Medical Specialties

Pediatric Rheumatology



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. Certain rheumatology diseases are more aggressive in children than they are in adults. Pediatric-trained rheumatologists understand these nuances and adjust the care of their patients accordingly. Left untreated or under-treated, rheumatic diseases can cause disability in childhood and negatively affect a child's growth and development.

Proper treatment from a pediatric rheumatologist who appreciates the different expression of rheumatic disease in children and the complexity of treating children, offers hope for what would otherwise be an uncertain future. 

ShishovThe team consists of three board-certified pediatric rheumatologists, including Michael Shishov, MD, MPH, division chief, Kaleo Ede, MD and Elisa Wershba, MD. The team also includes two pediatric nurses and two medical assistants. 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.

Common Diagnoses Seen

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

  • Pediatric 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)


  • Clinical trials in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
  • Vasculitis Registry Study


  • 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

Phone: (602) 933-0909
Fax: (602) 933-0911

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