Calling All States


If you aren’t Wisconsin, you are already behind. The UW Health has made history by opening the only clinic focused solely on the diagnosis and treatment of lupus.

Where is your state with regards to a lupus clinic?

UW Health is working to achieve a diagnosis of lupus early to possibly prevent the complications of kidney disease, one of the more devastating aspects of lupus. In addition to early diagnosis, the clinic offers comprehensive care in the state’s only lupus clinic.

Patients who are treated at the clinic have access to rheumatologists, lupus specialists, and social workers. The care is available without regard to their challenges including the financial ability to pay. The clinic offers “whole person” care including care for the depression that often accompanies those suffering from chronic illness. “Resources will be available to help them,” says Dr. Shivani Garg, director of the clinic. In addition to physical needs, the clinic is addressing the emotional needs of the patients, which often go untreated.

There is often a huge gap between what patients perceive as ‘needed treatment’ and what physicians perceive as ‘needed treatment’ with regards to lupus and how it impacts the patient’s lives. Garg believes physicians must understand all the barriers, obstacles, and symptoms to what patients are feeling, in order to have the ability to keep the disease under control.

The clinic is a new support system that is available to help the estimated 16,000 newly diagnosed patients each year.

Could your state be the next to open such a clinic? I believe that if a state already has a university with a medical school, then why not a lupus clinic. What can we do, as lupus patients and the family and friends of patients, to have one in every state? Let’s put our thoughts out there, send letters, make phone calls, use our contacts, and begin to do what UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin has already done.

By: Wanda M. Argersinger

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