CRA & AHPA Annual Scientific Meeting 2019-01-15T20:54:22+00:00

Important Dates

Abstract Submission Opens  August 13, 2018
Abstract Submission Deadline October 12, 2018
Membership Registration Opens late November 2018
ASM Registration Opens  December 7, 2018
Early-Bird ASM Registration Closes  January 10, 2019
ASM Registration Closes January 24, 2019
Early-Bird Membership Registration Closes January 31, 2019

Building Bridges

Bridges bring together lands, ideas, cultures, and friends, strengthening our understanding of others and creating opportunities for growth and prosperity. These are only a few of the many reasons we have chosen to highlight “Building Bridges” as the theme of the CRA’s 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting. It is fitting that the ASM will be held in Montreal, QC against the backdrop of the Jacques Cartier bridge, so-named in 1934 on the 400th anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s voyage up the St. Lawrence River.

In addition to the Distinguished Investigator lecture that will be announced in the coming months, the 2019 ASM will feature 3 keynote addresses by internationally recognized figures including the Globe and Mail’s André Picard, myopathy expert and neuromuscular specialist Dr. Mark Roberts from Manchester, UK, and the CRA’s own Dr. Gilles Boire from Sherbrooke, QC will give the 2019 Dunlop-Dottridge Lecture.

Dr. Mark Roberts will speak about Neurology working together with Rheumatology, and myositis and its mimics. Dr. Roberts is a Consultant Neurologist at the Greater Manchester Neurosciences Unit at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, with additional clinical commitments at the Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital, University Hospital of South Manchester and Withington Community Hospitals. He was a research fellow to Professors Newsom-Davis and Angela Vincent at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford from 1993 to 1996 and has published widely on neuromuscular disease. In 2000 he was appointed as consultant neurologist in Manchester and commenced his private practice that same year. He has extensive experience in general neurology including epilepsy, parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders.

Professor Gilles Boire began his career with some important observations in the field of autoimmunity (antigen-antibody system linked to ribonucleoprotein Ro). These experiments led to the discovery of the anti-Sa autoantibody, specific to rheumatoid arthritis. This led him to establish in 1997 a longitudinal cohort of patients with newly established inflammatory arthritis. Dr. Boire’s work has contributed extensively to the understanding of autoimmunity, biomarkers and psychosocial determinants in clinical outcomes in recent-onset inflammatory arthritis, and secondary prevention of bone fragility fractures. He is Professor of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine at the Université de Sherbrooke, with affiliations in the Departments of Biochemistry, Immunology, and Pediatrics. The Dunlop-Dottridge Lecture was created to highlight significant career achievements in Rheumatology and we are delighted to celebrate Dr. Boire’s achievements with this honour.

André Picard, who lives in Montréal, is one of Canada’s top health and public policy observers and commentators. He is the health columnist at The Globe and Mail, where he has been a staff writer for more than 30 years. He is also the author of numerous books and has received much acclaim for his writing and for his dedication to improving healthcare. In 2010, he was awarded a National Newspaper Award as Canada’s top newspaper columnist, the Canadian version of the Pulitzer Prize. Monsieur Picard will speak to the future and evolution of the Canadian health system and implications for the future of Rheumatology.

This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by the Canadian Rheumatology Association.

AMA PRA Category 1

Through an agreement between the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Medical Association, physicians may convert Royal College MOC credits to AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Information on the process to convert Royal College MOC credit to AMA credit can be found at


Live educational activities, occurring in Canada, recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as Accredited Group Learning Activities (Section 1) are deemed by the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) eligible for ECMEC®.

Register Now

The abstract submission system is closed. Acceptance notifications will be sent out mid-December.

All primary and correspondence-noted authors will be sent an email confirming acceptance or rejection as well as presentation information. Please note, in order to successfully receive emails regarding your abstract submission, you must add ‘‘ as a safe sender in your email client. If you do not receive an email notification, please contact Virginia Hopkins at

This competition is closed.

