Through its affiliation as a teaching hospital for the University of Texas Southwestern,Children’s Health℠ operates the largest and longest established multi-specialty clinic for children with rheumatic diseases in the region. Dedicated and highly trained health care professionals help patients and their families manage rheumatic diseases.
Arthritis means inflammation of the joint. It is a catchall word for more than 100 different diseases that are called “rheumatic” disease. These are characterized by pain, swelling, and joints that have limited movement. They may also affect connective tissues such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children in the United States.
What we Treat
The Rheumatology Department treats children from birth through age 17. We provide both outpatient and inpatient care. In addition, physicians at Children’s Health can diagnose and treat rare rheumatic diseases, including systemic vasculitis (widespread inflammation in the blood vessels) and autoinflammatory conditions, which occur when your child’s immune system triggers inflammation for no apparent reason.
Among the rheumatic diseases we treat are:
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which means arthritis from an unknown cause
- Systemic lupus erythematous, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks certain joints
- Juvenile dermatomyositis, an inflammatory condition that affects the muscles and is characterized by muscle pain and skin rashes.
- Scleroderma, a disease that creates a buildup of scar-like tissue in the skin that also can damage the cells lining the small arteries.
The medical staff at Children’s Health includes four board certified or board eligible pediatric rheumatologists. This is a large number, considering that there are only 270 physicians holding this certification in the entire country.
The physicians who practice at Children’s Health work in collaboration with UT Southwestern, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital and Baylor University Medical Center to form the Center for Pediatric Rheumatology. This enables us to bring extra depth and expertise to the treatment of pediatric rheumatology patients.
The hospital’s Pediatric Group clinic system has been recognized as a Level 3 patient medical home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. We were one of the first in the nation to receive that credential.
Children’s Health has also been designated as a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Being a Magnet Hospital puts us in the top 7% of the world’s hospitals and is a reflection of the excellence of our nursing staff.
Coordination of Care
We provide coordination of care across the various disciplines that are often involved with pediatric rheumatology patients. This includes ophthalmology and dental services, as well as physical and occupational therapy and psychosocial support. The staff at Children’s Health is able to evaluate and treat your child and provide education to them and to you, to help with the self-management of these diseases.
This team approach, when added with access to the latest treatment overseen by physicians with years of experience, means that Children’s Health can give comprehensive, and expert care for all ages of children and through all stages of treatment.