Patient Care

Patient care focuses on the management of systemic autoimmune diseases, vasculitis, spondyloarthropathies, severe non-surgical osteoarthritis, crystal-induced arthropathies, and other rheumatic conditions in both an outpatient and inpatient setting. The inpatient consult service serves patients at UF Health Shands Hospital and the Gainesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The consult team — consisting of a faculty member, a clinical fellow, and medical residents or students — evaluates approximately 8-10 new patients per week.

Since rheumatology is largely an outpatient-oriented specialty, the division’s outpatient clinics are very active. In addition to daily general rheumatology clinics, there are specialized clinics for managing lupus and related conditions and rheumatoid arthritis, with plans for an additional vasculitis unit in the future. The patient care model is that of a “team approach” utilizing disorder-specific “clinical units” in which all specialties needed are available on site.

The Lupus Clinical Unit was established in February 2000 and currently cares for patients with SLE as well as Sjogren’s syndrome, polymyositis and scleroderma. Staff includes four rheumatologists with expertise in the management of SLE, a study coordinator, two nephrologists, a renal pathologist, a geneticist and a biostatistician. There also are designated oral medicine (dentistry), ENT and ophthalmology consultants with plans to add a dermatologist and a high-risk obstetrician. There is collaboration with the School of Dentistry on the diagnosis and management of Sjogren’s syndrome.

The Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Unit,  focused on experimental therapeutics, was established in July 2001 and is still under development. Currently, the staff consists of two rheumatologists and a study coordinator with plans to add one more full-time faculty member and several consultants in the near future.

Vasculitis Unit is planned for the future in conjunction with new faculty recruitment. Through the Autoimmune Disease Center, we are developing disease management pathways that will serve to optimize the clinical monitoring and therapy of patients with systemic autoimmunity.

Patient Information

General information about clinics and referrals

  • New Patient Scheduling: Ivy Hooks
    • Phone: 352.265.4846
    • Fax: 352.733.4179
  • Lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis, Sjogren’s syndrome: Tuesdays 7:45 a.m. – noon
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Fridays 7:45 a.m. – noon
  • Vasculitis, non-surgical osteoarthritis, gout and crystal-induced arthropathies, spondyloarthropathies and other rheumatic conditions: seen in general rheumatology clinics Monday through Friday

Systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, polymyositis, and Sjogren’s syndrome

  • Mechanisms of autoantibody production in SLE
  • Studies on T-cell antigen receptors and superantigens
  • Psychosocial parameters in lupus
  • Immunological basis of gender differences in lupus
  • Smoking as a co-factor in systemic autoimmune diseases
  • Prognostic indicators in lupus nephritis

Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Smoking as a co-factor in systemic autoimmune diseases


  • Mechanisms of pain in patients with fibromyalgia
  • Effectiveness of several analgesics on pain in patients with fibromyalgia
  • Modification of tonic and experimental pain in patients with fibromyalgia
  • Functional MRI of temporal summation of second pain (wind-up) in FMS patients
  • Effect of clinical pain modulation of FMS patients on wind-up of second pain
  • Attenuation of wind-up by the NMDA receptor antagonist dextromethorphan


  • The characteristics of severe, hard-to-control gout