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Last week, rheumatologists converged in D.C. for the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Advocacy and Leadership Conference to discuss ways to better serve their patients, colleagues, and trainees.

Left to right: Dr. Prarthana Jain (UNC), Dr. Andrew Laster, (Arthritis and Osteoporosis Consultants of the Carolinas), Dr. Saira Sheikh (UNC), Dr. Adam Goode (Duke University), Dr. Katie Yates (UNC).

Members of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center (TARC) and the UNC Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology were in attendance to help advocate for patients and speak to government officials about complex policy issues that are confronting rheumatology practices across the country, such as declining Medicare reimbursements. Advocating for Medicare payment reform is vital for the continuation of accessible, affordable, and high-quality rheumatologic care to patients.

Dr. Saira Sheikh, who serves on the ACR’s Board of Directors, and is the Director of the UNC Rheumatology Lupus Clinic and Director of the Clinical Trials Program at TARC, made her way to D.C. for the conference along with two Second Year UNC Rheumatology Fellows, Drs. Prarthana Jain and Katie Yates.