The Rheumatology Research Foundation has received a major donation from Audrey M. Nelson, MD, a retired rheumatologist from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The Audrey M. Nelson, MD, Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Endowment in Training will support training awards for pediatric rheumatology fellowships. This generous donation addresses the growing demand for pediatric rheumatologists to ensure children with rheumatic diseases have access to the care they need.
Dr. Nelson was a consultant in internal medicine and adult and pediatric rheumatology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and is emeritus professor of medicine in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Her contributions to the field are multifaceted. She is one of the very early pediatric rheumatologists and has made contributions in education, research, clinical practice and administration.
“My interest in pediatric rheumatology started during my residency, which prompted a three-month stay in England observing and learning about the care of children with rheumatic diseases. At that time there wasn’t much in the way of pediatric rheumatology at Mayo Clinic or elsewhere so I started seeing pediatric patients and with demonstrated positive outcomes the practice gradually evolved. I felt that there was a need, and I enjoyed the children. I was learning as I was doing,” says Dr. Nelson.
“The Foundation is a tremendous vehicle for us as rheumatologists to further our work in a way we couldn’t otherwise through another mechanism. The Foundation is very effective at gathering funds in order to support underserved segments of the specialty. The growth of these opportunities has been amazing and I’m honored to support future opportunities for pediatric rheumatology,” she says.
The Audrey M. Nelson, MD, Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Endowment in Training is part of the Foundation’s Education and Training Awards portfolio. As a whole, these awards help cultivate future generations of adult and pediatric rheumatology professionals and ensure people with rheumatic diseases have access to the care they need. Applications for the Audrey M. Nelson, MD, Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Endowment in Training are due annually on May 1. Information on how to apply can be found at www.rheumresearch.org/education-and-training-awards.
The Foundation is excited to announce the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as the first recipient of the Audrey M. Nelson, MD, Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Endowment in Training. Sandy Burnham, MD, MSCE, is an attending physician in the Division of Rheumatology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the rheumatology fellowship training program director. “We are honored to be the first recipient of this award,” said Dr. Burnham. “This is an investment in the future of pediatric rheumatology and the funds will bolster the development of collaborative clinical care expertise, and foster independent basic science, translational and clinical investigation.”
The fellowship program in pediatric rheumatology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia combines a one-year clinical experience with at least two years of advanced training in basic, translational or clinical research, while continuing a longitudinal patient care experience.