CARRA Newsletter - November 2019 Issue 1


CARRA Activities at the ACR/ARP Meeting in Atlanta!                   

CARRA is very excited to be heading to Atlanta this weekend for the ACR/ARP (American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Professionals) Annual Meeting! 20+ abstracts and presentations featuring CARRA members and/or projects that were supported by CARRA-Arthritis Foundation grants or other CARRA infrastructure will be presented over the course of the event.

CARRA-Related Abstracts and Presentations

View all CARRA-Related Abstracts & Presentations at ACR/ARP or click the link below to view each day’s presentations. We hope to see you at one or more of the presentation sessions!

In this Issue...


CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program

2020 Elections


VERITY Application

Registry Update

Arthritis Foundation Updates

Important Dates & Deadlines

Sunday (11/10) Presentations
Monday (11/11) Presentations
Tuesday (11/12) Presentations
Wednesday (11/13) Presentations

CARRA Meeting and CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Reception (11/11)

The CARRA Meeting, featuring updates from CARRA leadership and the Arthritis Foundation, will be held at 6:30 PM. Immediately following the meeting, attendees are welcome to join us for drinks and hors d'oeuvres at the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Reception, from 7:30-10:00 PM.  All CARRA events will take place at the Westin Peachtree Plaza (210 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303). These events are open to all ACR attendees.

CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program

Application Deadline: January 15, 2020

In the United States, 300,000 children are afflicted with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions, yet there are only (~360) pediatric rheumatologists across the country available to care for these children and half of children with rheumatic disease are seen by adult providers. To address the shortage of pediatric rheumatologists and to expose pediatric residents to the field of pediatric rheumatology, CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation are offering the Pediatric Residents Program.

The goals of the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program are to:

  • Provide pediatric residents with access to the broad pediatric rheumatologic community through participation in CARRA’s Annual Scientific Meeting.
  • Encourage interested pediatric residents to consider pediatric rheumatology as a subspecialty, thus improve patient access to pediatric rheumatologists.
  • Introduce Pediatric Residents to the resources of the Arthritis Foundation.

To help achieve these goals, CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation are providing funds to support pediatric residents’ attendance at the Annual CARRA Scientific Meeting at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans in New Orleans, LA from April 26-29, 2020. Awardees will be teamed with a CARRA member from another state/institution who will help guide their experience at the meeting.

Application Requirements

To apply to the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program, including CARRA membership*, you will need to provide your contact information and a completed application. Your application must include the following items combined into one PDF document:

  1. Your CV 
  2. A personal statement: This should consist of less than one page describing yourself, your career goals, and reasons you would like to attend the CARRA meeting.
  3. Letter of support from your current program director. The letter needs to state that you will be allowed to attend the entire CARRA meeting (April 26-29, 2020).
  4. Letter of support from a current CARRA Member and/or a pediatric rheumatology mentor.

*Submitting your application to the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program includes applying for CARRA membership as a Trainee member. Membership is free for Trainees. Your Pediatric Residents Program application will serve as your membership application. You do not need to submit a separate membership application.

Applications are due by 11:59 PM PT on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. 

All applicants will be notified regarding the outcome of their applications by Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Travel Support

Travel support is made possible for this program through the generous support of the Arthritis Foundation ( If you are selected to participate in the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program, you will be eligible to receive reimbursement from CARRA for the following travel/meeting related costs as outlines below:

Eligible Expenses
Coach Airfare
(Shared) Hotel Room at the Conference Hotel, 4/26-4/29
Mileage and hotel parking (if driving to meeting location)
Taxi/shuttle to/from the New Orleans airport
Local Airport Parking Fees
Baggage Fees

Ineligible Expenses
Airfare upgrade, insurance or change fees
Rental cars
Mileage to/from your local airport
Passport or travel visa fees
Expenses submitted without the original receipt

We will pair you with another resident to share a hotel room.  You may stay in a private room; however, you will be responsible for the additional costs. CARRA will not charge a meeting registration fee and will provide group meals to conference attendees during the conference.


  • Awardees are required to attend the full CARRA meeting and complete a meeting evaluation.
  • Travel reimbursement will be provided by CARRA following completion of the meeting.
  • Scanned copies of all receipts are required for reimbursement.
  • All reimbursement will be provided after the meeting.


