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AIR Research Presented at National Meeting

The AIR Division was well represented at the American College of Rheumatology’s National Meeting in San Diego, CA November 4-8, 2017. This meeting highlights the most current research findings as they relate to Rheumatology. Ten faculty members and one fellow had a total of 23 presentations which included poster and oral abstract presentations, panel discussions, meet the professor sessions, study sessions and topic presentations.

John Looney, M.D. a Master of the American College of Rheumatology

At the 2017 National Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, John Looney, M.D. was honored with one of the College's highest honors. He was the recipient of its Master of the ACR designation. Recipients must "have made outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement and/or service to their patients, students, and the rheumatology profession (and) devoted their long careers to furthering rheumatology research and improving clinical standards in the treatment of rheumatic diseases."

11th Annual Lupus Education Day

October 28, 2017

Lupus Education Day is a yearly symposium aimed at educating individuals with lupus and their families on the clinical challenges of managing lupus, new trends in the management and treatment of lupus, and the unique challenges of living with lupus. Highlights of this year’s program included a discussion of current lupus research by symposium organizer, Jennifer Anolik, MD, PhD, a presentation by Allen Anandarajah, MD, MSc on a patient centered lupus care model, and a presentation by Ummara Shah, MD on the nuts and bolts of lupus.

View the presentations here.

Make a Gift to the Lupus Education Day / Research Fund

Linda Grinnell-Merrick, NP and Christopher Ritchlin, MD, MPH Present at the 10th Annual Rheumatology Nurses Society Conference

Linda Grinnell-Merrick, a rheumatology nurse practitioner in the Division, was quite active at the conference. She served as a panelist as well as a speaker co-presenting "60 Minute Innovation Firehouse." Ms. Grinnell-Merrick also began her tenure as president of the RNS. Dr. Ritchlin, whose research is primarily centered on psoriatic arthritis, presented a lecture on "Rare Diseases in Rheumatology" at the conference.

AIR Researchers Characterize the Role of Neutrophils in a Mouse Model of Lupus

Cover of Journal of ImmunologyUniversity of Rochester Medical Center researchers have demonstrated that not all effects of neutrophils in autoimmunity are deleterious. Jennifer Anolik, M.D., Ph.D., along with AIR researchers Javier Rangel-Moreno, Ph.D. and Nida Meednu, Ph.D. have demonstrated that neutrophils can have a protective effect in murine (mouse) lupus. Dr. Anolik and colleagues have shown that timing and location are key in dictating what effect neutrophils will have. Their findings have recently been published in The Journal of Immunology.

Mariel Bank, BSN, RN and Jennifer Ganz BSN, RN Create Quick-Flip Guide

AIR infusion nurses, Mariel Bank and Jennifer Ganz, created a Quick-Flip Guide for infusion nurses in the ambulatory setting throughout URMC. Read more about their innovative project patient care project (may require log-in).

Allen Anandarajah, M.D., MSc Awarded Grant to Improve Health Care for Lupus Patients

Dr. Allen Anandarajah was awarded a grant from the GRHF for his project to improve care for patients with SLE in the Rochester area who are at high risk for hospital admission. The goals of the project are to improve access to care and adherence to medication use, identify and modify behavioral and social impediments to on-going care and to provide an increased awareness of lupus in patients and the community.

Linda Grinnell-Merrick, NP to become President of the Rheumatology Nurses Society

Linda Grinnell-Merrick, NP joined the AIR Division in 2012 where she sees adult rheumatology patients. Ms. Grinnell-Merrick is passionate about nursing education and the impact that empowering nurses has on positive patient outcomes. In August of this year, she will become President of the Rheumatology Nurses Society. Listen to Ms. Grinnell-Merrick talk about her experience.

Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., MPH, Co-Authors Article to Help Doctors Diagnose and Treat Psoriatic Arthritis

Read about the article written by Dr. Christopher Ritchlin and two other psoriatic arthritis experts on the diagnosis and treatment of psoriatic arthritis.

