Founded in 1989, the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology is the largest pediatric program in South Florida providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary diagnosis, treatment and support for families whose children suffer from the following types of disorders:
We also offer treatment for the following:
Because many of these conditions are difficult to diagnose, the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology can draw on the expertise of the many specialists at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. More than 5,000 patients visit the division each year, and our specialists work closely with referring physicians from the community.
A Team Approach
The division's interdisciplinary team includes:
The team also helps to teach the child and family about controlling these chronic diseases and achieving a high quality of life.
Through the hospital's Research Institute, the division of pediatric rheumatology is involved in ongoing studies on juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, dermatomyositis and other conditions, including clinical trials of medications. The division's faculty also teach medical residents and students through rotations and conferences.
A typical program for children suffering from juvenile arthritis or related disorders includes:
- Joint protection. Children learn the importance of good posture, energy conservation and use of assistive devices to minimize stress on joints.
- Exercise. The center's team develops an individualized exercise programs and physical activity guide for the child.
- Pain management. Both the child and family members learn new ways to control pain and deal with the associated stresses of daily living.
- Nutrition. A balanced diet is developed with recommendations for supplements if indicated. Parents receive advice on coping with other dietary problems, such as a child who is a finicky eater.
- School issues. Parents are assisted in educating teachers about childhood arthritis and developing a plan that allows the child to flexibility in learning and adaptation for his or her needs.
- Medications. Extensive orientation is given to the parents and children about the proper use and side effects of the drugs and treatment of the rheumatic conditions.
- Networking. For parents, the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology also provides numerous support services, including opportunities to meet and network with other families.
Camp Funrise was a weeklong annual sleepover camp for patients with rheumatologic conditions. Camp Funrise provided a week of joy to children for 26 years, from 1991 until 2017, thanks to the support of the Division of Rheumatology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the Florida Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and the Lions Club of South Florida. Under the supervision of nurses and medical staff of the Division of Rheumatology, the campers were able to participate in typical camp activities within a safe and caring environment. Activities included swimming with the Dolphins, kick boxing, yoga and a night out to the baseball park.