Faculty

Carrie Beach, BSN, RN-BC

Carrie Beach, BSN, RN-BC

Columbus Arthritis Center

Carrie Beach currently resides in Ohio where she works as a rheumatology nurse at Columbus Arthritis Center. She studied nursing at the Ohio State University College of Nursing and has been practicing rheumatology since 2003. Carrie was recognized by the Arthritis Foundation in 2015 as the Walk to Cure Arthritis Medical Honoree and continues to work closely with the Arthritis Foundation to advance her passion in rheumatology education. She firmly believes in serving her patients and peer nurses as a leader of thought, subject matter expert, and coach in the application of best practices for patient and nursing education.

Disclosures:

Consultant: Janssen
Speakers Bureau: Aurinia

Leonard H. Calabrese, DO

Leonard H. Calabrese, DO

Director, RJ Fasenmyer Centre for Clinical Immunology

Leonard Calabrese is a Professor of Medicine, Vice Chair of the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases and the Co-director of the Centre for Vasculitis Care and Research. He also serves as Director of the RJ Fasenmyer Centre for Clinical Immunology at the Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, he holds appointments in the Department of Infectious Diseases and the Wellness Institute. He has particular clinical and research interests in vascular inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, primary and secondary immunodeficiency states and the intersection of infections and autoimmunity. He serves as the editor of Healio Rheumatology and for over the past 20 years has developed innovative programs to teach basic, clinical and translational immunology to care providers of patients with immune mediated inflammatory diseases. Over the course of his academic research career, Professor Calabrese has authored over 400 publications including book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles.

Disclosures:

Consultant: AbbVie, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Crescendo, Genentech, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Kiniksa, Lilly, Pfizer, Sanofi-Regeneron, UCB

Speakers Bureau: AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Crescendo, Genentech, Sanofi, UCB

Joni Fontenot, RN

Joni Fontenot, RN

Ochsner Health System – The Grove – Infusion/Rheumatology Infusion

Joni Fontenot currently resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she works as an RN Staff Nurse at Ochsner Health System – The Grove – Infusion/Rheumatology Infusion. She studied nursing at Louisiana State University-Eunice and has been practicing rheumatology since 2017. Nursing is her passion and believes that rheumatology is a hidden gem within the medical field. Joni and her husband Luke have been married since 2015 and have twin boys Jack and Owen. In her spare time you can find her starting a new DIY project, sewing, working in her flower beds or cooking delicious cajun meals.

Disclosures:

Nothing to disclose

Jacqueline M. Fritz RN, MSN, RN-BC

Jacqueline M. Fritz RN, MSN, RN-BC

Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center

Jacqueline M. Fritz, is an advanced practice nurse and infusion specialist for Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center in La Palma, CA, where she has been since 2002. Her patient care consists of assessments and treatment, infusions, injection care and prescription processing. She is the owner and coordinator of education at Medical Advancement Center, focusing on RN/BSN programs emphasizing clinical expertise at the bedside, as well as acts as a Critical Care Clinical Nurse Consultant at many facilities throughout Orange County, California.

Disclosures:

Speakers Bureau: Sanofi
Linda Grinnell-Merrick, NP-BC

Linda Grinnell-Merrick, NP-BC

University of Rochester Medical Center

Linda Grinnell-Merrick currently resides in New York where she works as the lead nurse practitioner in the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She studied at the University of Rochester, has experience in surgery, dialysis, and solid organ transplant. Linda has been practicing rheumatology since 2012 where she found her true passion. She joined the Board of the Rheumatology Nurses Society in 2013 as the Chapter Chair and founded the first RNS Chapter in Upstate, NY. She was President of the RNS from 2017 to 2019 and is passionate about educating nurses, APP’s, and all health care providers so patients can be provided with the highest quality care possible.

Disclosures:

Consultant: AbbVie, Avion, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, UCB
Speakers Bureau: AbbVie, Amgen, Janssen, Novartis, Sanofi

Danielle King, MPH, PhD(c)

Danielle King, MPH, PhD(c)

Office of Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Health Policy Fellow

Danielle King’s public health career focuses on low-income and minority populations. With her focus on domestic and international health policy interventions, she worked with the State of Kentucky and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C prevalence rates in Eastern Kentucky. As the Rural Broadband Coordinator at the Center for Rural Strategies, King worked with the Federal Communications Commission to modernize Lifeline, a social program serving millions of low-income communities. As the Director of Cultural Diversity at Hazard Community and Technical College, she positioned her higher education institution to obtain the highest score in Kentucky. King’s career trajectory changed on the morning of September 16, 2018, when Sheldon, her oldest brother, succumbed to gun violence by his white assailant. Consequently, as a law and policy doctoral candidate at Northeastern University, her original research, interrogating the social contexts which precipitated Sheldon’s death, can be translated into policy proposals/recommendations for effective gun policy. King has national recognition from the United Health Louis Stokes Health Scholars Program, through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Northeastern University’s Full Circle Scholarships, and as a multi-year recipient of Berea College’s Olive Ruth Russell Fellowship for unique gun violence research in Black America.

