Lupus Initiative receives grant from the American College of Rheumatology

The American College of Rheumatology's The Lupus Initiative (TLI) announced Tuesday the award of a one-year, $500,000 grant from the Office of Minority Health to expand its national education program.

The program will be expanded by developing an evidence-based program model aimed at improving health outcomes for people with lupus.

The grant will help TLI establish a model to bring additional education to health providers, as well as specialty care to patients living in rural and underserved areas who have lupus.

"TLI is committed to developing a scalable and sustainable program model that can be replicated by other organizations for lupus and other diseases," Sheryl McCalla, TLI project director and ACR senior director, collaborative initiatives, said. "We believe the approach TLI is developing will help bring clinically, culturally and linguistically competent lupus care to underserved rural and micropolitan communities across America."

TLI will collaborate 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," McCalla said. "Additionally, we will focus on increasing the awareness of the people in these 'silent spaces' about lupus' signs and symptoms."