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President's Message

Eric Matteson, MD, President of the Rheumatology Research Foundation, explains how  the Journey to Cure campaign advances the Foundation's mission to improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases.


Dr. Eric Matteson of the Mayo Clinic, who is the president of the Rheumatology Research FoundationThe Rheumatology Research Foundation’s Journey to Cure campaign was an overwhelming success. As the Foundation’s largest fundraising campaign in history, Journey to Cure raised a grand total of $61,430,466 to fund awards for more than 900 rheumatology professionals. 

In support of the Foundation’s mission to improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases, Journey to Cure was implemented in 2011 with a goal of raising $60 million. By the end of 2016, the campaign surpassed its goal by more than $1.4 million. Dollars raised are directly invested into the Foundation’s extensive awards program, which is committed to recruiting and training future rheumatologists and health professionals, fostering the most innovative ideas in rheumatology and advancing research for all rheumatic diseases.

Journey to Cure has made a significant impact on the future of rheumatology. Since the campaign’s implementation, the Foundation has given awards to 909 rheumatology professionals. This includes 197 education and training awards that build the rheumatology workforce, 102 career development awards that encourage investigators to study rheumatic diseases, and 523 student awards that recruit and train tomorrow’s rheumatology professionals. 

Journey to Cure funded 87 Innovative Research Awards, the Foundation’s largest award for investigators studying all rheumatic diseases, including studies looking at patient outcomes and optimizing practice design. A major gift from Norman B. Gaylis, MD, supported the Norman B. Gaylis, MD, Research Award for Rheumatologists in Community Practice to encourage research from physicians in community practice who are engaged in patient care. Mrs. Tobé and Dr. Stephen Malawista made a generous commitment to ensure physician scientists are able to continue their academic careers in vital rheumatic disease research, creating the Tobé and Stephen E. Malawista, MD, Endowment in Academic Rheumatology. 

The Student and Resident ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting Scholarships allow students from areas of the country that are underserved by rheumatology professionals to attend the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting. This opportunity encourages students to choose a career in rheumatology and hopefully practice in those underserved areas so more patients have better access to care. The Foundation also offers preceptorships for students, residents, and health professionals. Preceptorships are a one-on-one, full-time mentorship with an established rheumatology professional. Each of these awards helps to fill crucial needs within rheumatology to better serve those impacted by rheumatic disease.

The success of these programs would not be possible without the support from our partners in the Journey to Cure.  The American College of Rheumatology and 2,604 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals made contributions to support the future of their field. Twenty-six corporations, including the exemplary Corporate Roundtable donors, showed their support to help increase funding for rheumatology research and training. Finally, 1,146 patients, family members, and friends made gifts to back the Foundation’s work to advance treatments and find cures.

Thank you to all who joined this incredible journey. There is still more work to be done, but there is no doubt that Journey to Cure has made a profound impact on treatments and cures for generations to come.



 Journey to Cure




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