November 2023

President's Message 

Dear PRS Members, Supporters, and Sponsors,

The holiday season is upon us and we at PRS have a lot to be thankful and grateful for this past year!

Every year, it seems that PRS starts anew, energized by the enthusiasm of the Annual Scientific Meeting. This year we begin again, this time with changes in the PRS leadership. I am pleased to be taking the reins as President from my fellow Rheumatologist, Dr. Irene Tan, who solidified and strengthened PRS during her tenure.

As you will read below, we thank those who have served PRS, as new colleagues join the leadership. PRS heads towards the close of 2023 having put in place new programs and offerings, such as the Summer Lecture Series and the family friendly Opening Gathering at the ASM. We hope to continue these, and work in cooperation with rheumatology societies in neighboring states. And we will continue to support the knowledge and training of our Fellows in Training through the FIT scholarship and other programs.

The larger landscape of medicine is increasingly complex, even as research supports beneficial industry developments, government regulations figure greatly into how we care for our patients, and the distribution of care. We will continue to inform our membership about the current state of affairs related to general issues in the house of medicine and to issues specific to rheumatology.

I look forward to working with all of you over the next two years.


Tanmayee Bichile, MD


Bravo! Kudos! Congratulations to Dr. Denio!

This October, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) recognized PRS’ former president Dr. Alfred Denio, III, MD, FACR, MACR with its Master of the ACR designation.

The Master of the ACR is “one of the highest honors that the College bestows on its distinguished members. The designation of Master is conferred on ACR members who have made outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement and/or service to their patients, students, and the rheumatology profession. These honorees have devoted their long careers to furthering rheumatology research and improving clinical standards in the treatment of rheumatic diseases.”

Congratulations on your achievements, Dr. Denio!

Recap - the 10th Annual PRS Annual Scientific Meeting!

A beautiful autumn weekend in the Poconos set the stage for PRS's 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting's at the Kalahari Resort... a weekend of CME, connecting - and fun!

In the CME sessions, leading rheumatologists presented their research and clinical insights on new developments and critical topics. Meeting attendees engaged with colleagues during sessions and breaks, and visited with industry supporters in the Exhibit Hall - the most exhibitors ever. This year also saw a record number of early-career poster presenters.

Always a highlight, congratulations to this year's Thieves' Market winner: Dr. Suguni Loku Galappaththy, UPMC, for her case: “Why so Low?” Runners up in the oral presentations were Dr. Mehreen Elahee and Dr. Ruchi Patel. Sincere thanks to Dr. Sonia Manocha for organizing the competition review!

Attendees and their families enjoyed the first ever family-friendly Welcome Gathering. Face-painting, pumpkins, masks, games, and a taco-bar - there was fun for all ages!

PRS extends thanks to all who made the 10th ASM possible:

  • the sponsors and exhibitors for their generous support,
  • the Program Committee for developing high-level educational offerings,
  • and especially to Meeting Manager Janelle Witters whose boundless energy and creativity make it all happen!

PRS Board Transitions - Thank You and Welcome!

Several PRS leadership transitions were announced at the Annual Business Meeting:

Dr. Irene Tan moves into the position of Past-President, with Dr. Tanmayee Bichile becoming President. Dr. Phil Dunn becomes Vice President and Dr. Anapuma Shahane takes on the role of Secretary/Treasurer. Dr. Nicholas Wiemer moves from FIT Representative to Western Early Career Representative.

PRS extends its sincere appreciation and thanks to these Advisory Council members who will be cycling off:

Al Denio, III, MD (remaining as chair of the Advocacy Committee)

Kanchana Herath, MD

Anna Papazoglou,MD

Mitali Sen, MD

Nancy Walker, MD

We are grateful for your contributions and wish you all the best!

Please join us in welcoming to the Advisory Council the new Board Members pictured below!

First row: Arthur Lau, MD, Councilor - East , and Fabian Rodriguez Quinones, MD, Eastern Early Career Representative

Second row: Fellow-in-Training Representatives: Rafal Ali, MD and Conor O’Donnell, DO 

PRS Advocacy

Gear up for a new year full of exciting grassroots advocacy!

Alfred Denio III, MD, PRS Advocacy Chair

Deborah Ann Shoemaker, PRS Lobbyist



The PRS Advocacy Committee (Committee) keeps Society members up to date on issues that directly impact the care of our patients. Advocacy topics range from insurance carrier policies, to proposed bills in the state legislature, to policy statements/regulations from departments under the jurisdiction of our governor. We are actively recruiting more members to assist with the Committee- as the larger the group, the more effective we can be to affect changes favorable to our patient care.


We hope you will reply to the six-question advocacy survey to determine our legislative priorities for the coming year.  Although you are bombarded with surveys, we encourage you to complete this one as it will help guide the committee as we refine our priorities and set next year’s legislative agenda.

Take the 6-Question PRS Advocacy Survey!

In Pennsylvania, we are ending year one of this two-year legislative session, affording us additional time to work on revised priorities. In 2023, we have been closely monitoring proposed legislation related to cost containment (co-payment accumulator, prescription medication reform and Pharmacy Benefit Manager [PBM] regulation), malpractice reform, physician reimbursement/practice issues (telemedicine, alternative payment arraignments, etc.) and scope of practice expansion (independent practice for non-physician healthcare professionals).


As new chair of the Committee, it is my mission to reach out to the leadership of our medical specialty colleague organizations to find areas of mutual interest. After we review the completed member surveys, and create a game plan with committee members, we will be in a wonderful position to hit the ground running next year to effect change at the state level. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with our partners at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the Council of State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO) to assist with federal grassroots advocacy.


If you are interested in joining us in this important endeavor, please contact PRS   Look at the advocacy section of our website to get current information on our watch list and advocacy work. 

News and Information from our Corporate Partners

Jannsen Immunology

Johnson & Johnson is one of the nation’s leading healthcare companies. We have a responsibility to engage with stakeholders in constructive dialogue to address gaps in affordability, access and health equity as well as protect our nation’s leading role in the innovation ecosystem. Through the 2022 Janssen U.S. Transparency Report, we continue our legacy of contributing insights, data and real-world evidence to help inform and advance policy solutions to create a more sustainable, equitable and innovative healthcare system.”

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Thank you to our 2023-2024 Corporate Partners!

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