UI Health, Bernie Mac Foundation celebrate first year of sarcoidosis center

WHAT:

Rhonda McCullough, wife of the late performer Bernie Mac

Nadera Sweiss (left), lead researcher in the sarcoidosis program, listens to Rhonda McCullough answer questions from the media at the opening of the Bernie Mac Sarcoidosis Translational Advanced Research Center. Photo: Joshua Clark/UIC Photo Services

REACH for the STARS Town Hall Meeting

The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System will host the REACH for the STARS Town Hall Meeting to celebrate the one-year partnership between UI Health and the Bernie Mac Foundation in the fight against sarcoidosis.

The meeting will provide updates on clinical services for patients with sarcoidosis, and educational and scholarly activities at the Bernie Mac Sarcoidosis Translational Advanced Research (STAR) Center, established at UI Health with a grant from the Bernie Mac Foundation in 2012. There will also be a tour of the new STAR Center discovery laboratory.

WHO:

Speakers will discuss the REACH philosophy (Research, Education, Academic excellence, Clinical Care, Humanism) behind the Bernie Mac Star Center and will include:

Rhonda McCullough, president and CEO of the Bernie Mac Foundation and widow of Bernie Mac

Dr. Nadera Sweiss, associate professor of rheumatology at UI Health and director of the UI Health Bernie Mac STAR Center

Dr. Patricia Finn, head of the department of medicine at the UIC College of Medicine and president of the American Thoracic Society and director of the Bernie Mac STAR Center laboratory

Physicians and investigators from the Bernie Mac STAR Center will discuss clinical services and research opportunities for sarcoidosis patients at UI Health

WHEN:

Oct. 3

Speaking program: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Tour of the Bernie Mac STAR Center laboratory: 1 p.m.

WHERE:

Speaking program: UIC College of Nursing, 845 S. Damen Ave., 3rd floor

Bernie Mac STAR Center laboratory tour: College of Medicine Research Building, 909 S. Wolcott Ave., Suite 3060

DETAILS:

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that often attacks multiple organs, particularly the lungs and lymph nodes, and disproportionately affects African Americans. Chicago comedian Bernie Mac suffered from sarcoidosis and died from complications of the disease in 2008.

The Bernie Mac STAR Center at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System is made up of pulmonary and critical care physicians, rheumatologists, pharmacists, cardiologists, ophthalmologists, dermatologists. Since the establishment of the STAR Center in 2012, UI Health has seen a 70 percent increase in the number of sarcoidosis patients visiting the hospital for treatment. The research objective of the Center is to develop new diagnostic, prognostic and treatment modalities for patients with sarcoidosis, and offers participation is clinical trials evaluating new therapies. The STAR Center has also played a major role in helping to reduce health disparities among sarcoidosis patients in Chicago.

The Bernie Mac Foundation is dedicated to a more thorough understanding of sarcoidosis, its impact on patients’ lives and treatment. The foundation supports research and creates education-based opportunities for patients and their families.

The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System provides comprehensive care, education and research to the people of Illinois and beyond. UI Health includes a 495-bed tertiary hospital; the University of Illinois at Chicago colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Applied Health Sciences, the UIC School of Public Health and UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work; 22 outpatient clinics located in Chicago; 12 federally qualified health centers throughout the city; and College of Medicine and affiliated health care facilities in Urbana, Peoria and Rockford.

The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System