About

Establishing The COVID–19 Global Rheumatology Alliance Steering Committee:

The steering committee is composed of academic and community rheumatologists and a patient representative. The steering committee was formed with the goal of rapidly curating and disseminating accurate, timely, evidence-based information to the community of rheumatology providers and patients.

Please note that we are a very early stage, grassroots organization (established March 12, 2020) that was rapidly formed in response to the global COVID–19 pandemic. Listed below is the initial Steering Committee. Representation based on gender, geographic location, and ethnic diversity is very important to our group, and will be an important focus as we continue to grow and evolve.

Our Mission:

To collect, analyze and disseminate information about COVID-19 and rheumatology to patients, physicians and other relevant groups to improve the care of patients with rheumatic disease.

Our Vision:

Bringing together the global rheumatology community to curate and disseminate accurate and comprehensive knowledge to advance rheumatology care in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Current Steering Committee:

Philip Robinson, MBChB, PhD, FRACP, MAICD (@philipcrobinson)
Chair, Governance, Policy
Dr. Philip Robinson is a clinical and academic rheumatologist at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, in Queensland, Australia and associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Queensland.

Jinoos Yazdany, M.D., MPH (@JYazdanyMD)
Vice-Chair, Real-world Data Infrastructure, Registry and IRB/Ethics
Dr. Jinoos Yazdany is Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG) and the Alice Betts Endowed Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She practices rheumatology at ZSFG and co-directs the Lupus Clinic at UCSF Health.

Paul Sufka, M.D. (@psufka)
Technology and Marketing Lead
Dr. Paul Sufka is department chair and practices rheumatology with HealthPartners medical group in St. Paul, MN. He is also the social media editor for Arthritis & Rheumatology, Arthritis Care & Research, and ACR Open Rheumatology.

Rebecca Grainger, MBChB (Dstn), BMedSci (Dstn) MIsntD, CHIA, FRACP, FACHI, PhD (@Drbeckyg)
Literature Review Co-Lead
Dr. Rebecca Grainger is a clinical and academic rheumatologist in New Zealand, working in public hospital practice [Hutt VAlled DHB]. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

Zach Wallace, M.D., MSc (@zach_wallace_md)
Literature Review Co-Lead
Dr. Zachary Wallace is a rheumatologist and researcher in the Rheumatology Unit and Clinical Epidemiology Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Suleman Bhana, M.D., FACR (@DrBhana)
Organizational Liaison and Media
Dr. Suleman Bhana is a clinical Rheumatologist in a multi-specialty group private practice in New York. He is chair of the Communications and Marketing Committee of the American College of Rheumatology, a co-found of the #RheumJC twitter based journal club, and former co-host of The Rheumatology Podcast.

Emily Sirotich (@emilysirotich)
Patient Engagement Co-Lead
Emily Sirotich is a patient partner, board member of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, and PhD student in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University.

Jean Liew, M. D, (@rheum_cat)
Administrative Lead
Dr. Jean Liew is a rheumatologist and clinical researcher at Boston University.

Jonathan Hausmann, M.D. (@hausmannMD)
Patient Registries Collaboration Lead
Jonathan S. Hausmann is a pediatric and adult rheumatologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School.

Pedro Machado, M.D. (@pedrommcmachado)
European Lead
Dr. Pedro Machado is an Associate Professor & Consultant Rheumatologist at University College London (UCL). He leads a myositis clinic at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and an axial spondyloarthritis clinic at Northwick Park Hospital. He is the Chair of the EULAR Standing Committee on Epidemiology and Health Services Research (SCEHSR) and a member of the EULAR Executive Committee.

Wendy Costello (@wendycostello2)
Patient Engagement Co-Lead

Wendy Costello is a mum to Niamh who was diagnosed at the age of 3 with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. She is the co-founder and chairperson of the Irish Children’s Arthritis Network (iCAN) in 2013, which is a volunteer charity that supports children and young people living with paediatric rheumatic diseases. She is also the current Chair of the European Network of Children with Arthritis (ENCA), sits on the board of the Paediatric Rheumatology European Society council, and is chair of the steering committee of the University College Dublin Centre of Arthritis Research.

