As I and the rest of the Board enter the last phase of our term, I want to personally thank you for all the advice, friendship and support you have bestowed upon us. We have met almost monthly as a Board to ensure that we give our best to the Philippine Rheumatology Association.
In February 2015, we had a successful Annual Meeting with a well-received TED Talks format and the most attendees in history. Aside from some lectures during our Annual Meeting, our launch of the Gout Awareness Campaign (“When in Gout, Consult a Rheumatologist”) was covered by multi-media (print, television, radio and social media) and featured in magazines, broadsheets and online sites. The awareness campaign had also encouraged them to feature us in their health segments – with several of our colleagues being tapped as resource persons.
With the help of the marketing and advertising firm Young and Rubicam, we were able to produce materials for the awareness campaign. We had a logo, posters, stickers, shirts, and a video which we used during the launch, in media sorties (like the PCP Media Forum), during interviews, in social media posts, and in your hospitals and clinics. Through these, we were able to positions ourselves as THE experts in managing gout – additionally, increasing awareness of what our subspecialty does.
We reintroduced our special interest group (SIG) meetings – we held an informative and well attended Joint OA/RA Symposium in November 2014 and supported the Lupus Nephritis Forum in July 2015.
We navigated the waters regarding the affiliate status of the Philippine Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine (PARM) in the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP). And in the process, we were able to firm up alliances with the PCP and the Philippine Medical Association (PMA). We have started addressing issues with PhilHealth (which was an off shoot of the breakout session held during the OA/RA Symposium). And we continue to improve our online presence through an updated website (www.rheumatology.org.ph) that has reached 7,471 views as of November 2015 (that’s just 11 months) and our more active Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PhilRheuma) earning 802 total page likes.
We have also seen an increase in the number of applicants to various grants available through the PRA – currently, there are 4 recipients of the PRA Scholarship Grant and three were awarded the PRA Travel Grant to the World Congress in Internal Medicine 2014 (1) and the APLAR Congress 2015 (2).
BUT THERE IS STILL MUCH TO DO!
We will be having another SIG activity this December 5, 2015 at the Luxent Hotel, Quezon City- focusing on Gaps in the Care of Inflammatory Arthritis. And just before our Annual Meeting, another SIG event addressing Pain is scheduled on January 23, 2016.
Following the Pain SIG, we are excited to announce the “First Philippine Rheumatology Association Rayuma Run: Go out and Run” happening on January 24, 2016 at the UP Diliman Oval. We hope that, through the event, we will be able to promote diseases awareness on arthritis and rheumatism with gout being the spotlight for this year. We are targeting around 1,000 – 2,000 participants. Please support by either running (or walking) 500m, 3K, 5k, 10k or 15k during the event. You can also help in the free clinic happening after. We ask that you help spread the word in your circles and in your social media accounts and enlist runners you may know. Perhaps, your patients can even try the shorter distances!!
We are committed to continuing the gout awareness campaign, while looking at, perhaps, launching another advocacy or campaign in the coming years.
We are supporting our Gout technical review group (Gout TRB) in updating our clinical practice guidelines. And the Board continues to be make available research and other grants available through the PRA
We are working closely with the wonderful Iloilo Organizing Committee (headed by Dr. Caroline Arroyo and Dr. Roger Dulos) to ensure a world class convention in February 25-27, 2016 to be held in the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC), no less.
Finally, prior to the next convention we are committed to meeting and mapping out a five year plan for the PRA. Please email us any issues you feel we need to tackle and address.
Please continue to pray for us, and let us know how we can help you and your practice in any way!
Kind regards to all!
ERIC AMANTE MD FPCP, FPRA
PRA President 2014-2016