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Rheumatology Research Foundation to Award Grant to Clinical Practice Rheumatologist

The Rheumatology Research Foundation has recently announced a grant, called the Community Practice Innovation Award, which focuses on supporting rheumatology practitioners to conduct their crucial, and potentially life-changing, research.

Norman Gaylis, MD, FACP, discusses the Rheumatology Research Foundation grant, which will be awarded to a rheumatologist to conduct critical research in a clinical practice setting. Gaylis is the founder and President of Arthritis and Rheumatic Disease Specialties in Miami, Florida.

Rheumatic-related conditions affect about 1 in 4 US adults, with more than 100 known types of arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Rheumatology Research Foundation believes more research is needed to tackle the unmet needs of this patient population. With that said, the foundation has recently announced a grant, called the Community Practice Innovation Award, which focuses on supporting rheumatology practitioners to conduct their crucial, and potentially life-changing, research.

During his nearly 4 decades in practice, Gaylis “always wanted to do some kind of clinical research that wasn't necessarily sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies, but research that was still very relevant to what I was doing and seeing in practice. I don't think I'm different to many other rheumatologists who have had ideas and seen patterns but didn't have the capabilities, the staff, or resources to support that type of an idea. Fortunately, I was capable of creating something that was a financial contribution to the Rheumatology Research Foundation, for whom I was on the board.”

Rheumatology Network: Can you tell me a bit about the grant itself and what rheumatologists should know about it?

Norman Gaylis, MD, FACP: In community practice, there is the opportunity for [rheumatologists] to apply for an award that will allow them to do whatever they think is going to be exciting for them and valuable for the rheumatology patient. As we developed this award, we changed some of the guidelines because initially, this award was almost too intense or complicated or detailed in terms of the application process for the average clinical rheumatologist who is not used to applying for a grant. As opposed to someone in academia, the average clinic rheumatologist is not really trained to apply for a grant. And I think it was intimidating for them. We're trying to break down that barrier of intimidation. While we're not trying to dumb it down by any means, we are trying to simplify the process for the rheumatologist and have the review committee that looks at it be more focused on what makes sense from the clinical practice, rather than what makes sense or what is normally required from a much more academic approach.

RN: What is the potential clinical significance of this award?

NG: The obvious answer in the short form is potentially to understand practice behaviors and to understand how medications that are possibly being approved for 1 diagnosis or at 1 dose may be utilized in another condition and in another dosage form. The opportunities are endless and it really depends on the interest and the type of practice that a clinician has.

RN: Is there anything else that you would like our audience to know?

NG: This is something that we want to give to community rheumatologists who, to a certain extent, I think, feel ignored. I feel that the Rheumatology Research Foundation is a very appropriate vehicle to work with community rheumatologists to really capture a lot of good things that happen in community clinical private practice that get unmeasured and get lost in time because we don't really have a mechanism to capture all these great ideas and experiences that people have during their careers. Hopefully, this will, maybe just in a small way, be able to capture someone's ideas and experiences, and build on that to a much larger audience as that happens.

View the full interview below.