Skip to Main Content

Lupus Program

The UCSF Lupus Program at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco provides diagnostic and therapeutic services for children who have lupus, with the aim of optimizing their future health.

We focus on helping our patients control the disease while also delivering preventive services to ward off or minimize the long-term complications that children with lupus commonly face. As an autoimmune disease, lupus can cause damage throughout the body, affecting bones, skin, other tissues and vital organs. Our program includes services to promote heart and bone health, and provides transition planning and social support.

Our comprehensive, convenient program lets families schedule lupus-related appointments on a single day in a single location. During routine visits, patients see a pediatric rheumatologist; when needed, they may also see a pediatric nephrologist (kidney specialist), specialty nurse practitioner, adolescent medicine doctor, adult rheumatologist, registered dietitian or social worker.

Our services

Children under our care for lupus benefit from the following:

  • Comprehensive medical care: With a focus on prevention, annual visits screen patients for common lupus-related long-term health problems. This includes evaluating cholesterol and lipid levels in the blood, bone density screening, and assessing dietary patterns and physical activity.
  • Reproductive health care: For adolescents and young adults, we offer educational and consultation services with an adolescent medicine doctor. This can help patients with birth control decisions, pregnancy planning and prevention of sexually transmitted infections.
  • Care coordination and community outreach: Managing a chronic condition often requires coordination among many providers, health care facilities, insurance companies and schools. A dedicated lupus liaison is available to educate community providers and help coordinate care, making it easier for families to access services and resources near home.
  • Support programs: The Lupus Foundation of Northern California’s Lupus Buddy Program and UCSF’s Lupus Peer Support Group are sources of encouragement and information for children with lupus and their families. Such programs can help families develop strategies for coping with both practical and psychological issues that often arise after a lupus diagnosis. For more information, contact Mariel dela Paz at (415) 502-2019.
  • Transition planning: The move from pediatric to adult care can be a challenging time for teens and their families. They often must make decisions regarding insurance plans and new doctors. To smooth the process, our program provides annual assessments of readiness skills; individualized transition planning with families; and a newly developed transition clinic, where teens can meet with an adult rheumatologist who specializes in lupus and can address any questions or concerns before transferring care.

Our locations (1)

    Awards & recognition

    • Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties

    Plan your visit

    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your child's condition
    • List of medications, including dosages, plus any your child is allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

    For visitors

    Before you head to the hospital, check out our guidelines for visitors and caregivers.


    Your Stay

    We offer valuable information to help you plan for your child's upcoming hospital stay. Find out about food services, family accommodations and more.

    Learn more

    Your Child's Care Team

    Our doctors, nurses, child life specialists and other providers have special training to care for children. Meet your child's care team.

    Learn more

    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Learn more

    Related clinics (1)

    rheumatology-clinic-320x320-2x 3

    Rheumatology Clinic

    Rheumatology Clinic

    San Francisco / Oakland / Walnut Creek

    Support services

    Child Life Services

    Activity rooms, pet therapy and more to help kids feel at home.

    Child Life

    Certified child life specialists ease the stress and anxiety of childhood illness through therapeutic play, schooling and family-focused support.

    Family Amenities

    Family-friendly amenities help you relax and take care of yourself while staying close to your child. We offer lounges, kitchens, showers, breastfeeding rooms and more.


    Social Services

    Social workers ease the effect of illness, injury and hospitalization on your family with counseling and assistance to help you navigate the challenges.


    Activity Rooms

    Activity rooms offer a relaxed environment for children of all ages. Features include a playroom, digital arts studio and teen lounge. Find out more.


    Art Therapy

    Art therapy helps kids and families express themselves, making it easier to cope with pediatric health issues. Group and bedside services are available.


    Music Therapy Program

    Board-certified music therapists help kids cope with illness and the feelings that come with it. Find out about group activities and bedside therapy.


    School Program

    Our schoolroom services and individual learning programs help children hospitalized at UCSF continue their education and get ready to return to school.


    School Re-Entry Program

    We help kids return to school after hospitalization by educating staff and students about their needs and recommending needed accommodations. Read more.


    Individual Playtime & Instruction

    If your child can't be around other kids for medical reasons, you can sign up for private sessions in our activity and school rooms. Find out how.


    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Family Resource Center

    We help families cope with the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in a relaxing environment where parents can get a much-needed break.


    Parent Support Program

    Weekly activities, including knitting, scrapbooking, chair massage and more, help family caregivers get a much-needed break. Find out more.


    Patient Relations

    Patient relations reps and nursing supervisors are here to answer questions and address concerns. Learn about your rights, how to reach us and more.


    Spiritual Care

    Chaplains help UCSF patients, families and staff cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges of childhood illness. Learn more.


    International Services

    If you're coming to UCSF from outside the U.S., we coordinate your child's appointments and provide other helpful services. Here's how to get started.

    Decorative Caduceus

    Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network

    Defined as remission, partial remission and non-remission


    More about this study
    See all clinical trials

    Soothing the soul

    Our music therapy program nurtures patients with bedside serenades, rap workshops and more.

    Find out more