On behalf of the entire Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center faculty, nurses, clinical, research, and administrative staff, I would like to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday season.
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on some of the activities and achievements in the Arthritis Center this year across each of our three mission areas: patient care, research, and education.
In the area of patient care, we have grown our clinical faculty and staff now to 8 members, 2 nurses, and 2 medical office coordinators. We are the largest of the rheumatology specialty centers, accounting for more than 4000 patient visits this past year. We have expanded and reorganized our clinical space to allow us to incorporate our entire Arthritis outpatient services into a single location at the Bayview campus and to move our general rheumatology clinics to the same location. We appreciate your patience with us through these changes and hope that you find the area more accommodating and efficient. The implementation of the EPIC electronic medical record system has also been a considerable change in how we provide care and research. We continually seek ways in which we can make this more efficient in expediting your care and improving communication. In the coming year, we will be working on several initiatives to further improve your patient experience. These include development of videos and stories about our faculty, staff, and research initiatives in the waiting room, as well as using the EPIC MyChart system to provide individualized educational materials and links to web-based learning material.
We have had a very successful year in terms of our research initiatives. Our research team includes all of our physicians, as well as laboratory-based scientists, health services researchers, and 6 research coordinators. From 2014-2015 Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center researchers published 71 research articles in major national and international journals. These have included a study showing that yoga can be safe and effective in improving patient symptoms for RA and osteoarthritis, a study showing the range and severity of a broad range of symptoms experienced by people with RA, and a study based on focus groups with RA patients about how they experience stiffness, and clinical trials of new therapies. Our laboratory researchers have described new autoantibodies in the blood of patients with arthritis that may identify a group of people who have a higher risk of developing lung problems associated with RA. Our faculty have shared these findings in presentations at regional, national, and international meetings.
New research projects have been started for patient reported outcomes in RA and psoriatic arthritis, clinical trials for RA and psoriatic arthritis of promising new medications including stem cell therapies, and a more comprehensive research database for psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. In the last year, we have received grants from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Rheumatology Research Foundation, the Ira Fine Discovery Fund, and the Stabler Family Foundation.
We have started a major effort to “tell the story” of research in ways that are meaningful for patients. You can look forward to seeing more about this in the next year!
We are deeply committed to the education of patients, their families, and health care providers concerning arthritis, treatment options, and lifestyle considerations. We have developed new online content housed on our website concerning RA and psoriatic arthritis, medications including potential side effects and monitoring, and videos showing how to give injections. Based on a survey of our Web visitors (more than 1 Million unique visitors in the last year!) we are developing new content to address specific needs.
These are only some of the highlights from our Center in the last year. In the next year we are committed to more effectively sharing our stories concerning research, education, and patient care through the Web and newsletters. We hope to better engage you, our patients and all those affected by arthritis, to help us develop resources that will better meet your needs.
Many of the projects and initiatives that are described above were made possible through your generous support. Our Research and Education funds help support young investigators and trainees to launch their careers with pilot projects and preliminary data, help our established researchers expand their work into new and innovative areas, and help us to improve our educational efforts for patients.
As the year draws to a close, we hope that you may consider supporting our work through the Camille Julia Morgan Arthritis Research and Education Fund. All contributions to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center are tax-deductible in accordance with the Internal Revenue Service. Please visit our online donation form to donate today or if you would like to make a donation by check, please make the check payable to Johns Hopkins University and indicate in the subject line for the Camille Julia Morgan Arthritis Research and Education Fund. Please mail to Donna Bolin, Johns Hopkins Medicine, MFL Center Tower, Suite 358, 5200 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224.
We appreciate your choosing the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. And we wish you and your family a very Happy and Healthy New Year.
Clifton O. Bingham III, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center
Director of Research, Division of Rheumatology
Director, Center for Patient Centered Outcomes Research in Rheumatology