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The Vasculitis Foundation and its North Carolina/Raleigh Chapter hosted a symposium for patients and families in Chapel Hill on May 14, 2011. More than 145 patients, family members and health care professionals participated. The full day program focused on Leading Edge Research and Strategies for Living with Vasculitis.

The day kicked off with a panel of international vasculitis experts discussing Directions in Basic and Clinical Research on Vasculitis. Dr. Ron Falk, UNC Kidney Center Director, led off the discussion and moderated the panel. The panelists were Dr. Gary Hoffman of the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Cees Kallenberg of University Hospital, Groningen, Netherlands and Dr. Niels Rasmussen of Rigshospitalet, Denmark. The discussion highlighted the remarkable achievements in research and promising future directions

After the panel discussion, the attendees participated in a series of breakout sessions covering a wide range of topics, including Standards of Care for Vasculitis, Kidneys, Lungs, ENT, Peripheral Neuropathy, Health Promotion, Medications, Nutrition, Fatigue, Stress Management, the UNC PAIRS study, Family/Friends/Caregivers and Reproductive Issues. In addition to the presentations, the attendees asked questions and talked with the speakers.

At the end of the day, Vasculitis Foundation Board Chair Bob Sahs recognized Danette Anderson for her efforts in raising over $100,000 for vasculitis education, awareness and research over the past 10 years.

The group enjoyed lunch together, the opportunity to network with other patients and family members and came away with a renewed appreciation for the vasculitis community of clinicians, researchers, patients and families.

Following the patient symposium, over 400 world renowned clinicians and researchers convened in Chapel Hill for the 15th International Vasculitis and ANCA Workshop. (Read news story here.)

It was a great week for vasculitis research and education in Chapel Hill.

Written by Elaine Holmes, Chapter Leader

2011 Vasculitis Symposium
Fundraiser Danette Anderson with Vasculitis Foundation Board President Bob Sahs and wife Elaine Sahs