After a national search, Ronald Falk, MD, chair of the department of medicine has announced that Beth L. Jonas, MD, Reeves Foundation Professor of Medicine, has been appointed chief of the division of rheumatology, allergy and immunology.

“Beth is a talented physician, teacher and educator, highly regarded for her leadership and a standard of excellence that influences our students and trainees long after graduation,” said Falk. “She has created a dynamic training environment, and she is passionate about providing outstanding personalized care and support for patients and their families.”

Jonas came to UNC in 1998, and became director of the rheumatology fellowship training program in 2001. As full professor in 2017, she was awarded the endowed Reeves Foundation Distinguished Professorship in Arthritis Research. For the past year, Jonas has served as interim chief for the division of rheumatology, allergy and immunology.

“I’m excited to assume this leadership role, and plan to build on the accomplishments and successes that have made our nationally recognized rheumatology, allergy and immunology subspecialties the best in the region. This will include fostering successful collaborations among our faculty and other clinical and research scientists across campus that will advance our understanding of autoimmune and allergic diseases. In addition, plans are underway to help us grow our practices to better meet the needs of patients.”

Jonas is a nationally recognized clinician educator who has served in numerous leadership roles within the rheumatology community.  During her 20 years at UNC she has been instrumental in establishing one of the country’s top-tier rheumatology fellowship training programs, and leading the division’s educational mission throughout the UNC School of Medicine.  In recognition of her leadership and vision, Jonas was named American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Distinguished Program Director in 2015.  Her work in developing a novel curriculum in rheumatology is supported by an ACR Rheumatology Research Foundation Clinician Scholar Educator Award.

Jonas says she looks forward to advancing the division’s educational mission for fellows, residents and students, while helping faculty realize their own professional goals.

“I caught the bug for educational scholarship early on, and I enjoy watching learners become confident and competent. This includes nurturing our talented specialists. I will focus on fostering faculty development, to ensure that our rheumatology, allergy and immunology specialists have the resources they need to excel and be successful in their careers.”

Jonas has clinical interests in the evaluation and management of patients with inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and enteropathic arthritis.

Last year, Jonas was featured in two department of medicine podcasts from the Chair’s Corner, part of a 12-week series about autoimmune disease.  In episode seven, Jonas describes rheumatoid arthritis and recognizes lifestyle changes that help patients, available here: Rheumatoid Arthritis. In episode eight, she talks about Sjogren’s syndrome and explains how patients can manage the condition. This podcast can be accessed here: Sjogren’s Syndrome.