The American College of Rheumatology’s Pediatric Rheumatology Symposium (PRSYM) will take place April 29-May 2, also at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. We encourage all residents to attend PRSYM, as well. Additional travel support is available for residents who are able to stay for both CARRA and PRSYM as outlined below:

1. Residents who have abstracts accepted by PRSYM are eligible to receive up to $1000 in travel expenses (including airfare, hotel, and meals) plus complimentary meeting registration to attend PRSYM. This award is through the Rheumatology Research Foundation Abstract Award.  All CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Residents Program applicants who wish to stay for PRSYM are encouraged to submit abstracts for this award, however please know that this option is open to any/all residents (regardless of participation in our program).  For more information on abstract submissions, see

You must submit your abstract(s) to PRSYM by 5pm ET on January 15. Submissions open November 20.

2. Participants in the CARRA Pediatric Residents program who attend the full CARRA conference and do not have an abstract accepted by PRSYM will be eligible to receive additional lodging support (1/2 of double occupancy charges). No additional expenses (meals, meeting registration) will be covered.

3. If you receive a travel award from ACR, the support from this program will be supplemental, e.g., you will be expected to use the ACR travel award for your airfare and lodging during the PRSYM meeting.


For any questions about the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Pediatric Residents Program or application, please contact CARRA’s Director of Administration, Brian Mondragón Jones ([email protected]). 

Round 1 Election Results

Voting for Round 1 of the CARRA Elections, which includes the positions of Finance Chair, Early Investigator Chair, SVARD Chair, and TRTC Chair, closed November 4.  

CARRA Finance Chair   Early Investigator Committee Chair   SVARD Committee Chair   TRTC Committee Chair
Stacy Ardoin, MD, MS   Kaveh Ardalan, MD, MS   Jay Mehta, MD   Lauren Henderson, MD, MMSc

Thank you to all of the candidates who participated in this election and everyone who voted!

Round 2 Nominations will be open until December 20th for the following Steering Committee Positions:

1Position receives 5% salary support

  Vice Chair Elections
Nominations Due (by 8pm ET)   December 20
Nominee Applications Due (by 8pm ET) January 10
Voting Opens January 17
Voting Closes January 27
Elected candidates announced to the membership January 31

*in the event a run-off is needed in the first election, the timing of the 2 round of elections may be delayed.

Additional Committee Positions

The Ethics Committee and Publications Committee Chair elections will take place in the near future. More information regarding those opportunities will be available soon.

Join Team CARRA!

The CARRA National Team page for Jingle Bell Run is now live!

Please go to the page to learn how to start a team in your local market.  If you have a team, please contact Vincent Del Gaizo at [email protected] to link your team to the National team. 

For those that can’t start a team, please donate to the CARRA Virtual Team.

Thank you for your support!!!

VERITY Travel Award

Application Deadline: December 6

Through a partnership with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, CARRA is able to select one member to receive travel support and participate in the VERITY/Brigham Course in Rheumatology Clinical Research in Boston, MA at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

VERITY (Value and Evidence in Rheumatology using bioInformaTics, and advanced analYtics) is a NIAMS-funded P30 research program awarded to Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The next VERITY course will be Tuesday, May 12, 2020 to Friday, May 15, 2020, in Boston, MA. The course is aimed at clinical investigators pursuing rheumatic disease epidemiologic and patient-oriented research. Course attendees will consist of early-stage (typically residents, fellows, or junior faculty) investigators pursuing clinical/patient-oriented/epidemiologic research studies in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Attendees will develop or refine a research protocol or specific aims for a grant proposal during the course. Tuition is free but travel and lodging should be funded by the applicant’s program.

Travel Support

The chosen applicant will have their hotel paid for directly by the course organizers and reimbursement of travel expenses to participate in the 6 day course. Course organizers will coordinate travel arrangements with the chosen applicant. Funding for this travel support is provided by NIAMS.


