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Volume 7  Issue 8 • August 2018 • Rheumatology Research Foundation

Audrey Nelson, MD

Rheumatology Research Foundation Announces New Endowment to Support Patient Access to Pediatric Care

The Rheumatology Research Foundation has received a major donation from Audrey M. Nelson, MD, a retired rheumatologist from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Her generous commitment will address the growing demand for pediatric rheumatologists with the establishment of the Audrey M. Nelson, MD Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Endowment in Training.

Dr. Nelson was a consultant in internal medicine and adult and pediatric rheumatology and is Emeritus Professor of Medicine in Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Her contributions to the field are multifaceted. She is one of the very early pediatric rheumatologists and has made contributions in education, research, clinical practice and administration.

“My interest in pediatric rheumatology started during my residency which prompted a three month stay in England observing and learning about the care of children with rheumatic diseases. At that time there wasn't much in the way of pediatric rheumatology at Mayo Clinic or elsewhere so I started seeing pediatric patients and with demonstrated positive outcomes the practice gradually evolved. I felt that there was a need, and I enjoyed the children. I was learning as I was doing,” said Dr. Nelson. “The Foundation is a tremendous vehicle for us as rheumatologists to further our work in a way we couldn't otherwise through another mechanism. The Foundation is very effective at gathering funds in order to support underserved segments of the specialty. The growth of these opportunities has been amazing and I’m honored to support future opportunities for pediatric rheumatology.”

The Audrey M. Nelson, MD Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Endowment in Training will support awards aimed at providing robust education and training opportunities for pediatric rheumatologists to ensure children with rheumatic diseases have access to the care they need. The endowment is a new addition to the Foundation’s Education and Training Awards portfolio. As a whole, these awards help cultivate future generations of adult and pediatric rheumatology professionals and ensure people with rheumatic diseases have access to the care they need.

The Foundation is excited to announce the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as the first recipient of the Audrey M. Nelson, MD Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Endowment in Training. Sandy Burnham, MD, MSCE, is an attending physician in the Division of Rheumatology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the rheumatology fellowship training program director. “We are honored to be the first recipient of this award,” said Dr. Burnham. “This is an investment in the future of pediatric rheumatology and the funds will bolster the development of collaborative clinical care expertise, and foster independent basic science, translational and clinical investigation.”

Learn more about the Foundation’s Awards and Grants program.


 September is Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month

Dr. Al Kim teaches a student at Washington University.

September 2018 marks the third annual Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month™ (RDAM)! Join the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and Simple Tasks™ as we work to improve the public’s understanding of rheumatic diseases and advance the health and well-being of millions of Americans.

Terry Bradshaw and the ACR teamed up for the second year in a row to produce a national public service announcement emphasizing that with a healthy lifestyle, it’s possible to live well with rheumatic disease. Flare-ups aren’t fun, but with active self-management and regular visits to your rheumatologist, you may find yourself living well and doing more.

This year, The ACR and Simple Tasks™ are raising the grade on rheumatology care in America by developing free Rheumatic Disease Report Cards describing how easy it is to live with arthritis in each state. The report cards will be available on September 4. Visit to see what grade your state earned and learn how you can help raise the grade on rheumatic disease care this RDAM.

You can also sign the ACR and Simple Tasks pledge to live well with rheumatic disease. You’ll receive a free pedometer and other goodies from the ACR, be entered in a chance to win a signed Steelers jersey from Terry Bradshaw and be included in email updates on developments that affect you!



Give today and help transform the future for millions of people living with rheumatic disease.