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AHN Autoimmunity Institute, Autoimmune Association to Host Free Public Forum, ‘What Every American Needs to Know About Autoimmune Disease’

Monday, September 16, 2019

PITTSBURGH – The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) will present its signature national public forum, “What Every American Needs to Know about Autoimmune Disease” on Saturday, September 28, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Autoimmunity Institute.

Presented in partnership with the Institute and with grant funding from Genentech and Horizon, this free public forum is open to autoimmune patients, families, healthcare professionals and the general public.  Noted authorities, including AHN’s leading specialists in autoimmune diseases, will speak on timely autoimmune topics such as Transforming Care for Autoimmune Disease; Women and Autoimmune Disease; Team-Based Care: The Celiac Model; Nutrition, Exercise and Autoimmune Disease; Anxiety, Depression and Autoimmune Disease; and Coping with Autoimmune Disease.  Featured speakers include Robert H. Phillips, Ph.D., founder and director, The Coping Counselors at the Center for Coping, Long Island, NY and Susan Manzi, MD, MPH, chair of the AHN Medicine Institute and director of the AHN Lupus Center of Excellence.  

There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases affecting one in every five Americans, including lupus, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac and Crohn’s.  Of those affected 75 percent are women.  AARDA works to bring a national focus to autoimmunity as a category of disease and a major women’s health issue.

“The forum provides a wealth of information and resources to patients and families,” says AARDA Executive Director Virginia T. Ladd, “as well as the opportunity to ask the experts questions.  This is an invaluable service to the newly diagnosed as well as to those years into their diagnosis.  We always encourage people to be their own best advocate, and nothing empowers people to do that more than knowledge.”

AARDA is proud to host the Pittsburgh forum at the AHN Autoimmunity Institute at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. Providing comprehensive, team-based care all from one location for a range of autoimmune conditions, the Institute is the first of its kind.

“Since we opened fifteen months ago, our multidisciplinary team has cared for individuals from 29 states,” said Joseph Ahearn, MD, Chair, AHN Autoimmunity Institute. “As a valued partner of ours, we are extremely pleased that AARDA is hosting this important forum at the Autoimmunity Institute and look forward to continually working together to identify better treatments for these devastating diseases and, ultimately, a cure.”

Pre-registration is required to attend.  Lunch will be provided to all who pre-register for the forum at