Press Releases

Award-Winning Journalist and CDC Principal Investigator to Serve as ACR Convergence 2021 Keynote Speaker

ATLANTA — ACR Convergence 2021, the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), returns to a virtual meeting platform November 1 - 10. This year’s meeting will include more than 2,000 abstracts and expert presentations from over 320 clinicians, researchers, and health experts, including this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Seema Yasmin. 

Dr. Yasmin served as an officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she investigated disease outbreaks and was the principal investigator on several CDC studies. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Stanford Center for Health Education. Her keynote will address the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential influence on the future of rheumatology clinical practice and research.

“In her keynote address, Dr. Yasmin will help us understand the new roles healthcare professionals have had to take on during COVID-19, dispelling medical myths and helping our patients navigate massive amounts of medical information,” said ACR President Dr. David Karp.

Dr. Yasmin is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, poet, author, and medical doctor. She holds a degree in medicine from the University of Cambridge and a degree in journalism from the University of Toronto. Along with the Dallas Morning News team, Dr. Yasmin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news in 2017. She also won an Emmy for her reporting on neglected diseases. 

ACR Convergence 2021 will also include the first Global Rheumatology Summit, which will take place on November 3. The summit will bring together experts worldwide to discuss critical topics at the intersection of global health and rheumatology.

The summit will start with a powerful keynote address focused on global health equity, followed by presentations showcasing women trailblazers in rheumatology, highlighting technological innovation to improve healthcare delivery and training, and ideas to empower health professionals and patients. Participants can expect a variety of session formats, including fireside chats and lively debates of complex cases, designed to share lessons and inspire future generations of rheumatology leaders.

The ACR is piloting several new changes to make it easier for participants to connect and learn. The meeting schedule has been revised to allow for learners in more time zones to watch and listen to talks as they happen. Abstract presentations and Q&A sessions are longer to allow for more in-depth discussions. And improvements have been made to the digital platform to improve the audio and video experience.

“Our staff and volunteers learned a lot about virtual conferences in 2020 and have built on that experience to offer an interactive, educational and exciting event,” said ACR Annual Meeting Planning Committee Chair Dr. Sharon Kolasinski. “More than 16,000 attendees took part in 2020’s virtual annual meeting, and we hope they do so again this year.”

View the ACR Convergence 2021 Online Program. Registration for the meeting ends November 10.

Amanda Head (Corna)    


About ACR Convergence

ACR Convergence, the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, is where rheumatology meets to collaborate, celebrate, congregate, and learn. With more than 320 sessions and thousands of abstracts, it offers a superior combination of basic science, clinical science, business education and interactive discussions to improve patient care. For more information about the meeting, visit the Annual Meeting page, or join the conversation on Twitter by following the official hashtag (#ACR21).

About the American College of Rheumatology

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is an international medical society representing over 7,700 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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