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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.

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    • Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties

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    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

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    Your Stay

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    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.

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    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.

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    Related clinics (1)

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    Rheumatology Clinic

    Rheumatology Clinic

    San Francisco / Oakland / Walnut Creek

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