Terri H. Finkel, MD, PhD – Pediatric Rheumatology/Allergy/Immunology – Nemours Children’s Hospital

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , /

–been a friend for a while? I got her like two
months ago I think. I’m a pediatric
rheumatologist, which means I take care of children
with arthritis, predominantly. Arthritis is one of the
most common chronic diseases of childhood and affects
about 300,000 children in the US today. I also care for children with
other autoimmune diseases, autoimmune meaning that
the body’s immune system attacks itself. Instead of attacking foreign
invaders like infection or cancer, it gets
confused and goes after the body’s own
tissues, often the joints, but any organ of the
body can be affected. So lupus also affects children. More serious in children,
generally, than in adults. We fortunately have
better treatments now than we did when I
started studying in this area and can help most children,
but we don’t yet have cures. And that’s very much what
my lab is driving at, trying to find the
causes and cures for these autoimmune diseases. My vision for my
practice here at Nemours is to build a vibrant
division of rheumatology– of allergy, immunology,
and rheumatology– as well as a vibrant pain program. So this type of
pain program will allow us to bring together
the very talented specialties and physicians with a unique
expertise in behavioral health, in psychology, in chronic
pain, in rehabilitation. This type of program
is not available anywhere else in Florida. And there are very few of
these programs in the US. It will allow us to teach the
children how to help themselves become part of life again. I’d really like my
patients and families to know that we can help
them and we can give them the skills and the knowledge
to help their children and to help themselves through
this very difficult time.

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