Marc Richards, MD
Vasculitis patients are complex. Different forms of the disease may share similar symptoms and treatment courses; however, each disease is distinct. This requires dedicated specialists who will go the extra mile, working cohesively for their patients. The specialists at the Florida Kidney Physicians Glomerulonephritis Center of Excellence in Boca Raton provide comprehensive care for vasculitis patients in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
“There is not an academic medical center within 50 miles of Boca Raton,” said Marc Richards, MD, a nephrologist, and director of the Center of Excellence. “This can limit access to care for a sizable at-risk population,” he added. Dr. Richards has contacts in the community (southern Palm Beach County) in different specialties who will help him manage the patients for whom the center serves.
Dr. Richards spent his first month as an internal medicine intern at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill with the inpatient nephrology service. His attending physician was Ronald Falk, MD, whose specialty areas include glomerular disease, lupus, vasculitis, and anti-neutrophilic cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated vasculitis. “That month essentially changed my life and career path as I decided to pursue a career in nephrology,” Dr. Richards explained. “Although I see patients with all different types of kidney issues, because of my specialized training, I have always been most interested in patients with vasculitis and glomerular diseases.”
Along with providing and coordinating care, and referring patients to specialists, the center will also help arrange outpatient infusions, if needed, as part of a treatment plan.
In terms of research, the Center of Excellence is associated with Panoramic Health, which is a physician-led nephrology organization and care delivery platform that supports nephrologists who provide care across 19 states. “They will work with the practice and industry to ensure access to enrollment in appropriate clinical trials,” Dr. Richards said. “We would also like to work closely with the Vasculitis Foundation for clinical trial enrollment opportunities, patient education, etc., for their patients.”
“Vasculitis is rare, and patients often do not know much about these uncommon conditions,” Dr. Richards said. He believes that without proper education there would be no successful treatment plan. Patients are always encouraged to learn as much as possible about vasculitis as this will enable them to make well-informed and educated decisions about their care.
“I also want the Center of Excellence to become a beacon of medical education. As an affiliate assistant professor at the Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine, I look forward to hosting medical students and internal medicine residents in the vasculitis clinic to enrich their educational experience,” Dr. Richards added.
The Florida Kidney Physicians Glomerulonephritis Center of Excellence (https://flkidney.com/service/glomerulonephritis-center-of-excellence) is located at 1905 Clint Moore Road, Suite 212, in Boca Raton. Existing patients can schedule an appointment through the patient portal. New patients must obtain a referral from their primary care provider before they can be seen at the Center of Excellence.
Author: Nina Silberstein