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ECHO Ontario Rheumatology

ECHO supports healthcare providers to care for their patients with complex conditions

It connects healthcare providers from across Ontario with each other and with an inter-professional specialist teams for interactive learning. The 90 minute weekly online videoconferencing sessions include a short didactic presentation and de-identified patient cases presentations by participants.

The sessions are open to all health care providers in Ontario, CME accredited and are offered at no cost (fully funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care). 

For more information, click here.

Or go to our website: rheumatology/

The Arthritis Alliance of Canada (AAC) and The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) are pleased to launch the Osteoarthritis Tool, designed to provide primary health care providers with key professional knowledge and skills necessary to effectively diagnose and facilitate the management of patients living with osteoarthritis (OA).  The AAC, CFPC and the Centre for Effective Practice (CEP) joined forces to develop the Osteoarthritis Tool, to help family physicians and other healthcare providers understand that Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common, treatable, chronic illness by providing a tool that helps them:

  • identify, assess, and monitor OA
  • equip patients for high quality self-management
  • recommend specific non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic therapies
  • OA Tool English
  • OA Tool French

ORA-AHPA Liaison Committee Report

(AHPA Committee Members: Lynn Richards, Leslie Soever, Angelo Papachristos)

In 2016 the ORA and the Arthritis Health Professions Association (AHPA) formalized their collaborative relationship by establishing a Liaison Committee complete with Governing Principles to guide our joint ventures. There has been a long standing informal relationship between Rheumatologists and Allied Health Professionals in Ontario, and the committee aims to create and advance initiatives to support optimal patient care in Rheumatology. Models of Care (MOC) initiatives have now provided an evidence base, both quantitative and qualitative, of the positive impact of interdisciplinary approaches to patient care.

During the past year, the liaison committee focused on enabling AHPA participation and leadership at the ORA AGM. The AHPA organized and led a workshop on various MOC initiatives throughout Ontario. Not only was it well attended, but it also generated inspiring discussions for future directions and collaboration. Overall, twenty AHPA members attended the ORA AGM and we are working on increasing participation next year. We are appreciative that within its “One Ask Approach” the ORA leads fundraising activities to support AHPs attending the AGM.

In general, many patients are benefitting from the working relationships between Allied Health Professionals and Rheumatologists, and one of our goals is to promote further opportunities in this area. The committee is also cognizant of the need to enhance arthritis care in Northern communities and plans to explore opportunities for collaboration in this area. Finally, we are reviewing opportunities to advocate for funding models which promote interdisciplinary approaches to address the gaps and pressures in providing optimal arthritis care throughout the province.

The Canadian Spondylitis Association (CSA) is a not-for-profit organization with the mission to be the leader in Canada providing support, education and advocacy for the spondyloarthritis patient community, including diagnosed patients, their loved ones and healthcare professionals. We are the only organization in Canada focused on Spondyloarthritis.

In 2019, we will continue to build on our 2018 successes in growing the capacity and capabilities of our organization leveraging existing partnerships and developing and fostering new alliances to better support the SpA community across Canada.

We have recently updated our Ankylosing Spondylitis Guidebook and developed a new guidebook on Psoriatic Arthritis. The resources can be downloaded . To order copies for your practice or clinic, please email

The Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort study (CATCH for short) is a Canadian multicentre research study that aims to improve the quality of care for people with early inflammatory arthritis. CATCH is the only Canada-wide early arthritis cohort study that is following people with new onset inflammatory or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) over time to examine the course of their disease and their response to the treatments provided by their healthcare team.

Started in 2007, CATCH has 17 sites across Canada, over 3,300 participants, and Dr. Vivian Bykerk is its Director. More information about CATCH and RA in general can be found at  www.earlyarthritis.caand @earlyarthritis, and a number of videos have been created about CATCH, its research findings, and the experiences of people who live with RA are on its new YouTube site.

AHPA and ARP are collaborators!