What are Clinical Pearls?

Short, practical medical tips submitted by readers that may not be widely known but can be used to solve everyday clinical problems. Pearls derive from patient-centered observations and should be applicable to other patients.

What are Mysterious Cases?

Your particularly puzzling clinical case presented either as a short (10-15 minutes) video, picture or description.

Exhibits will be located in the Square Dorchester. Refreshments and general internet access will be available. The room will be open during the hours of the breakfasts, breaks and select sessions.

In keeping with industry guidelines, no product samples or promotional items may be distributed.  Only educational material may be available at exhibit booths.

AbbVie Corporation
Amgen Canada Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim Canada, Ltd.
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Celgene Inc.
Digisplint Inc.
Eli Lilly Canada Inc.
Esaote North America
Hoffmann – La Roche
Medexus Inc.
Merck Canada Inc.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Pfizer Canada
Sandoz Canada
Sanofi Genzyme Canada
UCB Canada Inc.
Wealth & Estate Financial Canada Inc.

For information on sponsorship, please contact the CRA at

CRA-Industry Liaison – Dr. Evelyn Sutton

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

900 Rene Levesque Blvd. W
Montreal, Quebec
1 514 861 3511



Fairmont Room $205.00
Fairmont View Room $235.00
Junior Suite $305.00
Fairmont Gold Room $325.00
One-Bedroom Suite $485.00
  • Rates are guaranteed in Canadian Funds.
  • Hotel room rates are subject to applicable provincial and local taxes and fees (currently 18.475%) in effect at the time of check-out.
  • All reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card.
  • A non-refundable deposit equal to a one night stay will be charged at the time of booking.
  • Cancellations made up to 48 hours prior to arrival will be accepted and no charges or penalties will be incurred outside of the non-refundable deposit equal to one night’s stay.
  • Complimentary high speed internet access in all hotel bedrooms, meeting rooms and conference space.
  • A completely redesigned Wellness Centre and indoor pool.
  • The maximum occupancy per room is 4 persons.
  • Self-parking is located on the South side of Belmont street (fees must be paid directly at the parking terminals).
  • Valet-parking is an additional $35/day.

Check-in and Early Departure

The Hotel’s check-in and check-out time are 4:00 pm and 12:00 pm respectively.  Guests are permitted to check out later subject to room availability (a late departure fee may be applicable).  Guests will be charged an Early Departure Fee of $102.50 if they depart prior to their confirmed departure date (guests can change their departure date to an earlier date without charge up to and including the time of registration).


Reservations can be made by using the online reservation link which will be available in November. Reservations must be made prior to Friday, January 25, 2019. After that date, reservations will be subject to prevailing rates and availability.


The Industry Symposia are separate from the Scientific Programme and are not accredited as part of the CRA programme.  The CRA does not endorse and guarantee the accuracy of individual comments, slides or texts.

Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 7:00-8:15 am

Can You Make a Difference in 18 Seconds? The Science Behind Effective Communication Between Rheumatologists and their Patients presented by Lilly.

Chair:  Jean-Pierre Raynauld
Speakers: Shahin Jamal, Philip Baer and Mark Bowden

Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 12:30-1:45 pm

Sidewalk Chat Around New and Emerging Therapies: Bridging Basic Research to Medical Innovations in Rheumatoid Arthritis presented by AbbVie.

Chair: Janet Pope
Speakers: Jason Lee and Sonja Gill

Friday, March 1, 2019 at 7:00-8:15 am

PsA: Is there Still an Unmet Need? presented by Pfizer.

Chair: Dianne Mosher
Speakers:  Michel Zummer, Ron Vender and Gerald Major

Dunlop-Dottridge Lecture

Gilles Boire

Dr. Boire is a Professor in the Division of Rheumatology of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke. Dr. Boire practices both adult and pediatric rheumatology at the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Estrie – Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CIUSSSE-CHUS).

