ATLANTA – The Rheumatology Research Foundation announced on March 30 that its largest fundraising campaign, Journey to Cure, has funded 14 opportunities for rheumatology health professionals in Nebraska. The funding helps to recruit and train more rheumatology professionals in the state, which currently has only 31 board-certified rheumatologists.
“The Foundation not only supports research, but it also helps support academic divisions of rheumatology, which is where all rheumatologists are trained,” said James O’Dell, MD, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).
Of the Foundation awards received in Nebraska over the last five years, three UNMC students and residents received Foundation funding for preceptorships, or one-on-one, real world learning experiences with an established mentor in the field. Another three students from Nebraska received scholarships to the American College of Rheumatology and Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals Annual Meeting. The scholarship is intended to encourage future doctors to consider a rheumatology career in areas that are underserved by rheumatology professionals.
Four UNMC fellows were trained with support from the Foundation’s fellowship training awards, and another four UNMC faculty members received Foundation funding for research into rheumatic diseases.
Nebraska awardees were among more than 900 rheumatology professionals nationwide that received funding from the Rheumatology Research Foundation’s Journey to Cure campaign. The campaign set out to raise $60 million to support the Foundation’s mission to improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases. By the end of 2016, the Foundation surpassed its goal, raising a grand total of $61,430,466 with support from 3,869 donors. Dollars raised during the campaign are directly invested in the Foundation’s mission objectives to recruit and train future rheumatologists and health professionals, foster innovative research ideas in rheumatology and accelerate advancements in treatments and cures for all rheumatic diseases.