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Sent on behalf of Dr. Mohit Kapoor and Dr. Robert Inman, Co-Directors of the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, UHN
The special features included in each newsletter highlight some of the outstanding individuals who have contributed immensely towards the success of each division of the Schroeder Arthritis Institute. Our December newsletter feature highlighted Dr. Glenys Foster Roberts. If you have missed this feature, please see the newsletter.
In this edition, we are highlighting an exceptional individual who has made an outstanding impact towards the growth and success of the Division of Rheumatology at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute.
Laura Passalent, Physiotherapist Practitioner and Clinician Investigator
Laura Passalent is a Physiotherapist Practitioner with the Division of Rheumatology, Spondylitis Program, at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute. Before joining the Spondylitis Program in 2008, she spent 10 years working on the inpatient team as a Physiotherapist at Toronto Western Hospital. After taking a break in 2003 to complete her Masters in Epidemiology, she returned to the University Health Network at the Arthritis Community Research and Evaluation Unit (ACREU), completed her Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Arthritis Care training, and has now been working for the Schroeder Arthritis Institute for 14 years.
As an essential member, Laura has clinical, research, and educational responsibilities. Her clinical responsibilities include conducting new assessments and follow-up care collaboratively with her physician colleagues. In addition, Laura was instrumental in developing a novel model of care that aids in the early detection of patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis. This model was established in conjunction with Dr. Robert Inman, Dr. Nigil Haroon, and Dr. Raj Rampersaud. This unique model improves access to care to ensure patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis are seeing the right provider at the right time. In addition, Laura is a Clinician Investigator at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute and the Krembil Research Institute. She feels honoured to have the privilege to be in this role. Her research focuses on models of care, health services as well as examining physical activity in patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis. After receiving a generous grant from the Canadian Rheumatology Association, she has been working on a collaborative project that helps identify areas of improvement in physical activity for patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis. Laura is also Associate Education Lead at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, alongside Lead, Dr. Lori Albert, as well as Co-Director of Operations for the Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Arthritis Care program (ACPAC), alongside Leslie Soever. As part of her role, she is a lecturer at the Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto.
The biggest motivation for Laura is "ensuring optimal provision of care". This includes having the ability to identify health concerns early and ensuring patients have access to evidence-based care that is efficient, timely, appropriate, cost-efficient, and achieves patients' goals, which are the major components that drive Laura's motivation. Advancements in effective patient care are another one of Laura's motivating factors. Laura and her team are working on updating an e-learning module within the Spondylitis Program, using a grant received through the Spondylitis Research Consortium of Canada (SPARCC). This module provides self-management education on topics such as physical activity, exercise, diet and emotional well-being. Laura and her research team are working in partnership with the Canadian Spondylitis Association on expanding the e-learning module into French and providing a national educational platform. When asked what her Mantra of Success is, Laura emphasized "patience, perseverance, and creative problem-solving." Laura is very passionate about her work. This includes patient care, asking the right questions, and leveraging research and education to find answers to those questions. She emphasized that collaboration is key and provides endless opportunity for professional and personal growth. Laura is self-aware and stressed that in order to grow as a person, you need to be able to reflect and acknowledge the successes as well as the failures. One of the most important aspects of growth is to learn from mistakes, "failure is the bridge between inexperience and wisdom" (Phyllis Theroux).
In her personal life, Laura loves to spend time at the family cottage and has recently taken up paddle boarding. She is looking forward to the warmer weather to get back on the water. She is a wife and mother of 3 young children and emphasized her family is her everything and acknowledged their endless love and unconditional support. Travelling has also been a big part of her life. She snorkelled and scuba-dived around the world. Laura shared a glimpse of her unique experience. "When you are down there, you are the visitor and the wildlife underwater take you on a tour of their world. You observe their behaviours and aquatic personalities. It really is amazing to be able to witness such an often mysterious environment."
Laura shared how the Schroeder Arthritis Institute is home to the four divisions, Orthopedics, Rheumatology, the Hand Program, and Osteoporosis, along with the Research Institute. The inter-professional and interdivisional collaborations, leadership and patient-centred care have created a strong and exemplary Institute. She envisions a bright and successful future for the Schroeder Arthritis Institute.