Dr. Jennifer Anolik Presents Second Opinion 5 on the Symptoms of Lupus

The December 28th episode of Second Opinion focused on the chronic autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). Jennifer Anolik, M.D., Ph.D. was a featured panelist presenting the Second Opinion 5 segment, which outlined five common symptoms of lupus. View the episode.

Congratulations to Our Strong Stars

Strong Stars are employees who go out of their way to make a difference in the lives of patients, families and visitors.

November 2017

Laura Kulikowski was recognized by a very appreciative co-worker for being a great asset. She stepped up and handled extra tasks when another co-worker was away. Congratulations, Laura!

Nadia DeSilva was recognized by an appreciative co-worker for being a knowledgeable, hard-working and valuable member of the team. She was instrumental in helping Allergy get ready to Go Live with Charge Capture. Congratulations, Nadia!

Julie McIntyre was recognized by an appreciative co-worker for stepping in and helping to get a patient scheduled in a timely manner. Congratulations, Julie!

Anne Saless was recognized by an appreciative co-worker for compassion and commitment to great patient care. She did not hesitate to step up and help other members of the care team in between her work. Congratulations, Anne!

Mariel Bank was recognized by a co-worker for outstanding service and care for her handling a call from a frustrated patient who needed much reassurance and information. Congratulations, Muriel!

Kelly Callahan was recognized by a very appreciative co-worker for going the extra mile and helping out her co-worker in between her own projects on a busy day. Congratulations, Kelly!

October 2017

Niyat Siyoum was recognized by a grateful patient through a co-worker for being very friendly and helpful.  Niyat took the time to listen and act on the patient’s concerns.  Congratulations, Niyat!

Christine Pawuk was recognized by a co-worker for her teamwork and enthusiasm which made five days of fellowship candidate interviews very successful.  Her help allowed the days to run smoothly and efficiently. Congratulations, Christine!

Rachel Climer was recognized by a co-worker for her teamwork and enthusiasm which made five days of fellowship candidate interviews very successful.  Her help allowed the days to run smoothly and efficiently. Congratulations, Rachel!

Christine Stallworth was recognized by an appreciative patient through a co-worker for taking the time to listen and find a timely appointment that worked with the patient’s schedule.  Her efforts were greatly appreciated.  Congratulations, Christine!

Allison Hendershot was recognized by a co-worker for being wonderful at respecting the needs and concerns of prospective study participants while recognizing the importance of study time frames.  Congratulations, Allison!

Loralynn Poles-Harrison was recognized by a co-worker for her exceptional team effort that allowed a patient to keep their infusion appointment. Congratulations, Loralynn!

Laurie Heelon was recognized by a co-worker for her dedication to patient care. Her extra effort resulted in a patient’s treatment being approved and scheduled within 24 hours. Congratulations, Laurie!

Laurie Heelon was recognized by a co-worker for her commitment to excellence after she resolved a medical transportation issue for a patient that resulted in a drop off in the wrong location. Congratulations, Laurie!

Marsha Okung was recognized by a co-worker for her amazing follow through. She followed-up with a patient with transportation difficulties who did not arrive for their appointment and arranged transportation so that the patient was able to be seen in clinic. Congratulations, Marsha!

Dr. Andreea Coca was recognized by an appreciative patient for her compassion and concern. Congratulations, Dr. Coca!

Dr. Jasdeep Badwal was recognized by an appreciative patient for his kindness, professionalism and excellent care. Congratulations, Dr. Badwal!

Laurie Heelon was recognized by an appreciative patient for being exceptionally personable, helpful, and caring and for putting the patient at ease. Congratulations, Laurie!

September 2017

Jennifer Goff was recognized by a thankful family member for her warm welcome and help with final questions at the end of the visit. Congratulations, Jennifer!

Dr. Andreea Coca was recognized by an appreciative patient for providing care with compassion and brilliance and explaining things in a way that the patient could understand. Congratulations, Dr. Coca!

