence in teamwork and collaboration. 

  • CARRA will announce the first recipient of the CARRA-PReS Collaborative Research Award, created to foster collaborative research activities between CARRA and PReS early career investigators.

  • CARRA will announce the first recipients of the CARRA Implementation Science Design Grant, created to support the planning phase of an implementation initiative aimed at bringing new knowledge from research to the clinical setting.

  • CARRA will host its first virtual Annual Scientific Meeting on April 16-17th, 2021. The meeting will be preceded by virtual committee meetings during January and February. The schedule can be found here.

As suggested during my CARRA2020 remarks, I challenge all of us to be guided by the following 4 words as we continue to work to advance the CARRA mission; 


In closing, I would like to thank those of you who have been working hard during these challenging times to push the CARRA agenda forward. Thank you to the patients, families, researchers, staff, study coordinators, practitioners and volunteers who have submitted grants, reviewed grants, enrolled patients, analyzed data, written papers, organized meetings and events and so much more. 2020 was a difficult year that stretched us in ways we could never have expected. In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”  That is us-CARRA.

Wishing you peace and health,

Emily von Scheven

President, CARRA

CARRA Elections Update

Welcome Your New Vice Chairs! 

Call for Nominations: Operational Committee Positions

Deadline: Friday, February 19 

We are now on our third round of elections and seeking nominations for our operational committee positions. We are looking for both self-nominations or a nomination of someone else you see as a good fit for the role. 

CARRA Operational Committee Positions:

  • Elections Committee (2 positions)
  • Ethics Committee (4 positions)
  • Finance Committee (3 positions)

For more information on the roles and their requirements, visit the CARRA website.  

Submit the name and contact information of your nominee (self-nomination or nomination of someone else) to the nomination form here.

Timeline for the 3rd Round of Elections (Committee Positions)

  • February 19: Nominations Due (by 8pm ET) 
  • February 26: Nominee Applications Due (by 8pm ET)
  • March 2: Voting Opens
  • March 12: Voting Closes
  • March 17: Elected candidates announced to the membership

Reminder: Renew Your Membership and Update Your Member Profile Today! 

Make sure to renew your membership for 2021 in order to continue having access to the benefits of a CARRA membership. Including the ability to:

Click here to renew your membership today!

Next step: Update Your Member Profile 

For those who have already renewed, don’t forget to update your profile in the new Membership Directory. 

  • The new membership directory will allow members to find and connect with one another based on areas of research interest, professional goals, location and other searchable fields. 
  • The directory is available here. 

Reminder: CARRA Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting Registration Now Open!

Preview of upcoming Annual Scientific Meeting events:

  • Friday, February 19 from 11am-12pm: Antiphospholipid Syndrome Workgroup
  • Tuesday, February 23 from 2-3:30pm: Calcinosis in JDM Workgroup
  • Tuesday, February 23 from 2-3pm: Juvenile Fibromyalgia Criteria Workgroup
  • Wednesday, February 24 from 10-11:30am:  PFAPA/Autoinflammatory Workgroup
  • Wednesday, February 24 from 12-1pm: Early Investigators: Crash Course in Leading Workgroups 
  • Friday, February 26 from 3:30-5pm: Lupus Nephritis Workgroup

For additional details, including the full schedule of events, click here



After you register, don't forget to download the Online Event Guide and Mobile App. You will be able to access zoom session links, recorded sessions you may have missed, and many other important features.  

You’re Invited: CSRO Fellows Conference


The Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO) is hosting a virtual Fellows Conference on Saturday, March 13. This conference is designed to help fellows-in-training successfully transition into their future roles as practicing rheumatologists, academic researchers, or industry partners. See below for a preview of the topics that will be covered: 

Session Topics & Speakers

  • So You Want to Go Into Private Practice 
    • Presenter: Herbert S. Baraf, MD, FACP, MACR
  • Physician Employment & Contracts 
    • Presenter: Steve McCoy, Esq
  • Early Career Financial Management 
  • Insurance & Payers 101 
    • Presenter: Michael C. Schweitz, MD
  • Medical Malpractice & Risk Management 
    • Presenter: James S. Haliczer, Esq.
  • Important Updates in Coding 
    • Presenter: Jean Acevedo, LHRM, CPC, CHC, CENTC

Find more information and register online here. 

Save the Date: LFA Advocacy Summit March 2-4 


From March 2-4, 2021, join thousands of lupus advocates in an immersive, experiential online environment to make an enormous difference in the fight against lupus. Hear the latest research, breakthroughs in care and connect with experts in the field about lupus advocacy, care and support. Additionally, CARRA will have a virtual booth at this year’s summit. 

Learn more and register to attend here. 

Arthritis Foundation Updates

Advocating for Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment Program

The Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment Program was reauthorized in the CARES Act. The Arthritis Foundation is working to increase support in Congress through the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bill. We are calling upon pediatric rheumatologists, nurses, fellows and researchers to join us in grassroots-wide opportunities, from action alerts to participating in a Hill Day. If you are interested, contact Anna Hyde [email protected].

Save the Date! March 18 is World JA Day

Save the date - March 18 is World JA Day. Help the Arthritis Foundation spread the word about juvenile arthritis and pediatric rheumatic diseases by participating in our social media campaign. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and visit for more details starting early March.

Important Dates and Deadlines