The Lupus Initiative

wanda writes about lupusIf you live in an area that has limited access to care by a rheumatologist for your lupus, help and good news are in the works.

The ACR (American College of Rheumatology) who formed the TLI (The Lupus Initiative) announced the award of a one-year, $500,000 grant from the Office of Minority Health (OMH) to expand its established, national education program by developing an evidence-based program model intended to improve health outcomes for people with lupus.

The award will help TLI establish a model to bring sorely needed education to health providers, as well as specialty care to patients living in rural and underserved areas who are suffering from lupus – a serious, complex chronic autoimmune condition.
The Lupus Initiative plants to work collaboratively within an established national network of agencies and organizations. “The model will allow for primary care providers to treat a person with lupus on their own, or co-manage with a geographically-distant rheumatologist, until an appropriate referral can be made. Additionally, we will focus on increasing the awareness of the people in these “silent spaces” about lupus’ signs and symptoms,” Sheryl McCalla, JD., TLI Project Director and ACR Senior Director, Collaborative Initiatives.

TLI is planning on expanding upon its existing infrastructure of partner organizations. This expansion should bring about one of the largest national formal collaborations of lupus stakeholders. The collaborative partners for this current grant include the following stakeholders:

  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
  • Emory University School of Medicine
  • Georgia Charitable Care Network
  • National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
  • Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center
  • Oregon Area Health Education Center
  • Northwestern University
  • Morehouse School of Medicine


The Lupus Initiative is a multi-faceted education program led by the American College of Rheumatology. TLI provides medical professionals, educators, and students with evidence-based programs and easy-to-use educational resources to ensure the early and accurate diagnosis, effective treatment and management of patients with lupus, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, so that they may potentially lead healthier lives.

The Lupus Initiative is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through its Office of Minority Health. The Lupus Initiative is guided by experts in medicine, public health, academia, research, patient advocacy, and health disparities. For more information about The Lupus Initiative, visit


From the life of lupus patient Wanda M. Argersinger

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