A message from Souzi Makri, Chair of EULAR PARE

Dear ASIF community, dear friends,

I am delighted that I have the opportunity to communicate with you through the ASIF newsletter and share my thoughts and excitement about my new post as Chair of the EULAR PARE Committee.

I took over the Chairmanship of the Committee in June from my colleague and friend Elsa Mateus, who was then elected as the new EULAR PARE Vice President. Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank Elsa for her support and guidance through the past year that I was Chair Elect, and reassure her that I look forward to a productive year ahead of us. I would also like to extend my deepest gratitude to Dieter Wiek, who has just ended his term as EULAR PARE Vice President, for sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with me during the past year.

It is an exciting time to chair the EULAR PARE Committee as EULAR entered a new era in 2021 with a new name, now known as the “European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology”, with new Statutes and a set-up ready to address the future challenges we all face. EULAR is an umbrella organisation encompassing 45 nations, including EULAR PARE member organisations from 36 countries. The mission of EULAR, is to reduce the impact of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) on the individual and society and to improve the social position and the quality of life of people with RMDs in Europe.

EULAR comprises five Content Committees to oversee the many activities to fulfil this mission: Quality of Care, Education, Research, Advocacy and the Congress. Patient representatives are involved in these Committees and our voice is strongly represented in all EULAR activities. In addition, we have our own Representation Committee – the EULAR PARE Committee. This is one of the four Representation Committees and communities which are united in EULAR, the others being EMEUNET (the young rheumatologists) the HPRs (Health Professionals in Rheumatology) and Paediatric Rheumatology.

The EULAR PARE Committee organises a variety of activities and events. Currently we are excited to plan the EULAR Annual European Conference of PARE which will be held virtually in November 2021 under the title ‘Challenges of patient organisations in 2021 and beyond and how to cope’. We look forward to “seeing” some of you there!

We hope that you had the opportunity to attend the EULAR 2021 Virtual Congress in June 2021 and enjoyed participating in some of our EULAR PARE sessions highlighting hot topics like family planning and relationships, volunteering or patient participation in research. If you decide to register to the 2022 Congress and join us in Copenhagen, we can assure you there will be a variety of patient related sessions for you to attend. And why not submit an abstract? Check out the new EULAR Congress website; further details will be shared soon: EULAR 2022 – Abstract submission

Another new and exciting activity has been launched this year: the EULAR PARE Podcasts which feature interviews on various topics and can be found on Spotify and iTunes. Make sure that you don’t miss them – they are fun to listen to!

All information regarding the manifold EULAR PARE activities can be found in the section of the EULAR website devoted to EULAR PARE – enjoy reading all about us here. Subscribe to our e-Breakthrough newsletter to stay in touch, and any questions can be addressed to pare@eular.org

I look very much forward to continuing and strengthening our collaboration and exchange with ASIF.  We all work towards the same goals and on making the voice of people with RMDs heard.

I will close this piece by saying that I am proud and honoured to be chairing the EULAR PARE Committee for the next two years, but also very grateful to be part of this family of volunteers who, in a team and motivating spirit, work hand in hand for improving the quality of life of the people living with RMDs in Europe. My personal tip to all: voluntary engagement offers you back so much more than you give – so go for it!

Souzi Makri

EULAR PARE Committee Chair

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