As usual, the Executive and Steering Committees have been busy! In fact, there is so much going on, currently in various stages of completion that it feels like an odd time for an update. However, I will touch briefly on several activities with the promise of more detailed information to come as plans and projects come to fruition.
Big news is that we are now a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization with all the required legal documents and insurance, accountants and lawyers (see Rob’s article from the Finance Committee). Rob has been doing yeoman’s work making sure we are compliant with regulatory requirements and paying our bills! We are now working on establishing an External Advisory Board for CARRA, an effort being ably led by Peter Blier with assistance from Kathleen Haines and Diana Milojevic, as well as expanding the Board of Directors.
Another big change is the planning of the Annual Meeting. In the past, this meeting has largely been planned and executed by the Executive Committee with approval from the Steering Committee and followed a standard template. This year, we are trying to incorporate more member suggestions from past meetings and have turned over the planning to the Chairs of the Disease Research Committees and TRTC, Research
Coordinator Advisory Committee, and Early Investigator Representative. Suzanne Li and Chuck Spencer are leading this group, so if you have suggestions or comments please contact them. The goal is to put aside more time for working in smaller groups on specific research projects and be less exhausted at the end of the day while still moving forward the CARRA research agenda. With help from Sheffa and Grendel Burrell and Brian Best, our consultants, we have reviewed more than 150 applications for a new CARRA Executive Director and winnowed the list down to a few outstanding candidates. These individuals are being interviewed intensively and we are hoping to have a new director in place by the end of the year.
Other work in progress includes negotiating industry collaborations to restart the CARRA Registry (see Yuki’s Registry Update) and a long term plan formalizing our relationship with the Arthritis Foundation. I expect to have much more to tell you on all of these topics by the end of the year or earlier, so look for further announcements in your email, possibly at the ACR breakfast meeting, and definitely at the CARRA Annual Meeting. I look forward to seeing you all in Boston!
Laura Schanberg, MD