About ACR / ARP

Founded in 1934, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a not-for-profit, professional association committed to advancing the specialty of rheumatology that serves 9,100 physicians, health professionals, researchers and scientists worldwide. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care.

Empowering Rheumatology Professionals

Vision Statement
As the leading authority and trusted partner of rheumatology professionals, the ACR will continually advance the specialty and the future of rheumatology.

Brand Promise: We are here for you so you can be there for your patients.

To empower rheumatology professionals to excel in their specialty.

The ACR endorses the following core values in support of our vision and mission:

  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Inclusion
  • Community

The ACR’s strategic plan charts the course for the future direction of the College.

2022–2027 Strategic Goals

  • The ACR will create and implement nimble strategies to advance innovations in rheumatology for its members and constituents.
  • The ACR will understand and address the needs of all its current and future members to create an inclusive voice for the field of rheumatology.
  • The ACR will provide tools to support rheumatology workforce expansion and retention to increase access to patient care.

The Code of Ethics of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) applies to the entire ACR, including its fellows, members, staff, and is enforceable solely by the ACR.

The primary purpose of this Code of Ethics is to support the ACR’s mission, which is to empower rheumatology professionals to excel in their specialty. The ACR can succeed in this mission only if it maintains its reputation in the scientific and medical communities and with the general public as a credible, objective, and unbiased force whose statements, activities, and relationships are beyond reproach.

View ACR Bylaws

Deborah Dyett Desir, MD
ACR President

Carol Langford, MD, MHS
ACR President-Elect

Anne Bass, MD
ACR Treasurer

William Harvey, MD, MSc
ACR Secretary

See ACR Board of Directors

Our core values - a commitment to professionalism, service to our members, vitality of the profession of rheumatology, excellence in patient care, transparency and innovation - unite our staff in an engaging and stimulating work environment. When you join the ACR as a staff member, you become a part of an innovative, collaborative, and driven team of individuals dedicated to supporting the ACR’s mission to empower rheumatology professionals to excel in their specialty.

Transparency – We share information openly and honestly – even when it is uncomfortable to do so.

Accountability – We are empowered to take ownership over our work, our words, our actions, and our results.

Collaboration – When we have a common goal, we come together to accomplish things we couldn’t do on our own.

Inclusion – We foster an environment where authenticity and unique differences are valued, supported, and included.

Innovation – We are encouraged to explore and pursue thoughtful, creative ideas that lead to growth, learning and new ways of meeting our mission.

ACR Statement on U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling on Affirmative Action in Undergraduate Admissions

The American College of Rheumatology is deeply concerned about the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling because of the potentially negative impact on rheumatology patients. Adults and children with rheumatic diseases from historically marginalized and under-resourced communities have greater disease burden and worse disease outcomes. Among other factors, a diverse and culturally responsive workforce plays a critical role in fostering strong patient-provider relationships and a climate for optimal health. In addition, educational environments with diverse perspectives and lived experiences create powerful opportunities for learning and skill building that advance patient-centered care.
– August 2023

ACR Statement on Affirmation Action Rulingexternal link opens in a new tab.

ACR Statement on Access to Reproductive Healthcare

The ACR is deeply concerned about the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson ruling because it negatively impacts the practice of rheumatology. Furthermore, we oppose any legislation or regulation that will limit access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare and interfere with patient-physician shared-decision making.
– July 2022

ACR Statement on Access to Reproductive Healthcareexternal link opens in a new tab.

ACR Statement on Ukraine War

The ACR condemns Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in needless loss of life, profound damage to communities, destruction of healthcare facilities, and displacement of millions of people, including medical professionals and patients of all ages. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues and their patients impacted by this war. We strongly support negotiations aimed to bring an immediate end to hostilities and attacks on healthcare systems and efforts to enable our colleagues to deliver needed care to their patients.
– June 2022

The Right to Vote

The right to vote is at the foundation of representative democracy. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) condemns provisions in voter laws that would make it more difficult for communities of color, and individuals with rheumatic diseases, disabilities, other chronic health conditions, to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The ACR urges our elected officials to come together and correct inequities in the voting system that exist today while also securing the franchise for future generations.
- May 2021

American College of Rheumatology’s Pledge to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is deeply troubled by the recent events surrounding the death of George Floyd. This tragedy is the latest in a long history of senseless killings of people of color. We recognize that racial inequality is an invisible undercurrent impacting the lives of many of our members and patients and we condemn all acts that cause marginalization, discrimination, harm or death to any person. From lupus mortality, to arthritis disability, and most recently to COVID‐19 deaths, our minority communities have suffered disproportionately. As physicians and healthcare professionals, we are bound to protect the health of all of humanity. The ACR pledges to be a leader for inclusion and change for our members, our trainees, our staff, and our patients.
 – September 2020

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resourcesexternal link opens in a new tab.

Association of Rheumatology Professionals

The Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP), a membership division of the ACR, serves interprofessionals specializing in rheumatology such as advanced practice nurses, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers, epidemiologists, physician assistants, educators, clinicians, researchers, research coordinators, and office staff.

ARP Priorities

  • Grow the ARP membership through marketing and membership drives
  • Identify and increase the supply of qualified health professionals working in rheumatology
  • Actively support the practice environment for rheumatology health professionals
  • Provide outstanding educational opportunities
  • Increase volunteer leadership skills and opportunities
  • Vigorously market ARP products and services
  • Foster communication among ARP members and ACR staff/members
  • Enhance research knowledge and skills among rheumatology health professionals
  • Promote outstanding inter-professional rheumatology research
  • Advocate on behalf of the rheumatology community: patients, rheumatology health professionals, and rheumatologists
  • Identify and mentor ARP members to become future leaders

The governance of the Association of Rheumatology Professionals, a division of the American College of Rheumatology, is structured in the Rules of Procedure.

Rheumatology Research Foundation

Established as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Rheumatology Research Foundation's mission is to advance research and training to improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases. The ACR’s foundation is the largest private funding source of rheumatology research and training programs in the United States and is proud to have received numerous four-star ratings from Charity Navigator, America's largest evaluator of charities.


Become a Member

Join a community that aims to help you excel in your specialty. ACR/ARP members receive discounted registration fees, access to publications, unparalleled resources, and more.

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