Message From Dr Janet Lewis – Division Chief, Rheumatology

As the chief of the Division of Rheumatology, I am thankful to be able to work with Division faculty members who demonstrate such a strong commitment to patient care and education as well as to work in the supportive environment of the Department of Medicine.

We continue to have a robust demand for clinical services in the ambulatory setting. We currently have six faculty members who see patients at the Fontaine practice and additionally we have satellite practices at Pantops and Fishersville. Dr Jae Hee Yun is the newest member of our Division having joined us in the fall of 2019. She recently completed her rheumatology fellowship training at Columbia University and was recruited here given her strong interest in clinical care and education.

Recognizing the increasing complexity of medical care in patients with multisystem autoimmune disease, we are developing more formal partnerships with other specialties. A combined pulmonary-rheumatology clinic for patients with interstitial lung disease has been started which is staffed by Drs Tessy Paul (pulmonary) and Adam Carlson (rheumatology). We are looking forward to developing several other combined clinics in 2020.

The fellowship program continues to flourish 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 continued to rise and this trend has been paralleled at UVA with an increasing number of UVA internal residency graduates pursuing fellowship training in rheumatology. We have been fortunate to match graduates to our fellowship program from the UVA internal medicine residency program for the past three years as well as successfully recruiting strong fellowship trainees from outside residency programs. In addition to the fellowship program, the faculty continue to play an active role teaching medical students and residents.

Under the guidance of Dr Paul Katzenstein, the infrastructure for clinical trials has been assembled and enrollment is open for an anti C5a monoclonal therapy as adjunctive treatment for patients with active ANCA associated vasculitis.

The past year has presented challenges to the Division given a regional shortage of rheumatologists which has limited patient access to care. As a Division, we look forward to growth in 2020 which will provide us with opportunities to expand our clinical practice to improve access to care as well as to develop more specialized programs for patients with complex rheumatologic disorders. ~Dr Janet Lewis


ADDITIONAL RHEUMATOLOGY HIGHLIGHTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
The participation in a clinical trial for anti C5a monoclonal therapy as adjunctive treatment for patients with active ANCA associated vasculitis.

Entry into the Pittsburgh based myositis trials consortium.

The participation in the CLASS project: (Classification Criteria of Anti-synthetase Syndrome), an ACR/EULAR project.

A presentation given at the European League against Rheumatism meeting: Alpha-gal reactivity in rheumatology outpatients.
The establishment of a combined pulm-rheum ILD clinic.

University of Virginia Division of Rheumatology Group Photo, 2019

Filed Under: Notable Achievements

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