Disclosures:

Fellowship Sponor: Johnson and Johnson

Amanda M. Mixon, PA-C

Amanda M. Mixon, PA-C

Colorado Center for Arthritis and Osteoporosis

Amanda Mixon PA-C is a native of Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Studies from Michigan State University and her Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from University of New England. She has worked in the field of rheumatology for thirteen years, including being the first physician assistant (PA) in the rheumatology division at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago. Her time at Northwestern included work in the Scleroderma Clinic. During the last several years, she has been active in leadership in the medical community in Colorado and has contributed significantly to updating laws and regulations related to physician assistant practice in the state. In 2019, she co-founded Rheumatology Advanced Practice Providers, a national organization of PA’s and nurse practitioners practicing in the area of rheumatology. Previously, she sat on the board of the RNS as the PA liaison. She has lectured extensively on a national level and has taught medical, pharmacology and APP students.

Disclosures:

Consultant: Abbvie, Amgen, Lilly, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi

Speakers Bureau: AbbVie, Amgen, Janssen, Lilly, Sanofi

Christopher Palma, MD, Sc.M

Christopher Palma, MD, Sc.M

University of Rochester Medical Center

Christopher Palma is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy Immunology and Rheumatology. As a Rheumatologist Christopher specializes in treating autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, systemic vasculitis, sarcoidosis. He trained in microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins before coming to the University of Rochester NY to complete his medical training. Christopher has clinical practice locations include Rochester, NY and Canandaigua, NY. Research interests include the interaction of infections and autoimmune disease, immunocompetence, vasculitis, sarcoidosis and systemic lupus.

Disclosures:

Nothing to disclose

Karen S. Towner, BSN, RN

Karen S. Towner, BSN, RN

University of Rochester Medical Center

Karen Towner currently resides in upstate New York where she works as the Nurse Manager in the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare from Empire State College and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from SUNY Brockport. Karen is the RNS Upstate, NY Chapter Co-Leader, serves as an active member of the RNS Content Review Cohort and was a contributing editor to the Core Curriculum for Rheumatology.

Karen has a varied background in clinical nursing, having had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of providers in both private and academic settings, ranging from inpatient, family practice, school nursing & care management. Karen has been a Nurse Manager in the field of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology since 2008, initially in private practice, until joining the University of Rochester Medical Center in 2018 where she oversees multiple clinics and infusion suites. She enjoys mentoring, supporting and educating her clinical team of nurses and techs particularly in the field of immunology and rheumatology.

Disclosures:

Nothing to disclose

Carolyn Zic, MSN, FNP-BC

Carolyn Zic, MSN, FNP-BC

Comer Children’s Hospital

Carolyn Zic currently resides in New Lenox, Illinois where she works as a pediatric rheumatology nurse at Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago Medicine. She studied nursing at Madonna University and has been practicing pediatric rheumatology since 2011. In 2018, Carolyn was recognized as the Chicago area Arthritis Foundation Medical Honoree for her excellence and compassionate care to patients and their families. She firmly believes in patient advocacy and treasures the bond that she has created with her patients over the years.

Disclosures:

Nothing to disclose

RNS Live Virtual Events

2021 Rheum for You Live Webinar Registration

Complete the form below to attend this complimentary virtual webinar surveying the growing need for advanced practice providers, nurses and other healthcare professionals in the field of rheumatology.

Session Description

How Genetics Will Impact the Future of Rheumatology

In this session, we will introduce translational genetics and genomics through the lenses of rheumatic diseases, such as Behcet’s Disease, Stills Disease, and Systemic Onset Juvenial Idiopathic Arthritis (SoJIA).

Session Description

The Role and Impact of Infusible Therapies on Your Practice

In this session, learners will develop an understanding of the role and impact of infusion therapies and it’s impact in clinical rheumatology practice.

Session Description

An Overview of Vasculitis for the Nurse and Advanced Practice Provider

Vasculitis can range from mild to life threatening symptoms, so it is important as providers to know where your patient falls on the spectrum. This session will cover a global overarching review of the disease, including detection, manifestations, and treatments.

