Earlier this year, Saira Sheikh, MD, Director of the UNC Rheumatology Lupus Clinic, and Director of the Clinical Trials Program at the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, as well as Allen Anandarajah, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, were invited by the ACR to partner with it in developing a grant proposal to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Office of Minority Health. We are pleased to announce that the grant has now been funded.

Drs. Sheikh and Anandarajah will serve as the subject matter leads for the project and work with the ACR and collaborators in developing and expanding a multistage intervention model to increase providers’ referral of minority patients to clinical trials focused on lupus. They will each lead a two-year longitudinal study at their institutions targeting medically underserved areas in the Durham Service Area in Durham, NC, and the Monroe Service Area in Rochester, NY, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.

Serving as expert advisors for this project will be Richard M. Wardrop III, MD, PhD, who is Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at UNC, and is also Governor-elect for the NC Chapter American College of Physicians. Also serving in the role of expert advisor is Donna Culton, MD, PhD, who is Assistant Professor of Medicine at UNC and President of the North Carolina Dermatology Association.

Congrats to Dr. Sheikh and colleagues on leading this national initiative with the ACR!