Rheumatology

The Pediatric Rheumatology Section focuses on children and teenagers who have arthritis and other inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis or JIA (formerly called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or JRA) is the most common cause of chronic arthritis in children, but there are also other diseases in which arthritis is but one of many symptoms, such as lupus, dermatomyositis, and vasculitis among others.

Children with JIA and other rheumatic diseases should be evaluated and treated by certified pediatric rheumatologists - pediatricians who have received years of special extra training to care for these patients. There are currently only less than 300 board-certified pediatric rheumatologists in the United States, and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital has five.  Our physicians are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in the field of pediatric rheumatology and research.

In the last 20 years, the care of children with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases has been changed dramatically. There are many new extremely effective treatments available, with more on the way. When used properly, these treatments can make huge differences in outcome.  We have also learned that the sooner patients are evaluated, diagnosed and treated, the better they do in the long run.

Our primary goal is for our patients to live normal, healthy, happy, and productive lives.  With proper education, diagnosis, treatment and care, this is definitely achievable for most children afflicted with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.

Symptoms of arthritis in children can include limping, pain and swelling of the involved joint or joints, and irritability, and stiffness in the morning that improves as the day goes on. Some children can have fever and rash associated with their arthritis. Symptoms of the other conditions associated with arthritis are quite varied, but can involve specific skin rashes, fever, weakness, weight loss and eye inflammation.

Here are the names of just some of the conditions we diagnose and treat:

  • Acute rheumatic fever
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease
  • Autoinflammatory syndromes
  • Churg-Strauss syndrome
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Connective tissue disease
  • CNS vasculitis
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Discoid lupus
  • Enthesitis
  • Familial Mediterranean fever
  • Fever of unknown origin
  • Fibromyalgia and other non-rheumatic pain syndromes
  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (formerly called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Juvenile ankylosing spondylitis
  • Juvenile psoriatric arthritis
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (now called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis)
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Linear scleroderma
  • Localized scleroderma
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Lyme disease
  • Microscopic polyangiitis
  • Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Morphea
  • Neonatal lupus
  • Oligoarticular JIA
  • Periodic fever syndromes
  • PFAPA syndrome
  • Polyarteritis nodosa
  • Polyarticular JIA
  • Polymyositis
  • Post-Streptococcal reactive arthritis
  • Psoriatic JIA
  • Raynaud’s
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Rheumatic fever and post-streptococcal reactive arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Spondyloarthritis
  • Systemic JIA
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Scleroderma
  • Takayasu arteritis
  • Transient synovitis
  • Undifferentiated connective tissue disease
  • Uveitis
  • Viral arthritis
  • Vasculitis
  • Wegener granulomatosis or Granulomatous angiitis 

Our Services

  • Comprehensive diagnostic evaluation of any pediatric patient (birth up to 19 years old) suspected of having a rheumatic disease
  • Treatment, education, and follow-up of all diagnosed patients
  • Infusion Center for intravenous administration of state-of-the-art medications 
  • Inpatient consultations for pediatric rheumatology questions and problems
  • Pediatric rheumatology physicians available for emergency calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Referrals made to all necessary support services such as social work, psychology, pain management, child life/creative arts therapy, physical and occupational therapy
  • Referrals to other pediatric subspecialties as needed
  • Age-appropriate support groups and parent support groups for patients and their families
  • Intra-articular corticosteroid injections
  • Participation in national and international research studies to evaluate new medications and treatment outcomes for patients with JIA, uveitis, lupus, and scleroderma
  • New PAIN day program: multi-disciplinary one-day program for education and networking for patients with fibromyalgia and other pain conditions

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Staff

The Pediatric Rheumatology Section is staffed by five board-certified pediatric rheumatologists, three registered nurses, a research nurse, trained office staff, a child life specialist, and a social worker. In addition, we work closely with physical therapists, occupational therapists, pain management specialists and psychologists at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in order to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date care available. Support groups and special educational programs are also offered.

The staff of the Pediatric Rheumatology Section is dedicated to excellent, high quality, patient-centered care for all our patients. Section members are actively involved in pediatric rheumatology research and education, and are members and leaders of the North American pediatric rheumatology research network CARRA (Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance), which spans over 100 sites.  The physicians of the Pediatric Rheumatology Section are active in research studies and clinical trials, and have authored many articles, chapters and textbooks in pediatric rheumatology, and have been recognized as “best doctors” in local and national surveys by their peers.

Section Chief
Yukiko Kimura, M.D.

Chief, Immunology 
Kathleen Haines, M.D.

Rheumatologists
Suzanne Li, M.D., Ph.D.
Jennifer Weiss, M.D.
Ginger Janow, M.D.

Nurse Coordinator
Doreen Tabussi, R.N.

Nurse Manager
Christa Orr, BSN, RN, NE-BC 

Robert C. Garrett on Caucus NJ

Steve Adubato interviews Hackensack University Health Network President and CEO, Robert C. Garrett


 
 
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