Dr. Ralf Thiele was recognized by a grateful person for his dedication and commitment in seeking out opportunities to improve efficiencies and communication with clinic staff. Congratulations, Dr. Thiele!

Dr. Christopher Palma was recognized by a co-worker for his compassion and responsiveness to a patient with multiple concerns. He not only addressed the patient’s concerns but provided the patient with resources. Congratulations, Dr. Palma!

Dr. Allen Anandarajah was recognized by an appreciative patient for his professionalism and kindness. The patient appreciated being treated with respect and understanding. Congratulations, Dr. Anandarajah!

Dr. Andreea Coca was recognized by a co-worker for being extremely responsive to the concerns of her patient and the nurse involved in the patient’s care, taking the time to address the patient’s concerns. Congratulations, Dr. Coca!

Alicia Lieberman was recognized by an appreciative patient. Alicia made them feel very comfortable at their new patient appointment and answered all their questions. Congratulations, Alicia!

Dr. Ralf Thiele was recognized by an appreciative patient. Alicia made them feel very comfortable at their new patient appointment and answered all their questions. Congratulations, Dr. Thiele!

Dr. Andreea Coca was recognized by an appreciative patient for being kind and upfront and explaining lab results in a way that they could understand. Congratulations, Dr. Coca!

Dr. Ralf Thiele was recognized by a co-worker for stepping in and helping when needed and providing excellent patient care. Congratulations, Dr. Thiele!

Dr. Andreea Coca was recognized by an appreciative patient for being wonderful at a first visit and explaining things about their diagnosis. Congratulations, Dr. Coca!

Cristy Bell was recognized by a co-worker for a can-do attitude.  Cristy jumped right in and helped with a significant last minute request that provided data in time for a grant submission.  Congratulations Cristy!

Rachel Climer was recognized by a co-worker for being an AIR “Rock Star.”  Rachel always has a positive attitude and is willing to lend a hand.  Her co-worker was able to go on vacation without worrying about their tasks being taken care of while they were gone.  Congratulations Rachel!

Alyssa Powell was recognized by an appreciative patient for being very welcoming and helpful throughout the entire clinic visit.  Congratulations, Alyssa!

August 2017

Cristy Bell was recognized by a co-worker for her exceptional efforts in the Division’s clinical studies. Congratulations, Cristy!

Maria Allen was recognized by a co-worker for helping to make a patient’s experience much more positive by staying to lend a hand. Congratulations, Maria!

Allison Hendershot was recognized by a co-worker for helping to make a patient’s experience much more positive by staying to lend a hand. Congratulations, Allison!

Kelly Callahan was recognized by a co-worker for going above and beyond as she transitions to her new position. Kelly has been helping her old team transition for her departure while preparing for her new position, Her extra efforts are extremely appreciated. Congratulations, Kelly!

Linda Grinnell-Merrick was recognized by a co-worker for continuing to go above and beyond. Linda has consistently shown dedication to her nursing staff by being a continuous resource to all. Even if she has an extremely busy schedule, Linda will take the time to address concerns and general questions that the nurses have. She has taken the time (both inside and outside of work) to educate the new nursing staff and to grow the knowledge of the nurses that have been here. Her dedication shows and the nurses appreciate it. Congratulations Linda!

Jennifer Goff was recognized by a co-worker for going above and beyond. She has been a great asset to our team since recently starting. Jennifer is a great communicator and takes the time to understand the needs in the clinic. Congratulations Jennifer!

Lisa Hand was recognized by an appreciative patient for always smiling and being friendly and making coming for allergy shots a pleasure. Congratulations Lisa!

July 2017

Alyssa Powell was recognized by a co-worker for going above and beyond to accommodate the needs of a patient. Congratulations, Alyssa!

Lisa Hand was recognized by an appreciative patient for her cheerfulness and efficiency. Congratulations, Lisa!

