As I am penning this message for our fall newsletter, we have just completed the Pennsylvania Rheumatology Society’s (PRS) 6th Annual Scientific meeting. Initial reviews from attendees were very favorable both in terms of the meeting content as well as the new venue at the Hershey Lodge. The meeting continues to grow with over 110 meeting registrants, 20 fellows-in-training, as well as several internal medicine residents interested in rheumatology careers. The weather cooperated and many attendees went to Hersheypark with their families or one of the other amenities in the Hershey/Harrisburg area during their Saturday afternoon break from the meeting. I want to thank the Meeting Planning Committee, the Pennsylvania Medical Society Staff (particularly Janelle Witters our meeting manager) and our Corporate Sponsors who all helped to make the meeting a success.

Regarding plans for the coming year, the PRS will be forming an Advocacy Committee that will be chaired by Dr. Paul Killlian, MD meeting later in the year. The charge of this committee will be to organize the Society’s advocacy activities with the State Legislature in coordination with the state’s Arthritis Foundation groups. Since we are a 501c3 organization, we have lobbying limitations but will push forward to the extent that we are permitted. If you wish to get involved, please send us a note.

There is already a shortage of rheumatology providers in the state which will only worsen in the years to come. The Board will be looking at ways the Society can help address this problem. Specifically, we will be looking at methods to facilitate the rheumatologic training of nurse practitioners and physician assistants to help fill the need. If you have nurse practitioners or physician assistants in your practice that would like to help organize this, please send us a note.

We will also be organizing local meet and greet gatherings around the state which will focus on helping new rheumatologists get established in their communities. Keep a watch out for these, as they would be a nice way to network and meet your colleagues in an informal setting.

Please let us know if your patient care is being adversely affected by any carrier policies in the state. The voice of the largest rheumatology society in the state may carry more weight with a carrier than an individual provider.

As we continue to grow the organization, please feel free to reach out to any of us. Our staff now includes: Rebecca Doctrow, Executive Director; Brendan Leahy, Deputy Executive; Janelle Witters, meeting manager; and Rayna Candidate, Member Services Specialist.
Al Denio, MD
Sokratis Apostolidis, MD
Sharon E Banks, DO
Osman Bhatty, MD
Angela L Borger
Michelle Brown, MD
Viktoria Elkis, MD
Kourtney Erickson, DO
Erik Escuro, MD
Gina M Ferrero, MBBS
Natalya E Gaffney, MD
Nicole Hunt, MBBS
Ammarah Hussain, MD
Stephanie Jeong, MD
Justin Levinson, MD
Silvia Martinez Laverde, MD
Hana S Masood MD, MBA
Marissa Meissner, MD
Niveditha Mohan, MD
Peter D Nicholas III, DO
Elena I Obreja, MD
Cristina M Padilla, MD, MS
Faye Sajjadi, MD
Randolph Sanchez, MD
Henry Scovern, MD
Aslihan Sen
Sneha Sundaram, MD
Steven Taylor, MD
Taras Tsyapa, MD
Nicholas Vaughn, MD
Rachel J Werner
Nicholas Wiemer, DO, MHSA
Davisson Wriston MD
Temple Health Seeks Participants for Lupus Study
Dear Member of the Pennsylvania Rheumatology Society

I am pleased to announce that our Temple University Lupus Program is participating in and actively seeking participants for a clinical research study of an investigational drug, called ustekinumab, in people with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Ustekinumab will be compared with placebo, in addition to standard-of-care background therapy.

Total study duration is up to 182 weeks, consisting of a ≤6-week screening period, 52-week double-blind period and a 124-week extension period. Approximately 500 participants in study centers across North & South America, South Africa, Europe, and Asia are expected to take part.

Click here to learn more about the study and participation qualifications.

The PRS 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting will be September 26-27, 2020 in Hershey, PA.

Click here to access a recap of the 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting.
UCB: Healio Rheumatology - Key Questions in nr-axSpA: Understanding, Recognizing, and Managing Patients with nr-axSpA

Janssen: Health Insurance Open Enrollment - We are pleased to announce that the 2020 Health Insurance Open Enrollment Guide from Janssen CarePath is now available. 

This Guide includes:
  • Helpful information patients should know when evaluating their health insurance plan options for 2020
  • Important dates to remember
  • Worksheets to help facilitate patient discussion with health insurance plan (commercial or Medicare) so the patient can determine best coverage option for 2020.

Janssen: Know Your State - The goal of KNOW YOUR STATE is to help patients and providers learn about medication access and affordability options one state at a time.
If you are interested in posting a job, please contact us at (717) 558-7750, extension 1599 or  [email protected] . Postings are complimentary.
Ideas or suggestions for newsletter articles can be submitted to the PRS staff office,  [email protected]  or by telephone, (717) 558-7750, ext. 1599.