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Chosen by Federal Government Institute NIAMS to Represent Lupus Community in Multicultural Pilot Study

Reflects Long History of Community-based Work with Diverse Patient Populations

LOS ANGELES, CA – March 29, 2012Lupus LA is proud to announce that the organization was selected for a pilot study by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeking to achieve multicultural parity for people with bone, muscle, skin and joint diseases. As the West Coast division of the 40-year old S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, Lupus LA reflects the organization’s continued dedication to meeting the needs of diverse and underserved populations.

Lupus LA is among just four organizations chosen to field test the distribution of a health planner of educational materials developed as part of the NIAMS National Multicultural Outreach Initiative to raise awareness among four multicultural communities about the availability of resources from the NIAMS and other Federal agencies offering help with conditions such as lupus. Lupus LA was selected for its significant connections to the Hispanic/Latino communities in the Los Angeles area, capacity to distribute multicultural materials, and infrastructure to evaluate effectiveness.

“On behalf of the lupus community, we thank the NIAMS for their longstanding leadership in addressing disparities in health information among underserved populations,” noted Margaret Dowd, President and CEO of the Lupus Research Institute. “The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation has been serving New York’s culturally diverse communities for decades and brought that breadth of experience in community outreach across country with the formation of Lupus LA. We are incredibly proud to be chosen among the many organizations that applied for the opportunity to carry out the NIAMS pilot study among the Hispanic/Latino lupus community in Los Angeles.”

Developed by the NIAMS, the health planner was created to provide Hispanic and Latino individuals with information and resources about staying healthy and managing conditions of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. As part of the National Institutes of Health (an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), the NIAMS supports scientific medical research that helps people live healthier lives. The facts and information in this planner are based on proven studies.

Lupus Hits Hardest among Women of Color
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or lupus, is one of the nation’s least recognized major diseases. Lupus is a chronic and potentially fatal autoimmune disorder affecting an estimated 1.5 million Americans. In lupus, the body’s immune system forms antibodies that can attack virtually any healthy organ or tissue. Lupus disproportionately affects young women of color. Hispanic, Asian-American and African-American women have an increased risk of lupus - up to three times the incidence and mortality of Caucasians. Hispanic and African-American women tend to develop lupus at a younger age, experience more serious complications, and have higher mortality rates.

About Lupus LA

Lupus LA, the West Coast division of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, promotes lupus research, awareness, and education, and serves the needs of people with lupus and their families in Los Angeles County.

About the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation

Formed over 40 years ago, the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation is the nation's preeminent nonprofit organization providing direct services and public awareness as well as raising funding for innovative lupus research through our Lupus Research Institute (LRI).

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