June 2017

Alana Dodgson was recognized by an appreciative patient for being very helpful, understanding and a very sweet person.  Congratulations Alana!

Laurie Heelon was recognized by an appreciative patient for being so professional and helpful. She was so wonderful in obtaining the proper care for me. I am so appreciative to have such a caring person on my team and ever so friendly! Congratulations Laurie!

Colleen Ranke was recognized by an appreciative patient for being very kind and helpful. She was concerned that I received the proper care. Congratulations Colleen!

May 2017

Lindsey Junge was recognized by a co-worker for having a constantly positive attitude. She is willing to provide assistance to anyone that needs it and regularly goes out of her way lend a helpful hand making everyone's day a brighter. Her excitement about her work is contagious and helps set a positive tone in the office. Congratulations, Lindsey!

Christine Stallworth was recognized by one of the providers for being an incredible master scheduler. Her efforts have led to improvements in workflow and customer service. Congratulations, Christine!

Nurse practitioner Linda Grinnell-Merrick was recognized by an appreciative patient for being very compassionate. Congratulations Linda!

Nurse practitioner Linda Grinnell-Merrick was recognized by an appreciative patient for providing excellent patient education. Congratulations Linda!

Holly Vibber was recognized by an appreciative patient through a co-worker for providing genuine care and always being pleasant and professional. Congratulations Holly!

Christine Stallworth was recognized by a co-worker. Christi recently took on allergy scheduling and is doing a great job. Congratulations, Christie!

Dr. Jessica Stern was recognized by an appreciative mother for providing compassionate and excellent care to her baby. Congratulations, Dr. Stern!

Brianne Schmidt was recognized by an appreciative mother for providing compassionate and excellent care to her baby. Congratulations, Brianne!

Joshua Moody was recognized by a co-worker for stepping up and doing an amazing job when a co-worker was on maternity leave. Congratulations, Josh!

Nicole Boone was recognized by a co-worker for stepping up and doing an amazing job when a co-worker was on maternity leave. Congratulations, Nikki!

Caitlyn French was recognized by a co-worker for being a great leader and arrange a great leadership retreat for the division. Congratulations, Kate!

Dr. Andreea Coca was recognized by a co-worker for her help with a patient’s medication struggles. Congratulations, Dr. Coca!

Dr. Darren Tabechian was recognized by an appreciative patient foe being an invaluable support for their health and well-being. Congratulations, Dr. Tabechian!

Susan Hume was recognized by a co-worker for sharing her allergy expertise at an in-service. Congratulations, Susan!

April 2017

Cristy Bell was recognized by a co-worker for being a real team player. Congratulation,s Cristy!

Allison Hendershot was recognized by a co-worker for being a real team player. Congratulations, Allison!

Maria Allen was recognized by a co-worker for being a real team player. Congratulations, Maria!

Debbie Campbell was recognized by a co-worker for being a real team player. Congratulations, Debbie!

Brianna Corbitt was recognized by a co-worker for being a real team player. Congratulations, Brianna!

Dr. Christopher Ritchlin was recognized by an appreciative patient for  being a truly wonderful doctor.  Dr. Ritchlin was described as being kind and patient.  Dr. Ritchlin helped the patient get a motorized wheelchair that they needed.  The patient commented that Dr. Ritchlin makes unpleasant news not so unpleasant and reassures them when they need it.  Congratulations, Dr. Ritchlin!

Lindsey Junge was recognized by a co-worker for going above and beyond for our community.  Lindsey’s dedication and enthusiasm led to the success of the AIR 10th Annual Lupus Education Day Event, including a special Grand Rounds event with a guest speaker.  Congratulations, Lindsey!

Nicole Boone was recognized by a co-worker for going above and beyond for our community.  Lindsey’s dedication and enthusiasm led to the success of the AIR 10th Annual Lupus Education Day Event including a special Grand Rounds event with a guest speaker.  Congratulations, Nicole!