Dr. Boire is a graduate from the Université of Montréal (BSc Chemistry, 1975) and from the Université de Sherbrooke (MD, 1981; MSc Clinical Sciences 1991). He obtained his certification in Internal Medicine (1985), then in Rheumatology (1986) and completed his postdoctoral training at the Université de Sherbrooke (1986-87) and at Yale University (1987-89).

Dr. Boire’s major research interests are in the area of autoimmunity, in particular the Ro/hY RNA complex and in the characterization of biomarkers and other predictors useful for the early prognostic classification of patients with recent onset inflammatory arthritis. He initiated in 1997 the still ongoing Early Undifferentiated Polyarthritis (EUPA) cohort of patients with recent-onset polyarthritis. He is one of the founding members and currently Director of Ethical Scientific Conduct of the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort (CATCH), a pan-Canadian cohort of patients with recent onset inflammatory arthritis. Together with an orthopaedist colleague, Dr. François Cabana, in January 2007 he initiated the OPTIMUS initiative, prompting primary care practitioners to evaluate and treat osteoporosis revealed by fragility fractures following their identification in orthopedists’ clinics in the hope of improving rates of long term appropriate therapy.

Since 1990, his research has been continuously supported, by The Arthritis Society, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Fonds pour la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), the Fonds d’aide aux chercheurs et à la recherche (FCAR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canadian Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology Care (CIORA). During that period, Dr. Boire supervised 18 graduate students and trained 19 rheumatology fellows. Dr. Boire is involved in a number of clinical and fundamental research projects and is the author of 127 peer-reviewed publications.

Keynote Lecture

André Picard

André Picard is the health columnist at The Globe and Mail and the author of five books, including Matters of Life and Death: Public Health Issues in Canada, and The Path to Health Care Reform: Policies and Politics. He also has a large Twitter following at @picardonhealth.

André has received much acclaim for his writing, including the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism and the Centennial Prize of the Pan-American Health Association, awarded to the top health journalist in the Americas.  He is also an eight-time finalist for the National Newspaper Awards – Canada’s version of the Pulitzer Prize.

He is a seasoned communicator who employs a conversational style to reach his audience. He enlivens his research and commentary with personal stories to provide context for his audience, including anecdotes from patients and health professionals the front lines.

André will enlighten and pique a sense of curiosity of audience members from all educational backgrounds. His work as one of North America’s top health journalists reflects his personality: Behind the placid exterior lies an inquisitive, perceptive and industrious scribe for whom the work only begins with the off­icial story.

André is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and has received honourary doctorates from six universities, including the University of Toronto, UBC and the University of Manitoba.

State of the Art Lecture

Mark Roberts

Dr. Roberts read Medicine and Physiology at the University of Liverpool qualifying in 1989 developing an interest in the neurological control of the gut.  As a junior doctor in 1990 he studied Medicine in Manchester, before in 1992 moving to the National Hospital for Neurology in London and working for Prof. PK Thomas and Anita Harding he became more interested in neuromuscular and multisystem disorders.

In 1993 he was a Research Registrar at the Institute of Molecular Medicine Oxford where he studied for 3 years with Prof. John Newsom-Davis and Angela Vincent, into the immune mechanisms in peripheral neuropathies. In  1996 he moved back to Liverpool as a Clinical Registrar in neurology, with additional electives in Durban and London. In 2000, he was appointed a Consultant in Neurology in Manchester specialising in Neuromuscular Disease (NMD), and transitional care. In 2001 with Prof Woodcock he developed a neuromuscular  ventilatory support service for patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and related disorders, and began to see increasing numbers of patients with inherited metabolic disorders (IMD). The North West Ventilatory Service is now the largest in the UK seeing over 2000 patients annually.

