SPARTAN was inspired by the international Assessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis Working Group, now renamed Assessment in SpondyloArthritis International Society (ASAS). The original vision of SPARTAN was to promote research and education in spondyloarthritis among rheumatologists in the United States.
At the January 2003 ASAS meeting in Berlin, the first session addressing “guidelines for anti-TNF therapy in AS” concluded with the recommendation that participants promulgate the work through local/national spondyloarthritis (SpA) societies and modify the guidelines for use in each country. Rheumatologists in North America, in consort with the leadership of the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA), recognized that no such organization existed. A meeting in June, 2003 in San Francisco was convened to discuss “US modification of ASAS guidelines for anti TNF therapy in AS”.
Shortly thereafter, planning began for a meeting hosted by Dr. Dan Clegg in Salt Lake City in August 2003. Jack Cush proposed the name SPARTAN. With the support of the Spondyloarthritis Association of America (SAA), the inaugural meeting of SPARTAN was held, where John Reveille and John Davis were elected Co-Chairs and the first Board Meeting took place.
After 10 years, the size and scope of SPARTAN necessitated a structural re-alignment and the conversion from a program of the SAA to its own free-standing non-profit began. Led by Board Member Dr. Reveille and President Atul Deodhar, the board drafted By Laws from Sept. 2013 through 2014 and was formally incorporated on 9/26/14 as a 501(c)(3).
SPARTAN has grown to include diverse thought-leaders contributing to the field of spondyloarthritis, including rheumatologists, radiologists, basic scientists and geneticists, methodologists, epidemiologists, patient research representatives, and biopharmaceutical industry representatives.
[Content provided by Drs. Clegg and Reveille, complied by Walsh, Reveille and Caplan, v2016-8-1, LC]