Letter from Our Director

Kathleen M. O’Neil, MD, FAAP, FACR

Kathleen M. O’Neil, MD, FAAP, FACR

Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Section of Rheumatology

Dear Colleagues:

The Section of Pediatric Rheumatology at Riley Hospital for Children provides comprehensive care for children and adolescents with arthritis and related inflammatory diseases, lupus, scleroderma, dermatomyositis, vasculitis, and a variety of autoimmune and auto-inflammatory diseases. We offer subspecialty training for the next generation of academic pediatric rheumatologist through our AAMC-accredited fellowship training program. Our research includes basic and translational studies, clinical research into the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases in childhood, and offers patients the opportunity to participate in a variety of clinical trials of new and promising medications. I invite you to explore our website, and learn more about our dynamic section, our clinical services, educational efforts and research.

Clinical Care The cornerstone of any academic division is the provision of state-of-the-art, compassionate clinical care. Our group of five experienced pediatric rheumatologists is one of the ten largest divisions in the nation. We offer physician appointments at Riley Hospital in downtown Indianapolis, at IU Health North in Carmel, and in South Bend. Our expert nurses, with nearly 50 years of collective experience in Pediatric Rheumatology, help families understand the complexities of their children’s diseases and treatment, and navigate the modern healthcare system.

Education Our section actively participates in teaching through the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Riley Hospital resident training programs, and the fully accredited subspecialty fellowship training program in pediatric rheumatology. We train medical students and residents to perform thorough musculoskeletal examination, teaching them how to differentiate inflammatory from mechanical causes of musculoskeletal pain, and how to approach thorough but cost-effective diagnosis and treatment. The Pediatric Rheumatology post-doctoral fellowship program helps ensure the future of our subspecialty, training physicians, providing didactic teaching, mentored clinical experiences and research training that will lead to Board Certification through the American Board of Pediatrics sub-board in Pediatric Rheumatology.

Research Research at Riley Rheumatology is rapidly growing. Our excellent faculty are members of the two major clinical research networks in the field: CARRA, the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance, and PRCSG, the Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group. This helps us collaborate in multi-center studies of the causes, mechanisms and treatments of childhood rheumatic disease. We have active clinical trials of new medications under study in children for juvenile idiopathic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and localized scleroderma. In addition, comparative efficacy studies are in progress for most of the other major diseases we treat through the CARRA network. Trainees are encouraged to participate in clinical research trials to learn regulatory and other matters important in bringing a drug to market for a pediatric rheumatology indication. They are also encouraged to participate in basic, translational, epidemiologic or health outcomes research in collaboration with members of our faculty, and other investigators across our dynamic campus.

Faculty Riley Rheumatology is lucky to have a wonderful faculty who trained at outstanding institutions across the country. We serve in leadership positions in the American College of Rheumatology, CARRA, the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Rheumatology, the Arthritis Foundation and the Lupus Foundation of America. Our doctors serve on editorial board of medical journals, and have received awards for their teaching and advocacy. The physician scientists serve as wonderful mentors to trainees, and are poised to introduce the next generation of pediatric rheumatologists to the leaders of the field.

Riley Rheumatology is growing and thriving, with growing prominence in the research community, and has a long reputation for excellence in teaching and highest quality patient care. We welcome you to peruse our website, and to visit as a guest. Please feel free to contact me if I can offer you any additional information.

Sincerely,

Kathleen M. O’Neil, MD, FAAP, FACR
Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Section of Rheumatology