In 2002 he established the North West Neumuscular Network with paediatric colleagues, awarded National Centre of Excellence status in 2017.  In 2005, he joined Dr. Steven Waldek in the Metabolic clinic at Salford, Manchester to care patients with IMD. Since 2010 with Prof Chris Hendriksz he has developed Neurometabolic services in the North West of England, now his major clinical and research interest. Since 2013 his PhD Clinical fellow Dr. Fanea has studied metabolic causes of Psychosis in a multidisciplinary project between Neurology, Psychiatry and Metabolic Medicine. In 2017 he was appointed Clinical Lead in Adult Metabolic Disorders at Salford, the largest Unit in Europe.

His current research focuses on clinical phenotypes and identification of neuromuscular disorders, IMD and liaison with other specialities including Respiratory Medicine and especially Rheumatology. Since 2002 he has done a weekly joint clinic with Dr. Hector Chinoy at Salford, to provide patients with a joint Neurology and Rheumatology opinion, this attracts local and National referrals and patients have clinical, EMG examination as needed muscle biopsy. In 2014 Dr. Chinoy and Roberts co-supervised Dr. Lilleker PhD on Inclusion Body Myositis. He has lectured and published widely on IMD, NMD and other Neurological disorders, and is a regular presenter at The British Rheumatology Society. He is considered a National expert in Metabolic Myopathies and Muscular Dystrophy.

Conference Registration Fees


January 10, 2019

January 10, 2019

CRA Member $425 $575
AHPA Member $375 $525
AHPA Pre-Course Participant $150 $175
Non-Members (non-industry)
(click here to obtain pre-approval)
$675 $875
Residents/Summer Students/Post Docs/ Trainees/ Medical Students
(click here to obtain pre-approval)
$375 $525
Sponsor Rep (scientific/medical division)*
(click here to obtain pre-approval)
$1,000 $1,500
Extra Sponsor Rep (marketing/sales/exceeds sponsorship allotment)*
(click here to obtain pre-approval)
$10,000 $10,000
  • Apply promo code “FAIRMONT” if staying at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth to receive ASM registration fee discount (this is not a promo code for hotel reservations).  “FAIRMONT” promo code also applies to Montreal residents.  Not valid with other promo codes.
  • 14.975% GST & QST will be added to all registration fees
  • Conference fee includes all sessions, opening reception, and CRA dinner.  Meals will only be covered if tickets are selected during registration.
  • An automated email confirmation will be sent to you immediately upon completing the registration process.
  • Registration will close once we have reached capacity.

*Please refer to CRA Industry Council Guidelines regarding Industry Representatives.

Annual Scientific Meeting Refund Policy

  1. Cancellations with refunds will be accepted until January 27, 2019 23:59 Pacific Time. There will be a $50.00 administrative charge for all cancellations. Only medical or emergency refunds will be given between January 27, 2019 23:59 Pacific Time and February 26, 2019 at 23:59 Pacific Time. Please make your request for refunds in writing to the CRA by email to Refunds may take up to 4 weeks after the meeting to process.
  2. Refunds or credits will not be given for failure to attend, late arrival, unattended events (including gala dinner) or early departure.
  3. If you are unable to attend the meeting because you were denied a visa, the CRA will consider your request for a refund upon receiving it in writing.  It will only be granted if you applied for a visa in the required amount of time indicated by the applicable embassy/consulate.
  4. Refunds of $30 or less will be treated as a contribution and will not be refunded. Refunds due to overpayment or changes to an existing registration will be subject to a $20 processing fee (and must be made at least 1 month prior to the meeting).
  5. All requests for refunds must be done in writing and emailed to  Confirmation of receipt of email must be requested by the submitter.
  6. The CRA has the authority to waive the refund penalty in extenuating circumstances. A request to have the penalty waived must be made in writing to the CRA.

Methods of Repayment

  1. Credit Card Refunds – All credit card purchases will be refunded back to the credit card on which the original payment was made if possible.
  2. Cheque Refunds – All cheques will be refunded no earlier than 14 days after the original cheque has cleared and will be issued in the form of a cheque mailed from the CRA.