Patient Board

Wendy Costello (@wendycostello2)
Patient Engagement Co-Lead

Emily Sirotich (@emilysirotich)
Patient Engagement Co-Lead

Naira Ikram (@NairaIkram)
Patient Board – Research and Communications
Duke University, “Psychoneuroimmunology: Causes and Consequences.” Major, USA.

Evelyn Olmedo (@OlmedoEve)
Patient Board – Research
SLE & SCLE Advocate, El Salvador.

Richard A. Howard (@RichAHoward)
Patient Board – Patient Outreach
MBA, Chief Mission Advancement Officer, Spondylitis Association of America, USA.

Ana Isabel
Patient Board – Patient Resources
Physical Therapist & AS Patient, Spain.

Monique C Gore-Massy (@GoldenMoe)
Patient Board – Communications
Global Lupus Advocate / Patient Consultant, USA.

Laura-Ann Tomasella (@arthritiskidssa)
Patient Board – Communications and Outreach
Arthritis Kids South Africa, ZA

Current Regional Leads

Country or RegionName of LeadInstitution or Affiliation
AlgeriaBrahim DahouAssociation Rhumatologues Algériens Privés (ARAP)
ArgentinaGuillermo Pons-EstelArgentinean Society of Rheumatology / Grupo Latino Americano De Estudio del Lupus (GLADEL)
AustraliaDavid LiewAustin Health/University of Melbourne
AustriaPaul StudenicMedical University of Vienna
Brazil Claudia MarquesUniversidade Federal de Pernambuco/Brazilian Society of Rheumatology
Canada Carter Thorne University of Toronto
Diane LaCaille University of British Columbia
Keshini Devakandan University Health Network
Maggie LarcheMcMaster University
Sindhu Johnson University Health Network
Carol HitchonUniversity of Manitoba
ChileAlejandro Fuentes Sociedad Chilena de Reumatología (SOCHIRE)
Sebastián IbáñezClinicia Alemana de Santiago
China Mengtao LiChinese SLE Treatment and Research Group (CSTAR) 
ColombiaSebastian Herrera Hospital General de Medellín / ARTMEDICA / Universidad CES
Wilson Bautista MolanoUniversity Hospital Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá
EcuadorAndrés Zúñiga-VeraInstituto de Reumatología, Hematología y Dermatología-IRHED
FranceFrancis BerenbaumSorbonne Université, INSERM, AP-HP
Laure Gossec Sorbonne Université
GermanyAnja StrangfeldDeutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin (DRFZ) – Ein Institut der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft
Anna VoormannGerman Society of Rheumatology
Bimba HoyerUniversity Hospital Schleswig-Holstein
Christof SpeckerEvang. Kliniken Essen-Mitte
Hendrik Schulze-KoopsGerman Society of Rheumatology
Ulf Müller-LadnerJustus-Liebig University Giessen
HondurasGabriela Maria Guzman MelgarHospital Del Valle 
Hong KongHo SoChinese University of Hong Kong
IndiaAmita AggarwalSanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical sciences, Lucknow
IranMahdi VojdanianIran Rheumatology Center
IrelandRichard ConwaySt. James’s Hospital / Blackrock Clinic
JapanMari KiharaPharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
KuwaitFatemah AbutibanKuwait Association of Rheumatology / Jaber Alahmed Hospital
LatviaBulina InitaPauls Stradins Clinicak University Hospital
MexicoDeshire Alpizar-RodriguezMexican College of Rheumatology (Colegio Mexicano de Reumatología)
Erick Adrian Zamora TehozolCentro Médico Pensiones
Tatiana Sofía Rodríguez-ReynaInstituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán
NetherlandsSaskya AngevareEuropean Network for Children with Arthritis and Auto-inflammatory diseases – KAISZ
PakistanBabur SalimFauji Foundation Hospital Rawalpindi Pakistan
Saliha IshaqAga Khan University Hospital, Karachi
Noreen NasirAga Khan University Hospital, Karachi
PeruManuel Ugarte-GilUniversidad Científica del Sur-Hospital Guillermo Almenara Irigoyen
PhilippinesAnna Kristina Gutierrez Makati Medical Center/ Philippine Rheumatology Association
Geraldine Zamora University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital/ St. Luke’s Medical Center
PortugalElsa MateusPortuguese League Against Rheumatic Diseases 
Saudi ArabiaIbrahim AlmaghlouthKing Saud University
Sultana AbdulazizKing Fahad Hospital
South AfricaKate WebbUniversity of Cape Town
Kavita MakanUniversity of Witwatersrand 
SpainLoreto Carmona Instituto de Salud Musculoesquelética
TurkeyVedat Hamuryudan Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Cerrahpasa Medical School
UKBethan Goulden University College Hospital London
Chris Wincup University College Hospital London
Coziana Ciurtin University College Hospital London
Jessica Manson University College Hospital London
Kimme HyrichUniversity of Manchester
Pedro MachadoUniversity College London
Richard BeesleyJuvenile Arthritis Research & ENCA 
Su-Ann Yeoh University College Hospital London
Taryn YoungsteinImperial College London 
USAAarat PatelUniversity of Virginia
Adam KilianGeorge Washington University 
Alí DuarteMayo Clinic
Andrew VreedeUniversity of Michigan/Ann Arbor VA
Arundathi JayatillekeTemple University
Beth WallaceUniversity of Michigan
Elizabeth GraefBeth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Eugenia ChockYale School of Medicine
Isabelle AmiguesNational Jewish Health
Jean LiewUniversity of Washington
Jeffrey SparksBrigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School 
Katherine WyshamVA Puget Sound/University of Washington
Laura LewandowskiNational Institutes of Health 
Leanna Wise Keck Hospital of USC
Marc NolanHealthPartners (MN) 
Maria DanilaUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham
Maximilian Konig Johns Hopkins University
Michael PutmanNorthwestern University 
Namrata SinghUniversity of Washington
Reema SyedWashington University School of Medicine 
Sebastian SattuiHospital for Special Surgery (NY)

