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American College of Rheumatology Announces the Retirement of Executive Vice President

ATLANTA – The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Board of Directors announced the upcoming retirement of its Executive Vice President, Mark Andrejeski, who has led the organization over the past three decades and established it as the leading independent medical association for the subspecialty of rheumatology. Andrejeski joined the ACR in 1987 after 14 years with the American Heart Association. He has been instrumental in continually evolving the services and products of ACR to meet the ever-changing needs of the professional rheumatology community in an always shifting health care environment.

“There are really no adequate words to thank Mark for all that he has done for us in rheumatology and for the advancement of our field.  Those of us who have had the honor and privilege of working most closely Mark are most deeply indebted to him - for his mentorship, his friendship, and his stewardship of our profession,” said ACR President Paula Marchetta, MD, MBA in the communication.

Under Andrejeski’s leadership, the ACR has become the trusted partner for rheumatology professionals worldwide. In 1989, Andrejeski guided the organization through its renaming to the American College of Rheumatology after being known as the American Rheumatism Association since 1937. In the late 90’s, Andrejeski introduced advocacy efforts to ensure fair payer reimbursements for rheumatologists when biologic therapies were approved by the FDA. He established a robust government affairs program at ACR that continues to focus on federal, state and regulatory policies affecting rheumatology professionals today.

In 2002, Andrejeski played a pivotal role in helping the Rheumatology Research Foundation (known then as the ACR Research and Education Foundation) fund its first rheumatology fellowship grants to train new rheumatology professionals. Under his leadership, the ACR has donated more than $22.5 million to support the Foundation’s mission. Andrejeski was inducted into the Foundation’s Honorary Board of Advisors in 2018 to honor his transformative contribution, making an indelible mark on the Foundation’s future fundraising success.

Today, the ACR membership consists of more than 9,500 rheumatology professionals worldwide. Its service offerings include three medical research journals, comprehensive practice management support, evidence-based treatment guidelines for prevalent rheumatic diseases, the largest rheumatology data registry in the United States (RISE), an expansive library of online education, and four face-to-face continuing education meetings – including the world’s largest rheumatology research conference that annually draws 16,000+ attendees from 100+ countries. The ACR has also been recognized as one of Atlanta’s top workplaces for the last three years.

Andrejeski’s last day is May 31. He will be succeeded Steven C. Echard, IOM, CAE who is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Prior to his time at AASLD, Echard served as Executive Director of the Rheumatology Research Foundation from 2005 to 2014.

The Foundation has established a Fund in Mark’s honor to commemorate his many years of leadership and service to the College. All donations will support the Andrejeski Fund for Fellowship Training, which serves as a way for friends, colleagues and ACR/ARP members to honor Mark while providing funding to train the best and brightest in rheumatology. This Fund will support new fellowship training slots at academic centers across the country. 100% of dollars raised will be used to fund Fellowship Training Awards for Workforce Expansion. To give, visit rheumresearch.org and note ‘Andrejeski Fund’ under Tribute Information. You may also contact Lauren Kenyon at 404-679-5330.

Jocelyn Givens
jgivens@rheumatology.org
404-929-4810

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The American College of Rheumatology is an international medical society representing over 9,500 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals with a mission to empower rheumatology professionals to excel in their specialty. 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. Rheumatologists are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.

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