Jul. 29, 2014

Greater Ohio Chapter Receives National Lupus Education and Support Services Award

WASHINGTON, DC (JULY 29, 2014) -- The Lupus Foundation of America, Greater Ohio Chapter was honored today to receive the Lupus Education and Support Services Award, presented to “an innovative Chapter program that improves the quality of life for people affected by lupus by providing evidence-based education and/or support.”

The award was given in recognition of the Chapter’s New Patient Education Class program, which provides newly diagnosed lupus patients and their families with information about lupus, and about how to live well with the diagnosis.

“I am so proud of my chapter,” beams President and CEO Suzanne Tierney upon learning of the award. “To be forerunners in providing new and improved programs for patients, to provide hope and inspiration and to empower patients to find a better quality of life, it is an accomplishment of which I am unbelievably proud.”

Tierney is a lupus patient herself. After 22 years of misdiagnosis, she was finally diagnosed with lupus at the age of 27 and told to go home and get her affairs in order. Nearly four decades later, she is passionate about making sure no other lupus patient has to have an experience like hers. “My journey was lonely, miserable and misunderstood,” she explains. “I don’t want anyone else to have to travel that road, which is why I am so proud of this particular program.”

The New Patient Education Class program consists of 5 monthly classes across the state (Brecksville, Columbus, Cincinnati, Miamisburg and Toledo), as well as classes in two locations that can be scheduled on an individual basis (Ashtabula and Willoughby). It covers topics including what to expect upon a diagnosis, what kinds of medicines are available for treatment, and what the meanings are behind the medical terms that are often thrown out upon first diagnosis. Additionally, the class gives patients and their support systems an opportunity to ask questions, something that can be very limited in a doctor’s office.

For more information about the New Patient Education Class Series, visit LupusGreaterOhio.org, or call 1 (888) NO-LUPUS).