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Change Maker Recognition


Rheumatology Change Makers are those in the field of rheumatology working to start or support an initiative or intervention, bring a program or idea to reality, or improve the quality of life of a group or community: A true leader, an inspired visionary, or front-line professional willing to do whatever it takes to keep things going. The ACR/ARP is proud to recognize these heroes of rheumatology through the Rheumatology Change Maker program.

Nominate a Rheumatology Change Maker

Nominate a peer, colleague, mentor, or anyone in the field of rheumatology who has gone above and beyond. Learn about the nomination process and see how easy it is to recognize a Rheumatology Change Maker.


See Rheumatology Change Maker Nomination Details

Vinicius Domingues, MD

Vinicius Domingues, MD
Asthma Allergy and Arthritis Center

Dr. Domingues displays all the best qualities of a physician. He is extremely knowledgeable, compassionate and his bedside manners are truly unparalleled. For me, as a nurse, to witness the kindness and respect he has with his patients is not only gratifying but also inspiring. He deserves all the accolades possible.
Boris Euclides

Svejtlana Dolovcak

Svjetlana Dolovcak, MD
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Dr. Svjetlana Dolovcak is an outstanding rheumatologist and clinical immunologist who I have been privileged to know for the past decade. She works tirelessly in her advocacy for her patients, is a creative problem solver for the clinics that she works in, and is enthusiastic to pitch in whenever her colleagues need assistance. Additionally, she has been an effective mentor who has influenced so many students and residents to consider our specialty, including myself.

Dr. Dolovcak is a Change Maker in the truest sense of the term. The changes that she has already instituted have been bearing fruit and will continue to do so for the years and decades to come.
Bharat Kumar, MD

Svejtlana Dolovcak

Vaneet Sandhu, MD, RhMSUS
Loma Linda University Health
Dr. Sandhu is a full package for an outstanding rheumatology change maker. She takes care of autoimmune patients in one of the most vulnerable and underserved counties in the U.S. (San Bernardino). She has been repeatedly recognized by her patients for providing outstanding care. She is very active in ACR local and national events, including AWIR. She is a very approachable Program Director who is always available to her fellows. She is just an awesome human being with a great sense of humor.
Artem Minalyan

Mahfuz Haque

Mahfuz Haque
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Upcoming star in the field of research in Rheumatology. Has contributed to advancement and cultural competence with “Guide to Optimizing Care for Muslim Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis” publication in the Arthritis & Rheumatology journal.
Usman Virk

Irene Blanco

Irene Blanco, MD, MS
Northwestern University

Dr. Blanco has led efforts to raise awareness of the impact social determinants of health in rheumatology both on patients and on our workforce. She has worked to educate medical students, residents, fellows and faculty in rheumatology about health disparities. She has led ACR DEI task force efforts and has been a passionate and tireless advocate and educator for our entire rheumatology community.
Candace Feldman


Nizar Jassim
University of Baghdad

Nizar Jassim is a true leader, an inspired visionary, and frontline professional willing to do whatever it takes to keep things going.
Asal Adnan


Eloisa Bonfa, MD, PhD

Eloisa Bonfa, MD, PhD
University of Sao Paulo

Prof. Bonfá is a pioneer on Latin America, being the youngest Full Professor of Medicine in the University of Sao Paulo, the most prestigious institution of Medicine in Brazil. In 1986, she completed her Fellowship in Rheumatology on the Hospital for Special Surgery, Cornell University (NY, USA), where, under the supervision of Prof. Keith Elkon, she discovered the correlation between anti-P antibodies and psychiatric lupus. She's the most acclaimed Lupologist of Latin America, being part of the Steering Committee of Lupus Academy. Recently, she once again reasserted her role as a paradigm shifter, being elected the first woman Director of the Medicine Faculty of the University of Sao Paulo, a position dominated by male physicians for the last 110 years.
Marina Barguil Macedo

Ashira Blazer, MD

Ashira Blazer, MD
Dr. Blazer has has been a force in the rheumatology community pushing for greater recognition of the role structural racism plays both in our rheumatology workforce composition and in the disparities we see in rheumatic disease burden and outcomes. She has been a force for change advocating through lectures, through ACR leadership, and through her scholarship.
Candace Feldman

Past Rheumatology Change Makers

Daniel J. Wallace, MD

Cedars Sinai

Myla Morales-Tomas, ARNP

University of Washington

Arundathi Jayatilleke, MD

Temple University

Marcy Bolster, MD

Massachusetts General Hospital

Elaine Alexander, MD

Arthritis Center of Lexington

Nasser Nasseri, MD, FACR

Nasseri Clinic of Arthritic and Rheumatic Diseases, Jean Walter Infusion Center

Petros Efthimiou, MD

New York Rheumatology Care

Elizabeth Karlson Shapiro, MD

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Anna Helena Jonsson, MD, PhD

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Silvano Adami, MD

University of Verona

Dominic DeMello, MD

Springfield Medical Associates

Grace Wright, MD, PhD, FACR

New York University

Rheumatology Department

University of Picardy-Jules Verne (France)

Milena Vukelic, MD

Jacobi Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Kathleen Arntsen, BA

Lupus and Allied Disease Association, Inc.

Julie Baak

Arthritis Center

Diane Kamen, MD, MSCR

Medical University of South Carolina

Eugene Kissin, MD

Boston University School of Medicine

Soumya Chatterjee, MD, MS, FRCP

Cleveland Clinic

William Rigby, MD

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Edward Leib, MD

University of Vermont Medical Center

Bonita Libman, MD

University of Vermont

Lisa Sammaritano, MD

Hospital for Special Surgery

Jinoos Yazdany, MD, MPH

San Francisco General Hospital

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