Session Description

An Overview of Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), Ehler's Danlos Syndrome (EDS), and Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)

A rapid fire approach to understanding Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome (EDS), and Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR).

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Our individual sessions are not yet available for registration

We will be getting this registration up and running in the next couple of days.

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Session Description

Of Mice and Men: DMOAD Therapy for the Osteoarthritic Knee

This session will focus on the common findings, challenges, and targets of therapy including the use of disease modifying osteoarthrits drugs (DMOADS) in patients with osteoarthritic knees.

Session Description

Immunology in Rheumatoid Arthritis

In this session, we will discuss the application of the fundamentals of immunology in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Session Description

Transitioning your Lupus Patient from Pediatric to Adult Care

Transfer of care from pediatrics to adults can be difficult for patients, especially for patients diagnosed with lupus, a disease with a high rate of comorbidity. In this session, we will address comorbid manifestations in lupus, and how to best prepare our patients for their transition to adult providers.

Session Description

Differentiating Between Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Other Hypermobility Syndromes

Take an assiduous look at the complexities between Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) and other hypermobility syndrome (HMS) as we discuss clinical manifestations, the diagnostic workup, and what long term outcomes are for the hypermobility syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes patient.

Session Description

Pregnancy and Women's Health in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) presents differently throughout a woman’s journey into motherhood. From disease activity improvements to flare ups, learn what rheumatoid arthritis looks like from conception to post-partum, and how best to support mothers throughout the process.

Session Description

Where Are We Now? A Look Back Through COVID-19 as of Fall 2020

It’s been nearly one year since COVID-19 was first identified as an infectious disease. Through the evolution and spread of the disease, we have learned a lot about what works and what we should avoid. In this session, we will talk about the most recent updates to treatment options for patients, particularly those with rheumatic diseases.

Session Description

Updates on Guidelines in Treating Your Gout Patients

Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis seen in rheumatology patients, and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) released in 2020 new Guidelines for the Management of Gout. In this learning session we will be exploring the these updated treatment guidelines as well as recent and pipeline treatments so we can best serve our patients with the most current research released.

Session Description

A Deeper Dive into Spondylitis with You and Your Patient

Though patients may not pay attention to codes that their healthcare providers jot down, nurses and advanced practice providers know just how important that clerical detail can be. In this session, we will break down what the recent ICD-10 classification of non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) means for you as a provider and the future treatment of non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis.

Session Description

What Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) Looks Like in the Rheumatology Patient

In this session, we will be walking through diagnosis to care for our patients with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). We will be discussing pathophysiology, immunology, differential diagnosis, clinical presentation, and treatment of antiphospholipid syndrome.

Session Description

An Overview of Vasculitis for the Nurse and Advanced Practice Provider

Vasculitis can range from mild to life threatening symptoms, so it is important as providers to know where your patient falls on the spectrum. This session will cover a global overarching review of the disease, including detection, manifestations, and treatments.

Session Description

An Integrative and Alternative Approach to Rheumatology Patient Care

In this session, we will take a look at an integrative approach to patient care, combining complementary and alternative treatments in addition to medical therapies commonly applied in rheumatology.

Session Description

Treating Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) in Sarcoidosis

Interstitial lung disease (ILD), sarcoidosis is lesser known in the specialty of rheumatology and requires a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. This session will provide the pathophysiology and disease process in interstitial lung disease, as well as treatment and support considerations in interstitial lung disease patients with sarcoidosis.

Session Description

Pregnancy and Women’s Health in Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

In this session you will learn about how Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) impacts your pregnant patients and the latest American College of Rheumatology guidelines.

Session Description

The Progression of Lupus and Research

In this session, we will explore the history and progression of lupus and research in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and lupus nephritis (LN).

Session Description

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Rheumatic Diseases

In this panel presentation, you will hear from multiple specialities regarding the best practices on treating rheumatic diseases.

Giveaway Rules, Terms & Conditions

Live Attendee Prizes
During this webinar we will be raffling off a variety of prizes in addition to one grand prize. The grand prize, an Apple Watch (Series 6) will be given away at the end of the session. Additionally, we will be raffling off prizes including registration to the Virtual 2021 14th Annual RNS Conference, a one year RNS Membership, and an Uber Eats Gift Card.

Referral Contest
In order for the entry to count, your referral must (a) include your first and last name in the referral field on their registration form, and (b) complete the evaluation at the end of the event. Winner will be contacted via email by June 10, 2021.