Registration Disclaimer

The Canadian Rheumatology Association Annual Scientific Meeting (CRA ASM) brings together rheumatologists and allied health professionals to partake in workshops, lectures and educational sessions that will provide opportunities to learn and network.  The material shared at the CRA ASM is for informational purposes. Our goal is to provide quality knowledge sharing; however, the CRA, board, council or employees are not responsible for the accuracy of the material presented.

By attending the CRA ASM, each participant consents to being photographed or recorded during sessions at the meeting.  The photographs or recordings may be used in marketing or promotional material. If you do not wish for your image to be published,  please email and  we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.

By registering for and attending the CRA ASM, each participant acknowledges that he/she has read this disclaimer and agrees to the terms outlined above.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

19:30-onwards Residents’ Reception
Open to residents and faculty only
19:30-onwards AHPA Reception 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

07:00-15:00 AHPA Pre-Course View Schedule
07:00-15:00 Residents’ Pre-Course  View Schedule
08:00-15:30 Committee & Small Group Meetings/Networking/Free Time View Schedule
09:00-12:00 CRA Indigenous Health Initiative (registration limited to 15)
Lindsey Crowshoe
Open to CRA members who have been selected to join workshop (click here to apply)
Pre-requisite: Completion or enrollment in formal Indigenous health competency training program
14:00-20:00 Registration
15:00-16:00 Mentor Program Reception 
Open to mentors and mentees only
15:00-16:00 Summer Student Reception
Open to summer students, mentors and Pfizer reps only
15:00-16:00 Career Fair 

Welcome Address

Vandana Ahluwalia & Tom Appleton


Clinical Pearls and Mysterious Cases

Presenters:  Tooba AliHanouf Alsaleem, Alexandra LeggeTimothy KwokHerman Tam


National Update

Position Statement: A Pragmatic Approach for Medical Cannabis and Patients with Rheumatic Diseases
Omid Zahedi

Project ECHO Rheumatology: The Call for Capacity-building Reverberates
Amanda Steiman

18:15-18:30 Arthritis Society Update

Keynote Lecture by Andre Picard: Quirky Past, Uncertain Future: The State of Medicare in Canada

19:45 onwards Welcome Reception 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

07:00-08:15 Breakfast (only available to attendees of unaccredited symposium)
08:45-10:00 *Podium Presentations

State of the Art Lecture by Mark Roberts: Mimics of Myositis: A MDT Approach


Workshop Session 1

How to Advocate for Better Rheumatology Care
Andre Picard
Physician Practice Improvement
Gus Grant
Antiphospholipid Syndrome*
Michelle Petri
Inflammatory Myopathies: Dermatomyositis, Polymyositis and Beyond*
Pari Basharat
Severe Lupus: Be Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf*
Evelyn Vinet
Juvenile Dermatomyositis: New Developments and Changes in Research Approaches
Adam Huber
Advancing Early Identification of Axial Spondyloarthritis: Development, Implementation and Evaluation of a Novel Inter-professional Model of Care
Laura Passalent
Educating for Equity (E4E): A Framework to Build Social and Cultural Confidence in Providing Care
Lindsey Crowshoe
Infectious Diseases for the Rheumatologist: When the Biologic Response Modifiers Have Modified A Little Too Much
Donald Vinh
12:30-13:45 Lunch (only available to attendees of unaccredited symposium) 
13:45-15:45 Committee & Small Group Meetings/Networking/Free Time View Schedule
15:15-17:15 Poster Session Parc Mont Royal
15:15-16:15 Meet the Expert Session Parc Mont Royal

Great Debate: Be it Resolved that Competency-based Medical Education will Result in Improved Quality of Care for Patients vs the “Old Way” of Training Rheumatologists

For: Mercedes Chan & Marie-Paul Morin
Against: Beth Hazel & Heather McDonald-Blumer

Friday, March 1, 2019

07:00-08:15 Breakfast (only available to attendees of unaccredited symposium)
08:45-10:00 *Podium Presentations

