The American College of Rheumatology (ACR), founded in 1934, is based in Atlanta.
Its mission is to attract and support the training and development of qualified physicians and other health care professionals, and to support research designed to investigate the causes, improve treatment, and work toward the prevention and cure of rheumatic diseases. These diseases include all forms of arthritis and more than 100 related diseases, such as osteoarthritis, systemic lupus, scleroderma, gout, HIV-associated rheumatic disease syndromes, tendonitis/bursitis, fibromyalgia, and Lyme disease.
According to recent reports published as a collaborative effort among the ACR, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Arthritis Foundation, an estimated 40 million Americans, or one in six, have some form of arthritis or other rheumatic condition. That number is expected to increase to 59.4 million by the year 2020.
Since 1985 the goal of the Research and Education Foundation (REF) of the ACR has been to invest in education and training programs for medical personnel, support research into the prevention and cure of rheumatic diseases, and lobby for more federal funding. The ACR publishes two journals, Arthritis and Rheumatism and Arthritis Care and Research. The ACR has also established a program of awards, including the Medical and Pediatric Resident Research Award, the ACR/REF/LRI Lupus Investigator Fellowship Award, the Physician Scientist Development Award, and the Pediatric Rheumatology Research Award.