It is our great pleasure to announce that CRA member, Dr. Ciarán Duffy, MB BCh MSc FRCPC FRCPI, is the 2020 recipient of an ACR Master Award.

The Master Award is one of the highest honours bestowed by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and honours outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of rheumatology through clinical care, education, research and leadership over the course of an entire career. In addition, the recipient must have made substantial contributions to the ACR, and/or other national and international bodies devoted to rheumatology.

Dr. Duffy, is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa and Chief of the Department of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, is the 2020 recipient of an ACR Master Award. Dr. Duffy exemplifies the contributions to the field of rheumatology that are being honoured by the ACR Master Designation throughout his career. He has made substantial contributions to clinical care, education and research in pediatric rheumatology and has helped to establish Canadian pediatric rheumatology as international leaders.

After a fellowship in Pediatric Rheumatology at The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto and the completion of a Master of Science in Design, Measurement and Evaluation in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University, he joined the faculty at Montreal Children’s Hospital (McGill University) where he became division director and later also Associate Chief of the Department of Pediatrics. He built a model clinic which was based on a multidisciplinary care approach with the incorporation of research into the clinic and established the only pediatric rheumatology training program in the province of Quebec and one of only three programs in Canada.

He was a founding member and served as president of the Canadian Pediatric Rheumatology Association. He provided sage advice to The Arthritis Society of Canada, as a member of both the Medical Advisory Committee and the Scientific Advisory Committee, and helped to adjudicate applications to the Epidemiology Grants Panel and the Salary Awards Panel.

His research has focused on Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) outcomes in JIA. He was on the forefront in the development of tools to measure the quality of life in children with juvenile arthritis and designed a new tool, the Juvenile Arthritis Quality-of-life Questionnaire (JAQQ), which has become one of the best known, and most widely used quality-of-life measurement tools in outcome and treatment studies.

In 2003 he led the development of a national research network in Canada, focused on JIA, ultimately leading to the creation of the Canadian Alliance of Pediatric Rheumatology Investigators (CAPRI). CAPRI has enabled many collaborative national studies that have set standards internationally. Among those is the Research in Arthritis in Canadian Children Emphasizing Outcomes (ReACCh Out) Study, led by Dr. Duffy and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) which has provided substantial information on contemporary outcomes of Juvenile Arthritis treatments.  A more recent initiative, of which he is the principal investigator, is a national Canadian study funded through a large CIHR team grant called LEAP (Linking Exercise, Activity and Pathophysiology in juvenile idiopathic arthritis). This study is to uncover the factors specific to children with JIA that affect their ability to participate in physical activities and the barriers to such participation.

Dr. Duffy‘s contributions have been recognized by multiple awards. He received the prestigious Sensenweiss Award from the Department of Pediatrics at McGill University to support his research program (2003-2008), in addition to several academic service awards from McGill. He also received the prestigious Deborah Kredich Service Award from the American College of Rheumatology in 2008 for long-term dedication to the ACR.

In 2011 he was recruited as Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, and Chief, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), where he continues his contributions to clinical care and education and also has a significant research program.