Workshop Session 2

Benefits and Pitfalls of Current Biomarkers
Gilles Boire
Mark Roberts
Hot topics in Spondyloarthritis*
Michel Zummer
Vasculitis* (conducted exclusively in French)
Christian Pagnoux
Giving Effective Coaching Feedback for Competence by Design
Anna Oswald
Wombatology: Bridging Reproduction and Rheumatic Disease
Carl Laskin
Understanding the Spectrum of Joint Hypermobility Syndromes. Ehlers Danlos Syndromes and Beyond
Roberto Mendoza
Research 101: What to Know to Get the Most Out of it
Sabrina Cavallo &  Karine Toupin-April
Why Infections are Still Nothing to Sneeze at: Vaccine Recommendations for Patients with Rheumatic Disease
Shirley Lake
Gender Fluidity

Keynote Address by Diane Lacaille, Distinguished Investigator Awardee 2019

12:30-14:15 CRA Lunch and AGM 
CRA members only
12:30-14:30 AHPA AGM and Awards Presentation
AHPA members only

RheumJeopardy 2019: Bridging Knowledge Gaps Through Gamification

Host: Philip Baer

15:45-17:45 Poster Session Parc Mont Royal 
15:45-16:45 Meet the Expert Session Parc Mont Royal
17:45-19:00 Committee & Small Group Meetings/Networking/Free Time View Schedule
19:00-onwards Reception, Gala Dinner, Awards & Dance 
Dress code is business formal

Saturday, March 2, 2019

07:00-08:30 Breakfast 
07:00-08:30 Committee & Small Group Meetings/Networking/Free Time View Schedule

Dunlop-Dottridge Lecture by Gilles Boire: The 4-H of Biomarkers in Arthritis: A lot of Help, Potential Harm, Some Hype, Increasing Hope


Workshop Session 3

Christian Pagnoux
Scleroderma – There is Treatment! You Need to Know About It*
Janet Pope
Rheumatic Consequences of Cancer Immunotherapy: The Tip of a Giant Iceberg. Implications for the Rheumatologist
Clifton Bingham
See No Evil; Hear No Evil; Speak No Evil: Having an Informed, Positive Biosimilar Transition Conversation with your Patient
Cheryl Koehn, Sasha Bernatsky and John Esdaile
Snap, Crackle, Pop: Office-Based Treatments for Common Lower Extremity Sport Injuries
Claire LeBlanc
Global Health Issues Relevant to Paediatric Rheumatology
Mercedes Chan
Registry Start-Up
Denis Choquette
The CRA-AAC-CIHR-CATCH Collaborative Project to “Build an Economic Business Case for AAC IA Models of Care”
Elena Lopatina, Deborah Marshall and Carter Thorne
Ultrasonography (registration limited to 15)
Alessandra Bruns
11:15-12:15 CIORA Project Showcase
12:15-12:20 Closing Address
Ahmad Zbib

*New State-of-the-Art workshop – Presented by an expert in the field, this clinical practice workshop will focus on how the condition is treated, providing learners with clinical pearls, tips and key take-home messages.

Air Canada

Promotion code ZDVA9QR1

To book a flight with your promotion code, access and enter your promotion code in the search panel.

Applicable Rules:

  1. The booking is to be made to the following city: Montreal, YUL (QC)
  2. The travel period begins Wednesday, February 20, 2019 and ends Saturday, March 09, 2019.
  3. Travel is valid Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
  4. No discount will apply to Tango bookings for travel within Canada or between Canada and the U.S. For International travel (destinations outside North America), discounts apply to all fares including Tango.
  5. This promotion code can be used for 400 passengers.


Coupon code 2R7X1SW
Promo code WCC15*

To book reservations using the discount and coupon code, visit

Applicable Rules:

  1. The travel period begins February 20, 2019 to March 9, 2019.
  2. WestJet is offering 5% off Econo* and 10% off Flex and Premium fares for travel within Canada and 2% off Econo*, 5% off Flex and 10% off Premium base fares for guests travelling Trans-border** into and out of Montreal.

*Travel Agent use only