Terms & Conditions

  • You must be 18 years or older to claim a prize.
  • You must be registered and attend the event to win.
  • Winners must verify their shipping address by contacting events@rnsnurse.org before prizes will be distributed

Session Description

The Pathophysiology, Diagnostic Criteria, and Treatments of Common Rheumatic Diseases (Part 2)

Take a crash course on common rheumatic diseases seen in patients. This session will cover the pathophysiology, diagnostic criteria, and treatments of the following diseases:

  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Axial Spondyloarthritis (ax-SpA) and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA)
Karen McKerihan, MSN, NP-C

Board Bio

Karen McKerihan, MSN, NP-C

Member at Large

Director of Infusion Services
Articularis Healthcare
Charleston, SC

Karen McKerihan currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina where she works as the Director of Infusion Services at Articularis Healthcare. She studied at the University of Tennessee, Walden University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She worked as an RN in women’s care and pain management since 1991. She has worked as an FNP in rheumatology since 2016 and for the past 2 years has been the Director of Infusion Services for Articularis Healthcare. She is a member of the AANP, ARP, INS, and the RNS. She grew up as a missionary kid in India, speaks Hindi, and in her spare time plays the bagpipes for the Charleston Pipe Band.
April Johnson, MSN, APRN, CNP

Board Bio

April Johnson, MSN, APRN, CNP

Member at Large

Nurse Practitioner
McBride Orthopedic Hospital
Edmond, Oklahoma

April currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she works as a nurse practitioner at McBride Orthopedic Hospital. She studied nursing at the OU Health Science Center graduating in 2003 and obtained her nurse practitioner degree in 2013 at Midwestern State University. While in graduate school, she worked on and presented an evidence-based project on pain management that was chosen as a poster presentation. April has been working in rheumatology since 2016. Derrick and April have been married since 2004, and they have two daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking up new recipes, and caring for and decorating her home.
Nancy Eisenberger, MSN, APRN, FNP-C

Board Bio

Nancy Eisenberger, MSN, APRN, FNP-C

Member at Large

Nurse Practitioner
Arthritis, Rheumatic and Back Disease Associates
Voorhees, New Jersey

Nancy Eisenberger currently resides in Voorhees, New Jersey where she works as a nurse practitioner at Arthritis, Rheumatic and Back Disease Associates. She studied nursing at Misericordia University and graduate nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina. She has been practicing rheumatology since 2006. Nancy has 3 amazing adult children and recently added a granddaughter to her life. She is passionate about her family and her career and loves taking care of the people around her.
Carolyn Zic, MSN, FNP-BC

Board Bio

Carolyn Zic, MSN, FNP-BC

Treasurer

Nurse Practitioner
Comer Children’s Hospital
New Lenox, IL

Carolyn Zic currently resides in the Chicago area where she works as a rheumatology nurse practitioner at Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago Medicine. She studied nursing at Madonna University and obtained her nurse practitioner degree in 2019 from the University of St. Francis. In 2018, Carolyn was recognized as the Chicago area Arthritis Foundation Medical Honoree for her excellence and compassionate care to patients and their families. She firmly believes in patient advocacy and treasures the bond that she has created with her patients over the years.

Session Description

Racial Disparities in Healthcare: Be Informed, Protect Your Patients

While our current pandemic health crisis may be shining a new light on racial disparities in healthcare, minority patients know this is not a new phenomenon. In this important session, we will discuss historic implications of racial disparities, the exacerbation of disparities due to COVID, and how you as a nurse can help eliminate gaps of care for these patients.

Session Description

Putting the Pieces Together: Immunology and Rheumatology

How can we subsume our knowledge of immunology into our rheumatology practices? This session will help learners to connect the dots between immunology and applied therapies to care for our patients.

Session Description

Clinical Applications in Rheumatology

Which treatment option would you choose? In this session, learners will walk through different case studies with our presenters on multiple disease states, including lupus nephritis, psoriatic arthritis, and non-radiographic axial spondylitis. Be prepared to respond as this is an interactive session!

  • Case Study 1: Lupus Nephritis
  • Case Study 2: Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Case Study 3: Axial Spondyloarthritis

Session Description

The Pathophysiology, Diagnostic Criteria, and Treatments of Common Rheumatic Diseases (Part 1)

Take a crash course on common rheumatic diseases seen in patients. This session will cover the pathophysiology, diagnostic criteria, and treatments of the following diseases:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Lupus, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and Lupus Nephritis
  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Systemic-Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, and Stills Disease

Session Description

Navigating the COVID-19 Vaccines with Your Patients

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced healthcare providers to learn and adapt in an unprecedented environment, including accommodating our patients with the new vaccines on the market. In this session, we will discuss what the vaccine means for our practices, and how it could affect those with rheumatologic and other autoimmune diseases.

