May 5, 2016

We are gearing up towards the SPARTAN annual meeting in Denver from July 22 nd -24 th , 2016 - I hope you are planning to attend.  The Education Committee has developed an impressive agenda that balances cutting-edge research presentations with progress reports on on-going SPARTAN initiatives - from Treatment Guidelines to Classification Criteria development in partnership with ASAS.  The day before the Annual meeting, a SPARTAN-GRAPPA CME Symposium (with new curriculum decks) will be presented for SPARTAN members, fellows and local rheumatologists.  Immediately following that, a new "Skill's Workshop" as part of the 'SPARTAN Clinical Trials Consortium' will be open not only for fellows and SPARTAN members, but also for their research assistants.  If you are involved (or are interested in getting involved) in Spondyloarthritis Clinical Trials, this would be a great opportunity for brushing up your own clinical assessment skills, and also for training your research assistants in spondyloarthritis metrology, as well as other aspects of conducting clinical trials.
We are very interested in hearing from you and your junior colleagues/fellows what spondyloarthritis related research is being carried out at your center.  This year in addition to the 'fellows' abstract' session, a 'SPARTAN Members' Research Showcase' session will feature colleagues - young and young-at-heart - to present their on-going research.  The 'Call for Abstracts' is open for submission.  A lot is happening in the field of spondyloarthritis and in SPARTAN.  I hope to see you in Denver in July!
I end with the sad news of the untimely demise of Dr. Pamela Prete, an active SPARTAN member, earlier this year.  You will find a touching tribute to Dr. Prete's life and legacy by her colleague Dr. Steve Lee in this news letter.  Dr. Prete will certainly be missed.

Atul Deodhar, MD
14th Annual Meeting

Registration is now open for the Annual Meeting.  
Make your hotel reservations at the Brown Palace by June 30 to assure availability.

SPARTAN Research Committee Report
In November/December 2015, the Research Committee conducted  an online survey to gather interest and feedback regarding a SPARTAN Clinical Trials Consortium (CTC) Invitations to participate were sent out to all the SPARTAN members and completion rate was 54%. We wish to thank all of the SPARTAN members who participated.
The study revealed a uniformly strong interest amongst SPARTAN members in investigator-initiated clinical trials. This suggests that the identification of important research questions and facilitation of collaborative investigator-initiated studies to answer them ought to be a major focus of the CTC. There was also substantial support for efforts to train investigators and research coordinators in the use of spondyloarthritis clinical trial instruments.  The development of a SPARTAN certification mechanism for spondyloarthritis trialists was not supported. Several questions asked about the average number of patients seen with various types of spondyloarthritis who may/may not be candidates of participation in clinical trials. An interesting and unexpected result was the relatively low number of patients with non-radiographic axial SpA seen by SpA specialists compared with AS. This suggests that research into referral patterns could be one important initiative of the CTC. Detailed survey results will be presented at the Annual Meeting in Denver.

Joerg Ermann, MD and  Vikas Majithia, MD, MPH, FACR, FACP

In memoriam - Pamela Prete, M.D.
The rheumatology community lost a valued member on February 18 2016 with the passing of Pamela E. Prete, MD., FACP., MACR., Retired Colonel USAF

Dr. Prete was active--first and foremost as a busy clinician, serving the veterans at the Long Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  She herself previously served in the US Air Force.  She also directly influenced many colleagues as an involved faculty of the University of California, Irvine - Rheumatology Fellowship Program.  

In the organized rheumatology world, she was a fixture at the meetings of the Southern California Rheumatology Society, serving a term as President.  Most of SPARTAN knew her as well through her contributions as a member of SPARTAN, where she participated as a voting panel member for the ACR-SAA-SPARTAN axSpA treatment guidelines.  

Steve Lee, DO, of the Southern CA Permanente Medical Group notes "My first meeting with Dr. Prete was when we were paired as Californians, lobbying our legislators at the 2008 ACR Advocate for Arthritis meeting in Washington DC.  She continued to be a mentor and friend in subsequent years and will be missed by so many of us." 
Abstract Submission Deadline May 9
 Abstracts dealing with one of the topics below can be submitted: 

* Genetics and Pathogenesis of Spondyloarthritis
* Imaging in Spondyloarthritis
* Clinical Research in Spondyloarthritis

Eligibility: Trainees and independent investigators are eligible to submit an abstract. Abstracts submitted to this year's SPARTAN meeting are also eligible for submission to the ACR Annual Scientific meeting (submission deadline in June 2016 for presentation in Fall 2016).
Format: Abstracts may be selected for oral or poster presentation, and authors should be prepared to present in either format. The abstract limit is 
2,750 characters, which excludes the title, names of authors/co-authors, authors' affiliations, spacing and disclosures. Each tables and/ or graphic will decrease the character count by 250 characters from the total limit allowed.  A maximum of 3 figures/tables are allowed per abstract. Selected oral abstracts will include 10 minutes presentations followed by 5 minutes of questions and comments.  Avoid the use of special characters ("Beta", rather than "β")

Fellows with accepted abstracts will be provided a travel award to attend the annual meeting, which covers airfare, hotel accommodations, and ground transportation. 

Read the entire Call for Abstracts here.... 

Submit abstracts online
PO Box 55491
Portland, OR 97238