On behalf of the Schroeder Arthritis Institute and the Division of Rheumatology, we are grateful for Laura's outstanding contributions towards the growth and success of the clinical, education, and research pillars of the Schroeder Arthritis Institute.
New Appointments and Promotions
New Head of the Division of Rheumatology
Dr. Nigil Haroon, Senior Scientist and Clinician within the Division of Rheumatology at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute and the Krembil Research Institute and Co-Director of the Spondylitis Program at the University Health Network, has been appointed as the new Head of the Division of Rheumatology for the University Health Network and Sinai Health System, starting April 1, 2022. On behalf of the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, we would like to congratulate Dr. Nigil Haroon on his appointment.
We also want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Jorge Sanchez-Guerrero for his service to the Division of Rheumatology as the Division Head for the past 11 years. This is the largest Rheumatology Division in Canada. The Division has thrived in the past decade, continuing its tradition as a leader in Rheumatology in Canada and globally and we are grateful to Jorge for his leadership. We are pleased that Jorge will be continuing in his role as a Rheumatology consultant in the Schroeder Arthritis Institute.
New Academic Surgeon Scientist - Division of Orthopedics
Dr. Christopher Kim was recently appointed as Academic Surgeon Scientist within the Division of Orthopedics at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute. Dr. Christopher Kim joined the Hip and Knee Arthroplasty surgeon team within the Division of Orthopedics at Toronto Western Hospital in February 2022. On behalf of the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, we would like to congratulate Dr. Christopher Kim on his appointment.
Administrative Coordinator - Division of Orthopedics
Allison Tremblay was recently appointed as the new Administrative Coordinator for the Division of Orthopedics within the Schroeder Arthritis Institute.
Patient Experience Project Coordinator - Division of Orthopedics
Emma Nastase was recently appointed as the Patient Experience Project Coordinator for the Division of Orthopedics at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute.
Integrated Care Lead - Division of Orthopedics and Connected Care
Suzanne Mackenzie was recently appointed as the new Integrated Care Lead for the Division of Orthopedics and Connected Care within the Schroeder Arthritis Institute.
Awards, Grants and Recognitions
The Arthritis Society - Strategic Operating Grant
Dr. Sowmya Viswanathan, Scientist at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute and Krembil Research Institute, secured funding for her project titled "Investigating the role of bacterial metabolites in monocyte/macrophage polarization in knee osteoarthritis" through The Arthritis Society (TAS) - Strategic Operating Grant 2021.
The Arthritis Society - Stars Career Development Award
Dr. Andy Wong, Scientist within the Osteoporosis Program at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, received the Stars Career Development Award from The Arthritis Society on his project titled "Imaging pathways towards pain development in postmenopausal knee osteoarthritis".
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Grants
Dr. Angela Cheung, Head of the Osteoporosis Program at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, secured funding through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Grant to continue working on her project, Canadian COVID-19 Prospective Cohort Study (CANCOV).
Dr. Joan Wither, Senior Scientist in the Division of Rheumatology at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute and the Krembil Research Institute, secured funding through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Grant for her project titled "Identification of the immunologic mechanisms leading to flares of disease activity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus."
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Catalyst Grant
Dr. Raja Rampersaud, Silvi Groe, Andrew Courchene, Dr. Anthony Perruccio, Leslie Soever, Dr. Christian Veillette, and Dr. Fiona Webster secured funding through the CIHR Catalyst Grant for their project titled "Evaluation of Virtual Care for Rapid Access Clinic - Low Back Pain: Patient and Healthcare Provider Perspectives Across Ontario", which will contribute to assessing virtual versus in-person care in the Rapid Access Clinic.
Honouring Women Who Lead - The National Psoriasis Foundation
Dr. Dafna Gladman, Senior Scientist at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute and the Krembil Research Institute, is being honoured as a Women Who Leads by The National Psoriasis Foundation in their gala on June 11, 2022. Learn more about the 2022 Commit to Cure Gala
American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand Resident/Fellow Fast Track Grant
Dr. Moaath Saggaf, Dr. Christine Novak, Dr. Steven McCabe, Dr. Brian Feldman and Dr. Dimitri Anastakis, from the Hand Program at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, secured funding for their project titled "Establishing the Responsiveness and MCID of CISS following a CTR" through the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand Resident/Fellow Fast Track Grant.