Session Description

The Impact of Biologics on the Immune System

The use of biologics as treatments in patients with rheumatic diseases have led to significant improvement in outcomes; however, their usage does not come without hazard. In this session, we will examine the mechanisms of common biologics used in rheumatology care and their implications on patient outcomes.

Session Description

Into the Eye of the Storm: When Cytokines Attack

A storm is brewing, but in rheumatology, we know this is not about the weather – it’s a cytokine storm! In this session, we will talk about the role of cytokines in the immune system, how they are beneficial, but also what happens when they become too abundant, including TNF inhibitors, JAK inhibitors, calcineurin, and interleukin cytokines.

Session Description

Applied Immunology to Autoimmune Diseases: COVID-19 as Immunology Boot Camp

When healthcare providers understand basic immunology, they also have a better understanding of the pathophysiology of different rheumatic diseases. This session will cover principles of immunology that are fundamental specific to understanding rheumatic and other autoimmune diseases.

Session Description

Fundamentals of Immunology

Let’s get down to the basics! In this session, we will take an illustrative look into the principles of immunology important for healthcare providers to know so that they can analyze new developments in immunological therapies designed for the treatment of diseases.

Giveaway Rules, Terms & Conditions

Live Attendee Prizes
During our Dear Diary Webinars we will be raffling off a variety of prizes in addition to one grand prize per event. The grand prize will be chosen at random (from a selection of a massage gun, a portable bluetooth speaker, or a Kindle Fire tablet), and given away at the end of each session. Additionally, we will be raffling off prizes including registration to the Virtual 2021 14th Annual RNS Conference, an RNS mug, amazon gift cards and more. In total there will be 5 prizes given away per event.

Referral Contest
What better way to enjoy the Dear Diary Webinar, than with friends! We encourage you to refer friends or colleagues for your chance to win an Apple iPad Mini! In order for the entry to count, your referral must (a) include your first and last name in the referral field on their registration form, and (b) attend the broadcast they signed up for. Spread the word from now until March 25 and increase your chance to win!

Terms & Conditions.

  • Anyone is welcome to join us for the Dear Diary Webinar, however you must be 18 years or older to claim prize.
  • Entry is simple. It requires registration AND attendance to one live webinar.
  • As a reminder you can only win one prize per the Dear Diary Webinar series. You can register and attend multiple webinars, however this will not increase your chances of winning.

Giveaway Rules, Terms & Conditions

Live Attendee Prizes
Throughout our live event, the RNS will be raffling off a variety of prizes. You must be present during the live event when the raffle is occuring to claim a prize. In addition to our raffles, the RNS will be giving away a select number of grand prizes. Raffles are chosen at random while grand prizes will be given away to those who qualify in the following areas: Top 3 Bingo Social Event winners, Highest Engagement Overall, Most Educational Questions Asked, and the “Find Elvis” Raffle. All grand prize winners (except for the Bingo Social Event winners) will be announced during the Farewell Reception at the end of the event. Bingo Social Event winners will be announced at the end of the social event. All winners must be present during the reception or social event to claim a prize. Additional details on how to play and qualify will be provided during the live event broadcast. See also, Terms & Conditions listed below and the event agenda for announcement dates and times.

Referral Contest
In order for the entry to count, your referral must (a) include your first and last name in the referral field on their registration form, and (b) complete the evaluation at the end of the event or OnDemand portion of the event. Winner will be contacted via email by May 30, 2021.

Terms & Conditions

  • You must be 18 years or older to claim a prize.
  • You must be registered and attend the event to win (NOTE: OnDemand participants who did not attend the live event are still eligible to win the referral contest).
  • Winners must verify their shipping address by contacting events@rnsnurse.org before prizes will be distributed

Session Description

Understanding Thyroid Eye Disease and How it Relates to Rheumatology

Thyroid eye disease is often linked with other comorbidities, including many autoimmune diseases. In this session, learn how thyroid eye disease presents itself in patients with other rheumatic conditions.

Session Description

Clinical Perspectives of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) Through the Eyes of Dermatology and Rheumatology

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is one of the most common rheumatologic diseases we see in patients, and dermatologists are in a unique position to recognize early signs of PsA. In this co-presentation, we will hear from both a rheumatology and dermatology provider in recognizing these signs, and how the two practices can work together to provide the best patient care.