The Arthritis Foundation, Greater Southwest Chapter is pleased to announce collaboration with the University of New Mexico School of Medicine to support their outreach efforts with the goal of expanding and developing care for those with arthritis, especially in rural communities.

“This is an important grant. These funds will enable us to open an evening clinic and improve access for the thousands of New Mexicans who suffer from these conditions,” said UNM Rheumatology Division Chief Dr. Arthur Bankhurst, M.D., who will be directing the project.

Arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions affect 421,000 New Mexicans and there is a great need to treat these chronic, common, and complex diseases in rural areas. With only 19 rheumatologists in New Mexico, and the majority located in Albuquerque, the opportunity to provide rheumatology consultation, collaboration, and training for clinicians in rural sites to become experts in the treatment of arthritis will allow local healthcare professionals to become highly skilled in the treatment and care for patients.

" This is an incredible and proud moment for the Arthritis Foundation in New Mexico,” says Arthritis Foundation President/CEO Vikki Scarafiotti. “This tremendous gift was made possible by Lloyd & Cledyth Dodds, longtime New Mexico residents, who were very supportive of the Arthritis Foundation and direct patient services. This gift will go a long way to improving the education of medical practitioners, health care professionals, and the lives of people with arthritis in rural areas of New Mexico.”

Henry Nemcik, President & CEO of the University of New Mexico Foundation added, “We are very proud to partner with the Arthritis Foundation and the shared mission or serving people with arthritis in rural areas. This grant will make a great impact in the education and treatment of New Mexico health professionals and patients.”

For more information, please visit www.arthritis.org (Search: Greater Southwest) or call 800-477-7679.

The mission of the Arthritis Foundation is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control, and cure of arthritis and related diseases. The Greater Southwest Chapter is dedicated to helping the more than 1.5 million people, including nearly 8,000 children, in Arizona, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, who are affected by arthritis.