Rheumatology Program Expands at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia

Dr. Joan Bathon Appointed to Lead Rheumatology, Creates New Integrated Arthritis Center, and Plans Other Disease-Specific Centers

Mar 24, 2011


The rheumatology program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center is expanding with the addition of one of the nation's leading rheumatologists, the creation of a new integrated Arthritis Center, and plans for additional disease-specific centers.

Dr. Joan Bathon has been appointed director of the Division of Rheumatology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Previously, she was deputy director of the Division of Rheumatology and director of the Arthritis Center at Johns Hopkins.

Also joining NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia from Johns Hopkins are Drs. Jon T. Giles and Dimitrios Pappas — both leading experts in rheumatoid arthritis.

The new Arthritis Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia will specialize in inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthritis, crystal arthritis such as gout, as well as degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis. One of the centerpieces of its clinical offerings will be a state-of-the-art injection clinic that employs ultrasound technology to identify the specific structures behind a patient's pain, allowing for more targeted treatments.

Multidisciplinary collaborations with other medical specialties — including cardiology, nephrology, obstetrics and orthopedic surgery — will be the key to the success of the Division of Rheumatology's new integrated programs. "Rheumatoid conditions affect numerous areas in a patient's body, making a multidisciplinary approach central to effective treatment, as well as to research into future therapies," says Dr. Bathon.

For patients with lupus, Dr. Bathon and her team will work closely with nephrology and obstetrics since the disease is associated with increased risk for renal disease and pregnancy loss. For patients with arthritis, which is associated with risk for cardiovascular disease, Dr. Bathon envisions the establishment of a Cardiovascular Risk Management Clinic with cardiology to prevent and manage heart disease, and to serve as a hub for research efforts.

An authority on the arthritis-related cardiovascular risk, Dr. Bathon is pursuing NIH-funded studies into genetics biomarkers, proteomics biomarkers, and PET and CT heart imaging. She is also looking at how a class of rheumatoid arthritis drugs called TNF blockers affects heart structure and function.

"I was delighted to recruit Dr. Bathon as chief of Rheumatology. We fully embrace her vision to create disease-specific programs in which patients with arthritis, lupus or other rheumatoid conditions can receive state-of-the-art, coordinated care from a multidisciplinary team of specialists," says Dr. Donald W. Landry, chairman of the Department of Medicine and the Samuel Bard Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and physician-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. "Patients can also look forward to new treatments and prevention strategies made possible through innovative research by Dr. Bathon and her team."

Dr. Joan Bathon received her M.D. and completed an internship and residency at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. She completed a fellowship in rheumatology at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. In 1983, she joined the faculty of West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.V. In 1986, she joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins. In 1998, she was appointed director of the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, and in 2007, she was named deputy director of their Division of Rheumatology. In 2010, she was named editor-in-chief of the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The Medical Center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree and is now among the most selective medical schools in the country. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and state and one of the largest in the United States. For more information, please visit www.cumc.columbia.edu.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,353 beds. The Hospital has more than 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including more than 220,000 visits to its emergency departments — more than any other area hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Media Contact:

Gloria Chin 212-305-5587