Japan College of Rheumatology (JCR) Promotion Award
Dr. Akihiro Nakamura, Spondylitis Clinical Fellow and PhD Candidate at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute and the Krembil Research Institute, was awarded the Japan College of Rheumatology Promotion Award for being one of the most successful and young rheumatologists who greatly contributed to research and patient care.
Canadian Rheumatology Association - Ian Watson Award
Maher Banjari, Clinical Research Fellow at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, supervised by Dr. Dafna Gladman, was awarded the Ian Watson Award for Best Abstract on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Research by a Trainee for his presentation titled "Evaluating COVID 19 Vaccinations in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus" through the Canadian Rheumatology Association.
Canadian Rheumatology Association - Spondyloarthritis Research Award
Vanessa Ocampo, Clinical Research Fellow at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, supervised by Dr. Dafna Gladman and Dr. Vinod Chandran, was awarded Best Abstract on Spondyloarthritis Research for her presentation titled "Prevalence, Incidence, and Predictors of Uveitis in Spondyloarthritis in a Canadian Cohort" through the Canadian Rheumatology Association.
Canadian Rheumatology Association - Basic Science Research by a Trainee Award
Omar Cruz Correa, Post-doctoral Fellow at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, supervised by Dr. Dafna Gladman, was awarded Best Abstract on Basic Science Research by a Trainee for his project titled "Prediction of Psoriatic Arthritis in Patients with Psoriasis Using DNA Methylation Profiles" through the Canadian Rheumatology Association.
Krembil Research Institute 2021 Fall Postdoctoral & Clinical Research Fellowship Award
Amit Sandu, Postdoctoral Fellow supervised by Dr. Mohit Kapoor, was awarded the Krembil Research Institute 2021 Fall Postdoctoral & Clinical Research Fellowship Award for his project titled "Utilizing a multi-OMICS approach to predict the outcome of Total Knee Replacement surgery in patients with osteoarthritis."
Canadian Arthritis Research Conference - Best Research Presentation
Dr. Carolina Munoz Grajales, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, was selected to deliver a 'Best Research Presentation' at the Canadian Arthritis Research Conference 2022 for her project titled "Reduced IgG Sialic Acid Content: A Distinctive Characteristic of Symptomatic Anti-Nuclear Antibodies Positive Individuals."
Dr. Jason Rockel, Research Associate at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, was selected to deliver a 'Best Research Presentation' at the Canadian Arthritis Research Conference 2022 for his project titled "Oral delivery of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol provides symptom and disease modification in a mouse model of knee osteoarthritis."
The Arthritis Society - "Arthritis in the Hands and Feet"
Dr. Heather Baltzer, Clinician Investigator at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, and Tamara Gotal, Physiotherapist Practitioner at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, led an Arthritis Talk presentation titled "Arthritis in the Hands and Feet" for The Arthritis Society in February 2022. Watch the recorded webinar
International Conference on Arthritis
The Schroeder Arthritis Institute, in partnership with the Department of Medicine and the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto, is hosting an International Conference on Arthritis, convergence of care, education, and research in arthritis, on October 13th and 14th in 2022. Free registration will open on July 1, 2022. Please visit our website
Exemplary Accreditation Status
The Schroeder Arthritis Institute was highlighted for its excellence in the University Health Network's Accreditation Report which received an Exemplary Accreditation Status. Here is an excerpt from the report:
"The Schroeder Arthritis Institute's integrated and collaborative relationships in service delivery between rheumatology and surgical services demonstrate impressive best practices in outpatient care for complex care clients. The intentional structure of the one-year-old institute is an enabler for long-term achievement of the outpatient strategy, combined with their unrelenting focus on outcomes measurement and monitoring. This is further strengthened by the interdependencies between clinical, laboratory, and translational research arms to inform best practice adoption and evaluation in outpatient care service delivery."
On behalf of the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, we would like to congratulate everyone for this outstanding review.
Call for Applications
The Schroeder Arthritis Institute Annual Collaborative Pilot Grant Competition 2022 and the Graduate Student and Research Fellow Awards 2022 are now open.
