Message from Janet Lewis MD, Rheumatology, Division Chief
I am proud of the continued commitment to patient care exhibited by the Division faculty members, fellows, and clinical staff over the past year, including the successful integration of the Pantops Rheumatology practice into the Division of Rheumatology.
We continue to have robust demand for clinical services in the ambulatory setting. We currently have eight faculty members who see patients at the Fontaine and Pantops practices, and additionally, we have a satellite practice at Fishersville. We have added two new clinical faculty members in the past year. Jacob Meindertsma joined our group last summer after completing his rheumatology fellowship at Yale, and Amanda Lusa joined us in October 2022 following fellowship and academic practice at UNC. Many of you have met Jacob and Amanda, as they previously were internal medicine residents at UVA. Dr. Shu Man Fu retired from clinical practice in April 2022 and fully retired this Spring after a 30+ year tenure at UVA.
Recognizing the increasing complexity of medical care in patients with multisystem autoimmune disease, we have continued to develop formal partnerships with other specialties. We currently have a combined pulmonary/rheumatology clinic for patients with interstitial lung disease and a combined dermatology/rheumatology clinic for patients with complex cutaneous and rheumatic manifestations and co-management of psoriatic arthritis. Additionally, we have a procedure clinic dedicated to patients who need ultrasound-guided procedures and diagnostic studies.
The fellowship program continues to grow under the guidance of Dr. Don Kimpel (fellowship director) and Dr. Adam Carlson (associate fellowship director). Nationally, interest in rheumatology fellowship training among internal medicine residents has remained strong, and we continue to be able to recruit high-quality candidates for fellowship training. In addition to the fellowship program, our faculty continue to play an active role in teaching medical students and residents.
In the past, we have featured our rheumatology mascot and our physicians and staff profiles. This year, we have opened it up and given all rheumatology pets a moment in the limelight.
~ Janet Lewis, MD, Division Chief, Rheumatology
It has been an outstanding year for the Fellowship program. After two productive years in our Rheumatology Fellowship Program, our two senior Fellows, Ani Ohanian and Joshpaul Dhillon, graduated and headed to California, where they have family ties. Dr. Dhillon will work at a practice in southern California, and Dr. Ohanian will work with Kaiser in the northern California region.
We welcomed our new fellows, Alyssa Bosso, MD, from Georgetown, and Brad Clemens, DO, most recently from Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The past year has also seen growth in our teaching faculty of committed clinical educators. Since July 2022, we have hired two new faculty, former UVA residents, who received Rheumatology training at outstanding clinical and academic programs and returned to the mothership. Amanda Lusa did her rheumatology fellowship training at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and served on faculty there before her return. Jacob Meindertsma did his rheumatology fellowship training at Yale University, New Haven, CT. Both are trained in musculoskeletal ultrasound and have been involved in training our fellows in ultrasound technique and precepting in the procedure clinic. Additionally, they have enhanced our learning environment with additions such as “Rheumatology Jeopardy,” lectures in immunology, and other interactive presentations.
We have had combined conferences and multispecialty clinics with Dermatology, Nephrology, and Pulmonary throughout the year.
We maintain a robust teaching schedule for our fellows, residents, and students under the direction of Dr. Kimpel, Program Director, and Dr. Carlson, Assistant Program Director, with participation from all faculty.
Dr. Katzenstein has spearheaded the creation of the “State of the Art Journal Club” to bring in-depth basic science into our understanding of rheumatic diseases. Dr. Katzenstein received this year’s DOM award for Excellence in Education for his efforts in this and other teaching endeavors.
Dr. Lewis continues to serve as the co-system leader of the Musculoskeletal Integument System for the 1st-year medical students. Dr. Yun oversees the rheumatology elective for the 4th-year medical students. Additionally, Dr Yun has brought in outside speakers for Rheumatology Grand Rounds and has received this year’s DOM award for Excellence in Clinical Care.
Dr. Kimpel gave two presentations on unique aspects of our training program at the annual American College of Rheumatology Program Director’s Conference. The “Special Journal Club for Fellow Wellness” and “The All-Staff Meeting for Systems Based Practice” were the topics. These were well received, with requests for further discussion and presentations at other institutions.
We were honored to have Dr. Virginia Steen, from Georgetown, give Medicine Grand Rounds this year on Scleroderma and its management. This is one of our most challenging diseases to manage, and she followed her talk with an additional session with our faculty and fellows to provide her insights. It was a delightful and informative visit from one of the experts in the field.
Our fellows’ long-term research project with Dr. Thomas Loughran and collaborators at the Johns Hopkins Division of Rheumatology was presented at several forums in the past year. The study of STAT3 mutations in CD8+ T cells of RA patients was presented at the American Society of Hematology and EULAR, the European Alliance Rheumatology meeting. Former fellows who contributed to this research included Drs. Baker, Alfreijat, Khalique, and Boodoo. They were delighted to see their efforts come to fruition.
Other presentations included an award-winning Thieves Market presentation by Dr. Alden Adkins at the Annual Virginia Society of Rheumatology meeting.