Dr. Ummara Shah was recognized by an appreciative patient for leaving no stone unturned while diagnosing her arthritis. She was also complimented on being empathetic, an excellent listener, efficient and kind. This grateful patient commented that “Strong is very lucky to have her as an MD.” Congratulations, Dr. Shah!

Carol Giglia was recognized by a co-worker for coming in on her day off to participate in a team meeting. Her experience, expertise and input was greatly valued and appreciated. Congratulations, Carol!

Anne Saless was recognized by a co-worker for coming in on her day off to participate in a team meeting. Her experience, expertise and input was greatly valued and appreciated. Congratulations, Anne!

March 2017

Rachael Emerson was recognized by an appreciative patient for being patient, caring and compassionate turning a stressful visit into a positive experience. Congratulations Rachael!

Patricia Baldwin was recognized by an appreciative patient for being patient, caring and compassionate turning a stressful visit into a positive experience. Congratulations Patricia!

Mariel Bank was recognized by an appreciative patient for being patient, caring and compassionate turning a stressful visit into a positive experience. Congratulations Mariel!

Laurie Heelon was recognized by an appreciative patient for being patient, caring and compassionate turning a stressful visit into a positive experience. Congratulations Laurie!

Laurie Heelon was recognized by one of the rheumatologists for being a key person in the office who continually ensures that patients receive care that is timely and high quality. She works daily to schedule patients promptly, address their needs for more immediate appointments and works extremely hard. Congratulations Laurie!

Brianna Corbitt was recognized by a co-worker for taking the time to teach her about a search function in eRecords which was very helpful. Congratulations Brianna!

Kelly Callahan was recognized by a co-worker for exemplifying team spirit. Kelly stepped up and helped a coordinator off-site with an urgent patient issue despite being extremely busy herself. Congratulations, Kelly!

Alyssa Powell was recognized by a co-worker on behalf of an appreciative patient for "always [being] so polite and always [having] a smile!" This made the patient feel important and well cared for. Congratulations, Alyssa!

January 2017

Dr. Maria Slack was recognized by a co-worker for being a team player and for always being willing to provide the nurses with information that expands their knowledge base.  Congratulations, Dr. Slack!

Laurie Heelon was recognized by a co-worker for being a source of strength in the Division. Her kindness and compassion which she displays all the time and with everyone she comes in contact with are a wonderful example of ICare values. Congratulations, Laurie!

Dr. Ummara Shah was recognized by an appreciative patient for being kind, empathetic and spending quality time with her patients. Dr. Shah was also complimented on her thoroughness and bedside manner. Congratulations, Dr. Shah!

Alana Dodgson was recognized by a co-worker for her dedication and professionalism, even when the office was short-staffed, and for displaying the ICare values with everyone with whom she is contact. Congratulations, Alana!

LoraLynn Poles-Harrison was recognized by a co-worker worker for her dedication and professionalism, even when the office was short-staffed, and for displaying the ICare values with everyone with whom she is contact. Congratulations, LoraLynn!

Corrine Culver was recognized by a co-worker worker for her dedication and professionalism, even when the office was short-staffed, and for displaying the ICare values with everyone with whom she is contact. Congratulations, Corky!

Alyssa Powell was recognized by a co-worker on behalf of an appreciative patient who commented that Alyssa made them feel comfortable and important. The patient also complimented Alyssa on how respectful and pleasant she was. Congratulations, Alyssa!

Dr. Maria Slack was recognized by a co-worker on behalf of an appreciative patient who commented that "Dr. Slack ALWAYS follows through with every plan and discussion, and she does her work with respect, kindness, compassion, and empathy! Her care and approach are valued and respected and truly unprecedented!” Congratulations, Dr. Slack!

Nancy Malik was recognized by a co-worker for being a source of strength and continuity for the department. Her dedication and professionalism have helped keep things running, even when the office was short staffed. She displays the ICare values all the time, with everyone she is in contact with. Congratulations, Nancy!