The Alliance’s current regional leads are encouraged to take on the following volunteer responsibilities:

  • Inside the United States: Leading the case entry effort from their respective institutions, spreading the word about the registry and the Alliance’s goals, and organizing other delegates responsible for case entry at surrounding institutions in your region.
  • Outside the United States: All of the above plus investigating the IRB restrictions of your country or region, submitting an IRB application if necessary, and helping with translations of registry and promotional material into your local language.
  • If you are interested in helping with our goal and may represent your institution in this effort, please email rheum.covid@gmail.com with your name, institutional affiliation, and the region you may help coordinate with.

About our current collaboration with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR):

To facilitate our ability to quickly address the challenges facing rheumatology in the context of this pandemic, the American College of Rheumatology’s Board of Directors approved the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance (GRA) as a Section of the College on March 30, 2020. This arrangement will allow us to leverage the rich resources and support of the ACR so that we can ultimately form an independent organization. As we develop “in-house” expertise in such topics as regulatory compliance, finance, and grant management, the ACR can help us meet our obligations and responsibilities to the community that The COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance serves. Both The COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance and ACR agree that the ultimate goal is for The COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance to be an independent organization pursuing its mission.

Our data sharing agreement with other groups and organizations:

We established The COVID–19 Global Rheumatology Alliance’s registries during the time of a global crisis, for the betterment of all people. Our goal is to provide an open platform for data collection, sharing, and dissemination which is transparent, inclusive, and non-competitive in the most democratic and responsible ways possible.

In partnering with The COVID–19 Global Rheumatology Alliance, you agree to share collective data with the above purpose in mind. In return, you will receive access to the collected data that is to be used for the betterment of society. Any data-sharing agreements are subject to institutional review board approval.