The Vasculitis Foundation hosts international biennial and regional conferences for patients, their families, friends and medical professionals. The conferences feature recognized vasculitis experts presenting the most current information on diagnosis, treatment and research efforts.
Chicago Symposium a GREAT Success
April 20, 2012
Almost 200 patients, family members, friends, caregivers and health care professionals attended the day-long Vasculitis Symposium on April 21 at The Searle Conference Center at Rush University in Chicago. In addition, 263 people from 10 countries participated in the meeting via an online webinar.
This year’s symposium theme “Knowledge. Community. Power.” was in full-swing as vasculitis experts from around the United States and Germany shared their knowledge and expertise with the attendees.
Dr. Peter A. Merkel, University of Pennsylvania, kicked off the morning session with an exciting and entertaining presentation “What is the “State of the Art” for Treatment of Vasculitis?” Dr. Gary S. Hoffman, Cleveland Clinic, followed with a thorough and interesting discussion “What does the future hold that is even better?” Dr. Peter C. Grayson, Boston University, presented preliminary data from the VCRC’s Vasculitis Illness Perception (VIP) Study, an online survey completed by over 700 patients answering questions about the impact of vasculitis on their lives.
The morning session included breakout sessions to discuss the intricacies of small and large vessel vasculitis and for Behcet’s, Cryoglobulinemia, Polyarteritis nodosa, Central nervous system and hepatitis-associated vasculitis. Speakers in each of the breakout sessions gave short presentations and then answered questions from the audience.
During the afternoon session, Dr. Carol A. Langford, Cleveland Clinic, gave an interesting presentation “What is Remission?” and Dr. Philip Seo, The Johns Hopkins University, followed her talk with “Vasculitis Fallout” discussing the issues that patients often experience, including damage caused by steroids and other medications, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy and osteoporosis. Dr. Stevan E. Hobfall, Rush University, discussed “Stress and the Immune System” and Dr. Carolyn B. Coulam, Reproductive Medicine Institute, discussed “Fertility and Family Matters”. Dr. Hoffman led a special discussion for the pediatric patients and their parents.
The final session featured Lynn Corwin, VF Cleveland-Akron Chapter leader and Jason Wadler and George Casey, members of the VF Board of Directors, encouraging all the attendees to help raise awareness of vasculitis and the VF.
The VF is holding a second regional symposium in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, July 21. The symposium will include many of the same topics but will have additional vasculitis experts sharing their expertise. We hope you will attend. Please note registration is limited to the first 200 attendees.
Atlanta Symposium – An Amazing Day of Learning
July 20-21, 2012
The Vasculitis Foundation hosted its second regional symposium of the year on July 20-21at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting drew over 150 patients, family members, friends and caregivers and 12 medical experts from the vasculitis community.
The symposium began with a welcome reception at the Emory University Miller-Ward Alumni House on Friday evening. The beautiful setting provided the perfect backdrop for attendees to meet each other (many for the first time in person) and for a performance by Allison Lint, creator of the Violins-4-Vasculitis nationwide campaign.
Saturday morning’s session featured presentations by Dr. John H. Stone, Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Gary S. Hoffman, Cleveland Clinic. Both talks featured information on current and future treatments and set the stage for an informative day of learning and discussion.
The symposium included breakout sessions for smaller groups to provide opportunities for more in-depth discussion and questions from the audience. Dr. Hoffman gave newly diagnosed patients an excellent overview of vasculitis; Dr. Ulrich Specks, Mayo Clinic, led an extensive discussion on small vessel and ANCA-associated vasculitis; Dr. Paul Monach, Boston University, guided the session for patients with giant cell arteritis and Takayasu’s arteritis and Dr. Carol Langford, Cleveland Clinic, led the session for patients with Behcet’s, Cryoglobulinemia, Polyarteritis nodosa, central nervous system vasculitis and hepatitis-associated vasculitis.
In the afternoon session, Dr. Carol Langford and Dr. Paul Monach addressed the topics of “What is Remission” and “Vasculitis Fall-Out”. Both speakers’ presentations discussed the need for patients to be proactive and to manage their vasculitis.
Saturday afternoon breakout sessions included a special session for pediatric patients and their parents with Dr. Peter Weiser, University of Alabama; a fertility and family matters session with Dr. Megan Clowse, Duke University; a session on the results of the “The VCRC Vasculitis Illness Perception Study” with the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Peter Grayson, Boston University; and a session on Nutrition and Exercise led by Bethany Smith, RD, CSO, LD from Good Measure Meals and Kathy Lee Bishop, DPT, MS, CSS, Emory Healthwise.
The group came back together for the final presentation of the afternoon given by Dr. Iñaki Sanz. Dr. Sanz recently relocated to Emory to become Chief, Division of Rheumatology and is in the process of expanding the vasculitis program at Emory. Dr. Sanz’s presentation “B Cell Targeting and Other Biological Approaches” provided excellent insight into research efforts and ended the symposium on a positive and upbeat note.
Several of the presentations were streamlined via the Internet and will be available for viewing from the VF YouTube Education channel in the next few months.
To view sessions from previous symposia, please visit the VF’s YouTube Education Channel