Melissa was diagnosed with psoriasis as a baby and psoriatic arthritis as a young adult. She is originally from New York but now lives in California where she is in her third year of medical school at Stanford Medical School. Melissa has been volunteering with the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) for almost 10 years.
Minionette, or “Mini” as she is known, is a Spondylitis Association of America support group co-leader in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. She has had psoriasis since she was a baby, but due to various healthcare hurdles did not receive proper diagnoses of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and PsA until her 40s/50s. Mini has struggled with pain and fatigue her whole life, with personal and career impacts. She has come up with dozens of “life hacks” that she shares with her support group members to perform daily functions while working around pain, fatigue, and range-of-motion challenges.
Ernest Choy, MD, FRCP:
Dr. Choy is head of rheumatology and translational research at the Division of Infection and Immunity and Director of the Cardiff Regional Experimental Arthritis Treatment and Evaluation (CREATE) Centre at Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, Wales, UK. He is also Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at University Hospital of Wales and Clinical Lead of the Welsh Arthritis Research Network (WARN). Dr. Choy chaired the EULAR taskforce on developing recommendations for management and classification criteria for fibromyalgia in 2007 and is currently a member of the EULAR Quality of Care Committee. Dr. Choy has served as clinical expert to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in the UK and many pharmaceutical companies. He has published widely on treatments for rheumatic diseases in major medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet.
Moderator, Philip Mease, MD, MACR:
Dr. Mease is Director of Rheumatology Research at the Swedish Medical Center and Providence St. Joseph Health and Clinical Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. He is a founder, past president, and now co-chair of GRAPPA’s Education Committee. His clinical practice is based at Seattle Rheumatology Associates. Dr. Mease earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and completed his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He has written more than 500 journal articles.