Newswise — (Kansas City, MO - February 21, 2017) One of the greatest challenges a patient with vasculitis can face is trying to get a definitive diagnosis regarding his or her illness. Because vasculitis is a rare disease with which many physicians have little or no familiarity, patients often spend months--or even years--seeking an accurate diagnosis. Or worse, they receive a misdiagnosis, which leads to treatment regimens that are ineffective.

"On the other hand," said Joyce Kullman, executive director of the Vasculitis Foundation, "we also recognize that many health care professionals are familiar with vasculitis and have diagnosed it in their patients. To honor doctors and others who care for vasculitis patients, the Vasculitis Foundation in 2014 established the first V RED Award."

Nominations are now being accepted for the fourth annual V RED Award. The public is invited to nominate one or more healthcare providers for the 2017 Award using the online form at this link:

Deadline for nominations is Monday, March 6, 2017.

About the VF's V-RED AwardThe idea for the VF RED Award originated with Vasculitis Foundation Board Member Karen Hirsch, whose son, Michael, was diagnosed with GPA/Wegener’s in 2011 by Dr. Juanita Mora, an allergist/immunologist at the Chicago Allergy Center. "I followed my gut and ordered further testing,” said Dr. Mora. “The lab and CT chest tests confirmed the diagnosis of GPA/Wegener’s. Michael received prompt treatment, and the early diagnosis was critical and lifesaving in the preservation of his healthy organs and getting him in remission.”

The combination of Hirsch's frustration with pediatric experts who didn't diagnose her son’s disease and her desire to recognize and reward those doctors who do provide an early diagnosis of vasculitis, led her to propose the VF V-RED Award.

Hirsch developed the V- RED Award to recognize and reward those health care providers who made an early diagnosis of vasculitis in a patient. Each year the Vasculitis Foundation invites patients in the vasculitis community to nominate a doctor who made an early call on their diagnosis.

About VasculitisVasculitis (vas-kyu-LI-tis) is a condition that involves inflammation in the blood vessels. The condition occurs if your immune system attacks your blood vessels by mistake. This may happen as the result of an infection, a medicine, or another disease or condition.“Inflammation” refers to the body’s response to injury, including injury to the blood vessels. Inflammation may involve pain, redness, warmth, swelling, and loss of function in the affected tissues.

Sometimes vasculitis is chronic (ongoing) and never goes into remission. Long-term treatment with medicines often can control the signs and symptoms of chronic vasculitis. Rarely, vasculitis doesn’t respond well to treatment. This can lead to disability and even death.Much is still unknown about vasculitis. However, researchers continue to learn more about the condition and its various types, causes, and treatments.

About the Vasculitis FoundationThe Vasculitis Foundation (VF) is the international organization for people with vasculitis. The VF empowers patients through disease education, raises awareness of vasculitis in the public and medical community, and funds research to determine the cause, develop more effective treatments, and discover a cure. The Vasculitis Foundation is committed to improving the lives of current and future patients and is positioned as the definitive resource for patients, family members, medical professionals and researchers seeking information about vasculitis.

For information about vasculitis and the Vasculitis Foundation please visit

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