To be eligible for the CARRA opening you must have renewed your CARRA membership and meet the VERITY/Brigham Course in Clinical Research eligibility guidelines:

  • The course is for early-stage (typically fellows or junior faculty) investigators pursuing clinical/patient-oriented/epidemiologic research studies in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.
  • The course is aimed at applicants who are not yet independent, but are currently performing or have performed research investigations.
  • Successful applicants will typically hold the academic rank of fellow, Instructor, or Assistant Professor and should be actively performing mentored clinical/patient-oriented/epidemiologic/transitional research studies.
  • Applicants holding independent funding (R01 or equivalent) are not eligible.

Application Process

  1. Submit your VERITY application online by December 6, 2019.
  2. Once you have submitted your VERITY application, please fill out the VERITY/Brigham Course Opening for CARRA Fellows and Early Investigators application form*, including a 200 word impact statement describing what, if any, specific impact your participation in this course and the VERITY project will have on CARRA and on your professional development.

*This form confirms that you have completed the VERITY application process and authorize CARRA to receive your application materials from the course administrators for review and selection of the CARRA member to receive the open spot.


The course is directed by Dr. Jeffrey Sparks and Dr. Daniel Solomon of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. To learn more about the 2020 VERITY course, including application materials, deadlines, please visit or email [email protected].

For questions about CARRA’s selection process for this program, contact CARRA Director of Administration, Brian Mondragón Jones at [email protected].

CARRA Registry Update

As of November 1, CARRA has enrolled 9,625 patients in the CARRA Registry, including:

  • 8,524 patients with JIA
  • 647 patients with SLE and related conditions
  • 148 patients with JDM or JPM
  • 22 patients with scleroderma

Other highlights include:

  • 304 biosamples have been collected!
  • 72 of 100 patients are now enrolled in the FROST study!

Thank you to all of our CARRA Registry sites for all of your hard work!

CARRA Registry Newsletter

The CARRA Registry Newsletter is a quarterly publication for patients, families, and caregivers. The most recent issue is now available online!

Save the Date!

CARRA is holding its second annual CARRA Registry Retreat for principal investigators, sub-investigators, and site coordinators on February 23-24, 2020, in Dallas, Texas. More details will be sent to sites in the coming weeks!

Arthritis Foundation Updates


Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment Program (PSLRP) Update

On Monday, October 28, the House of Representatives passed by voice vote a package of bills that address various workforce issues. One bill was the EMPOWER for Health Act of 2019 (H.R. 2781), which includes a provision authored by Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Michael Burgess, M.D., (R-TX) to authorize loan repayment for pediatricians who subspecialize and commit to working in an underserved area of the country. Under the provision, pediatric subspecialists like pediatric rheumatologists could apply for up to $35,000 in loan repayment for up to three years. The provision was originally passed into law in 2010, but was never fully funded by Congress before the authorization lapsed in 2014. Attention now turns to the Senate to advance this bipartisan bill: companion legislation focused on this provision was introduced by Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Jack Reed (D-RI) – the Investment in Tomorrow’s Pediatric Health Care Workforce Act (S. 2443).


2020 Fellowship Request for Applications

Application Deadline: Monday, December 16, 2019; 5:00 PM EST

The Arthritis Foundation is seeking applications from institutional program directors. The RFA is particularly interested in novel approaches in training to prepare the next generation of rheumatologists to meet the evolving needs of the community. For adult programs the focus is on creation of new ACGME accredited positions. A major change this year is that this RFA does not require new slots to be generated for pediatric and combined pediatric-adult programs. Application and instructions are available at After reviewing the criteria, those who intend to apply should email [email protected] to give the Arthritis Foundation a heads up, with the subject line: Fellowship – Yes.


iPeer2Peer Mentorship Program

The Arthritis Foundation offers the iPeer2Peer mentorship program in partnership with iOUCH (improving Outcomes in Child Health through Technology) research team at the Hospital for Sick Children in Ontario, Canada. The goal of this program is to help and support teens (13 - 17) with juvenile arthritis (JA) or related childhood rheumatic diseases by connecting them with a trained young adult mentor who shares similar experiences growing up with JA or related childhood rheumatic diseases. Marketing materials available for clinics through Arthritis Foundation local offices. Continuous mentee recruitment, online application for parents and teens for more details visit

Important Upcoming Dates