AARDA Announces a Collaborative Partnership with AHN and the New Autoimmunity Institute.
Newswise — Pittsburgh, May 25, 2018 -- The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) is proud and honored to announce its collaborative partnership with Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and its new Autoimmunity Institute.
AARDA is the only national nonprofit to address autoimmune disease as a category of disease. There are well over 100 autoimmune diseases including psoriasis, Graves’ disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, type 1 diabetes, relapsing polychondritis, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and lupus.
The AHN Autoimmunity Institute, with its hub at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is an unprecedented venture focused on integrated multispecialty care and multidisciplinary research for patients with all autoimmune diseases. More than a dozen specialties care for patients in a single 16,000 square foot suite. The patient care team is tightly integrated with clinical and translational research, education, training, and outreach for patients with any autoimmune diseases.
AARDA is providing seed money to initiate a much-needed major study on the costs of autoimmune disease and the obtaining of a diagnosis.
Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the opening of the Autoimmunity Institute was Virginia Ladd, Executive Director of AARDA, who will serve on the steering committee for the Institute. Mrs. Ladd said:
“A multispecialty approach to diagnosis, patient care, and research has been a long-standing need in this country. Our health system is set up in compartments and does not work well for patients with autoimmune disease as these patients often need to see several specialists and are left to coordinate their own care.
It has been a long-term goal of our organization that such an institute be established to serve the autoimmune patient population. We are especially excited that the institute will provide diagnostic triage as our study found that on average patients see an average of four physicians over three years before receiving an accurate diagnosis, and over 62 percent were told that they are too concerned with their health or that their symptoms are in their head.”
Also at the ceremony was Susan Manzi, M.D., MPH, Chair of the AHN Medicine Institute and Director of the Network's Lupus Center of Excellence, and Joseph M. Ahearn, M.D., Chair of the AHN Autoimmunity Institute. Dr. Ahearn said:
“Our vision has now become a reality. There is no doubt that collaborative partnerships within Allegheny Health Network and beyond will accelerate improved diagnosis, treatment and ultimately cures for autoimmune diseases. Once we solve the mystery of one it will catalyze solutions to the others. We are delighted to be collaborating with AARDA, which shares our vision and has stepped to the plate to accelerate our mission. We hope other Foundations, Industry, and academic partners will join us in this unprecedented effort.”
Putting patients first, AARDA hopes that this Institute is just the beginning. We at AARDA have seen the great need and demand for diagnostic and treatment centers. We hope this Institute serves as a model for facilities across the country as we continue to work towards improving the lives of all autoimmune disease patients.
ABOUT AARDA: The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association is dedicated to the eradication of autoimmune diseases and the alleviation of suffering and the socioeconomic impact of autoimmunity through fostering and facilitating collaboration in the areas of education, public awareness, research, and patient services in an effective, ethical, and efficient manner.
ABOUT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE: One of the functions of the immune system is to protect the body by responding to invading microorganisms, such as viruses or bacteria, by producing antibodies or sensitized lymphocytes (types of white blood cells). Under normal conditions, an immune response cannot be triggered against the cells of one's own body. In some cases, however, immune cells make a mistake and attack the very cells that they are meant to protect. This can lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases. They encompass a broad category of related diseases in which the person's immune system attacks his or her own tissue.
There are more than 100 known autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis, Graves’ disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, type 1 diabetes, relapsing polychondritis, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and lupus. The underlying cause of all of these diseases is autoimmunity which disproportionately affects women. Of the 50 million Americans living and coping with autoimmune disease, more than 75 percent are women. Given the genetic component, autoimmune diseases can run in families. Autoimmune disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death of women under the age of 65 and is responsible for more than $100 billion in direct health care costs annually.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact
Virginia Ladd, [email protected]
President & Executive Director
22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe, MI 48021
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