Can CD200R1 Agonists Slow the Progression of Osteoarthritis Secondary to Injury?
Vachhani K, Prodeus A, Nakamura S, Rockel JS, Hopfgartner A, Kapoor M, Gariépy J, Whyne C, Nam D. Front Immunol. March 2022.View the publication
Circulating microRNAs differentiate fast-progressing from slow-progressing and non-progressing knee osteoarthritis in the Osteoarthritis Initiative cohort.
Amanda Ali S, Espin-Garcia O, Wong AK, Potla P, Pastrello C, McIntyre M, Lively S, Jurisica I, Gandhi R, Kapoor M. Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease. March 2022. View the publication
CORR Insights®: Patients Who Undergo Early Aseptic Revision TKA Within 90 Days of Surgery Have a High Risk of Re-revision and Infection at 2 Years: A Large-database Study.
Zywiel MG. Clin Orthop Relat Res. March 2022.View the publication
Defining Imaging Sub-phenotypes of Psoriatic Arthritis: Integrative Analysis of Imaging Data and Gene Expression in a PsA Patient Cohort.
Eder L, Li Q, Rahmati S, Rahman P, Jurisica I, Chandran V. Rheumatology (Oxford). Feb 2022.View the publication
IID 2021: Towards context-specific protein interaction analyses by increased coverage, enhanced annotation and enrichment analysis.
Kotlyar M, Pastrello C, Ahmed Z, Chee J, Varyova Z, Jurisica I. Nucleic Acids Res. Jan 2022.View the publication
Information fusion as an integrative cross-cutting enabler to achieve robust, explainable and trustworthy medical artificial intelligence.
Holzinger A, Dehmer M, Emmert-Streib F, Cucchiara R, Augenstein I. Information Fusion. March 2022.View the publication
Investigating Molecular Signatures Underlying Trapeziometacarpal Osteoarthritis Through the Evaluation of Systemic Cytokine Expression.
Ratneswaran A, Rockel JS, Antflek D, Matelski JJ, Shestopaloff K, Kapoor M, Baltzer H. Front Immunol. Jan 2022.View the publication
Minimal clinically important difference of the Trapeziometacarpal Arthritis Symptoms and Disability questionnaire.
Florczinsky M, Antflek D, Baltzer HL. J Hand Surgeon Eur. 2022.
Motivators, Barriers, and Opportunity for E-Health to Encourage Physical Activity in Axial Spondyloarthritis: A Qualitative Descriptive Study.
Passalent L, Cyr A, Jurisica I, Mathur S, Inman RD, Haroon N. Arthritis Care Re (Hoboken). Jan 2022.View the publication
Opioid Medication Disposal Among Patients Following Hand Surgery.
Yeung C, Novak CB, Antflek D, Baltzer HL. Hand. 2022.View the publication
Pharmacological Treatment in the Management of Glenohumeral Osteoarthritis.
Al-Mohrej OA, Prada C, Leroux T, Shanthanna H, Khan M. Drugs Aging. Feb 2022.View the publication
Severe COVID-19 Shares a Common Neutrophil Activation Signature with Other Acute Inflammatory States.
Schimke LF, Marques AHC, Baiocchi GC, de Souza Prado CA, Fonseca DLM, Freire PP, Plaça DR, Filgueiras IS, Salgado RC, Jansen-Marques G, Oliveira AER, Peron JPS, Cabral-Miranda G, Barbuto JAM, Camara NOS, Calich VLG, Ochs HD, Condino-Neto A, Balnis J, Jaitovich A, Schulte-Schrepping J, Ulas T, Schultze JL, Nakaya HI, Jurisica I, & Cabral-Marques O. Cells. March 2022.View the publication
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Surgical Wait Times for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Ontario.
Saggaf M, Anastakis DJ. PS Journal. Dec 2021.View the publication
Validation of the automated neuropsychological assessment metrics for assessing cognitive impairment in systemic lupus erythematosus.
Yuen K, Beaton D, Bingham K, Katz P, Su J, Diaz Martinez JP, Tartaglia MC, Ruttan L, Wither JE, Kakvan M, Anderson N, Bonilla D, Choi MY, Fritzler MJ, Green R, Touma Z. Lupus. Jan 2022.View the publication
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