Dr. Graciela S. Alarcón Receives Award Recognizing a Lifetime of Achievement in Lupus Research
In recognition of a lifetime achievement in lupus research, the Lupus Foundation of America presented Graciela S. Alarcón, M.D., M.P.H, with the prestigious 2011 Evelyn V. Hess, M.D., M.A.C.P., M.A.C.R., Research Award during a reception held last night in her honor and hosted by the LFA’s National Board of Directors. Dr. Alarcón is the Jane Knight Lowe Chair of Medicine (Emeritus) and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Alarcón has led frontline research on the impact of lupus in minority populations. Her research was the first to explain the role of socioeconomic factors in lupus, specifically in Hispanic and African American populations. She is also committed to training the next generation of rheumatologists both in the U.S. and globally. She has trained and supervised young physicians and fellows in the U.S., Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico. She singlehandedly created a rheumatology unit at the Cayetano Heredia University Hospital in Peru, the first of its kind in the country.
Dr. Alarcón is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with lupus and has worked with numerous organizations, including the Lupus Foundation of America, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the Latin American Group for the Study of Lupus. She has also received many awards and distinctions, co-authored more than 400 articles, and served as editor for numerous specialty journals.
The LFA established this annual award in 2005 to honor Dr. Evelyn V. Hess for her outstanding contributions to lupus research over the course of her long and distinguished career.
The LFA also presented Jinoos Yazdany, M.D., M.P.H, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, with the 2011 Mary Betty Stevens, M.D., Young Investigator Prize. The Mary Betty Stevens, M.D., Young Investigator Prize is awarded annually in recognition of exceptional achievements of an investigator in the early part of his or her career in lupus research, and as a tribute to Dr. Stevens' significant contributions to lupus research.
Dr. Yazdany has focused much of her research on improving the quality of care for people with lupus. Recognizing her significant contributions in the development of quality of care indicators, she has been asked to join the National Quality Forum's Health Professionals on the quality of health care, and the Quality Measure Subcommittee of the American College of Rheumatology. She has already received numerous awards for her work, including the American College of Rheumatology Distinguished Fellow Award, the Humanism in Medicine Award from the Health care Foundation of New Jersey, and the Ephraim Engleman Award for Arthritis Research from the University of California, San Francisco.