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2021 State Society Advocacy Conference

Join Us
September 10 - 11, 2021
The Westin O'Hare
Rosemont, IL

Our annual State Society Advocacy Conference brings together like-minded rheumatologists and advocates to network within our community, strategize about state advocacy, and learn from nationally-recognized experts. We hope you’ll join us in September for this year’s event!

Travel stipends are provided to our state society members, as a benefit of membership with CSRO. If you are representing your state society at the conference, please be sure to indicate that in the appropriate section on the registration form.

New this year – we have additional travel stipends available for rheumatologists with 10 years or less of experience to encourage them in exploring advocacy by attending our Conference. If you would like to apply for a stipend, please email us to express your interest after you’ve completed the complimentary registration form.

Register Now


Registration for the 2021 State Society Advocacy Conference is complimentary and includes:

  • Entrance to the conference and all associated sessions, breakfast, lunch, and coffee breaks on Saturday, September 11
  • Welcome reception and dinner on Friday, September 10 at Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse, featuring comments from Karry La Violette, Senior VP of Government Affairs of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) highlighting CSRO’s role in the NCPA’s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services regarding DIR fees.
    • Transportation is provided between the Conference venue and the Welcome dinner.

Click here to sign up now.


This year's Conference agenda features a variety of sessions that focus on current issues at both the state and federal level impacting rheumatology patients and practices, including a panel of state legislators, insight into the impact of Rutledge vs PCMA, and a keynote presentation from Lawrence Van Horn, PhD on how COVID-19 has affected rheumatology in America and his forecasts for the future of rheumatology.

The afternoon will feature interactive “how-to” breakout sessions on advocacy, successful payer interactions, and managing change. A full outline of the program and speakers is below, with the tentative schedule available here.


Federal Issues Impacting Rheumatologists and their Patients – A Conversation

  • Panelists:
    • Emily Graham, RHIA, CCS-P – Hart Health Strategies, Inc.
    • Judith Gorsuch, JD – Hart Health Strategies, Inc.
  • Moderator: Aaron Broadwell, MD – CSRO Board Member

Hide and Seek With Rebates – What Next for Rutledge?

  • Speaker: Jonathan E. Levitt, Esq (bio)

Cross-specialty Collaboration: Oncology and Rheumatology Working Together for Patient Access to Care

  • Speaker: Ted Okon, MBA – Community Oncology Alliance (bio)

Advocacy at the State Level – A Panel Discussion

  • Panelists:
    • Robert Levin, MD – CSRO Board Member
    • State Legislators (TBD)
  • Moderator: Brian Henderson – Hart Health Strategies, Inc.

KEYNOTE: Looking Ahead – A Forecast for Rheumatologists in America Following the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Speaker: Lawrence Van Horn, PhD, MPH, MBA (bio)

Afternoon Breakout Session 1: Opportunities for Action – Advocacy in the States

  • Facilitators:
    • Brian Henderson – Hart Health Strategies, Inc.
    • Kevin Daley – Hart Health Strategies, Inc.
    • Amar Majjhoo, MD – CSRO Board Member

Afternoon Breakout Session 2: Payer Advocacy Workshop – Value Based Contracting & Shared Savings

  • Facilitators:
    • Julie Baak – The Arthritis Center, Saint Louis, Missouri
    • Nilsa Cruz, BS, CRHC – Milwaukee Rheumatology Center
    • Karen Ferguson – Arthritis Northwest, P.L.L.C

Afternoon Breakout Session 3: Achieving Balance – Private Practice, Advocacy, and Well-being

  • Facilitator: Bette Lawrence-Water (bio)


The Westin O’Hare
6100 North River Road
Rosemont, Illinois 60018


CSRO has negotiated a discounted rate of $149.00 (plus tax) at The Westin O’Hare. The deadline to reserve a room with the group rate is August 19, 2021.

Link for reservations provided upon registration for the event.


The following are the Hotel’s current parking rates and are subject to change without prior notice:

  • Valet Parking: $42.00 Daily and Overnight
  • Standard Self-Parking: $32.00 Overnight
  • Self-Parking for Non-Overnight Guests:
    • Up to 9 hours for $29.00
    • After 9 hours $34.00


O'Hare International Airport is approximately 3 miles from The Westin O’Hare. To view the hotel’s travel and transportation information, click here.


Email our Administrative & Meetings Manager Anna or call 414.231.8132 with questions or accommodation requests.

Register now!