Medical Specialties

Pediatric Rheumatology at Phoenix Children's Hospital

The Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at Phoenix Children's Hospital offers the best and only comprehensive, pediatric-specific care in Arizona and the Southwest.

According to the Greater Southwest Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, there are 7,000 children in Arizona with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.

Left untreated or under-treated, rheumatic diseases can cause disability in childhood and negatively affect a child's growth and development.

Treatment from a pediatric-trained rheumatologist gives kids the best chance because rheumatic diseases behave differently in a child's body than an adult's. And our staff only work with children, in a kid-friendly, medical home.  

ShishovIn 2006, Phoenix Children's hired board certified pediatric rheumatologist, Michael Shishov, MD, MPH, to develop an in-house pediatric rheumatology program at the Hospital. The program has grown to include two additional board certified pediatric rheumatologists, Kaleo Ede, MD and Elisa Wershba, MD. A group of dedicated nurses, social workers and nutritionists complete the division's talented team of medical professionals. This multidisciplinary approach to treating children and families results in highly effective family-focused care.

The Division of Pediatric Rheumatology offers unique programs including a monthly Lupus Clinic. Children with systemic lupus erythematosus who have kidney disease, can see their pediatric rheumatologist and nephrologist during the same visit.

The division is also involved in clinical research studies to further advance the field.

Physicians

Michael Shishov, MD, MPh, Medical Staff Section Chief

Kaleo Ede, MD

Elisa Wershba, MD

Common Diagnoses Seen

  • Polyarticular JRA/JIA - affects five or more joints
  • Oligoarticular JRA/JIA- affects four or less joints
  • Systemic JRA/JIA (Still’s disease) - characterized by periodic episodes of inflammation of joints, tendons, and other connective tissues and organs.

Programs and Services

Physician Services

  • Diagnosis and treatment of patients with various rheumatologic illnesses
  • Joint injections in the office
  • Joint injections under general anesthesia

Nursing Services

  • Patient/family education related to the rheumatologic illness
  • Subcutaneous injection teaching
  • Infusions in the clinic (Remicade, IVIG, Orencia, Cytoxan, Solumedrol)
  • TB skin testing, Flu vaccinations

Additional Services

  • Lupus clinic
  • Social work
  • Nutritionist
  • Referrals to Physical and Occupational Therapy

Community Outreach

  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Camp Cruz
  • Lupus Foundation
  • Brochures for schools
  • Educational brochures

Professional Outreach/Education

  • Resident education and lectures
  • Preceptor to medical students at University of Arizona School of Medicine
  • Grand rounds
  • Pediatric Update (National Pediatric Conference)

Research

  • Clinical trials in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
  • Vasculitis Registry Study

Affiliations

  • American College of Rheumatology
  • Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance
  • Pediatric Rheumatology Clinical Study Group

Related health information:

Diagnosing Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases in Children

Children Living With a Rheumatic Disease

Treatment for Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases in Children

Contact us:

Ph: 602-933-0909

Fax: 602-933-0911

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