2019 12th Annual RNS Conference – Faculty

RNS Conference



Carrie Beach, BSN, RN-BC

Carrie Beach currently resides in Ohio where she works as a Rheumatology Nurse at Columbus Arthritis Center. She studied nursing at the Ohio State University College of Nursing and has been practicing rheumatology since 2003. Carrie was recognized by the Arthritis Foundation in 2015 as the Walk to Cure Arthritis Medical Honoree and continues to work closely with the Arthritis Foundation to advance her passion in rheumatology education. She firmly believes in serving her patients and peer nurses as a leader of thought, subject matter expert, and coach in the application of best practices for patient and nursing education.

Disclosures: Consultant: Gilead Sciences, Sandoz

Adam J. Brown, MD

Adam J. Brown, MD

Adam Brown is originally from New Mexico and completed medical school at the University of New Mexico. Adam then went on to Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C. where he completed his internal medicine residency. Dr. Brown completed his specialty training in rheumatology and vasculitis at the Cleveland Clinic and is board certified in both rheumatology and internal medicine where he is now a staff member of Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases.

He has an interest in general rheumatology as well as a special interest in vasculitis, susac syndrome, and autoimmune inner ear disease. Dr. Brown is the author of the book Rheumatology Made Ridiculously Simple, which is a textbook designed to teach medical trainees about the field of rheumatology. Dr. Brown also hosts a podcast entitled Rheuminations, which is heard around the globe and discusses rare diseases and interviews other experts of rheumatology.


Tiffany Clark, RN, MSN, CNP

Tiffany Clark is an Adult Nurse Practitioner at the Cleveland Clinic in the Orthopedic and Rheumatologic Institute. She received her Master’s Degree in Nursing from Kent State University. She has been a long time caregiver with Cleveland Clinic for the past 21 years, serving as an Adult Nurse Practitioner in rheumatology for the past 16 years. She is certified by ANCC and has served on multiple advisory boards for the treatment of gout, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. She also has served as the peer editor for Rheumatology Nurses Association and has been honored as a finalist for the Ohio Nurse of the Year award from the Arthritis Foundation. Additionally, she has received several Excellence Awards from Cleveland Clinic. She has also served as a speaker at (CCF) Biologics Summit and has been a guest lecturer at many regional Ohio APN meetings.

Disclosures: Speakers Bureau: Horizon Pharma  /  Consultant: Pfizer


Nancy Delnay, APRN, MSN, RN

Nancy Delnay has been a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner since 2002 with a specialty in rheumatology since 2011. She was also a nurse educator for Akron Children’s Hospital while completing her Master’s in Nursing from the University of Akron. As a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, she has been a member of NAPNAP, including the special interest group on mental health. She was among the first group certified as pediatric primary care mental health specialist. Additionally, Nancy was awarded Excellence in Rheumatology Nursing by RNS at the 2018 11th Annual RNS Conference.

Disclosures: Nothing to disclose


Linda Grinnell-Merrick, MS, NP-BC

Linda Grinnell-Merrick currently resides in New York where she works as a Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She studied at the University of Rochester and has been practicing rheumatology since 2012. Linda chartered the International Transplant Nurses Society of Upstate New York in 2004, served on the medical advisory board, is a speaker for the National Liver Foundation of Upstate New York, and a current board member of Kidney Cares—a local organization providing services to patients with renal diseases. She firmly believes in establishing long term relationships with her patients in order to provide chronic care.

Disclosures: Speakers Bureau: Celgene, Janssen, AbbVie, Novartis, Sanofi  /  Consultant: Janssen, Novartis, Sandoz, AbbVie, Pfizer


Michele Guadalupe, MPH

Michele Guadalupe is the Arthritis Foundation’s Advocacy Alliance Development Director, where she is responsible for developing national and state advocacy partnerships. She has been with the Arthritis Foundation for over 13 years, first in a regional capacity in many of the Midwest and Pacific Southwest states, then as State Director of Advocacy and Access and most recently as Director of State Legislative Affairs. During her tenure with the Foundation, she has cultivated relationships with advocates, legislators, and has served in a leadership capacity on national and state-based coalitions. Previously, Michele worked as a Prevention Specialist at PEER Services, a substance abuse prevention and treatment agency in the Chicago suburbs. She received her Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Bachelor of Science in Health Education from Illinois State University. Michele resides in Normal, Illinois with her husband Michael. She currently serves as past-president for the Illinois State University Alumni Association Board and is an Alpha Omicron Pi alumna.

Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Jeffrey Kaine, MD

Jeffrey Kaine, MD

Jeffrey Kaine graduated from Yale University School of Medicine in 1979. He completed his internship, residency, and rheumatology fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He joined the faculty at Washington University for three years but then moved to Sarasota, Florida in 1986. He was the director of the Sarasota Arthritis Research Center until he resigned late in 2018. Over the past 32 years he has been a principal investigator in over 500 rheumatic disease protocols, the majority of which deal with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and experimental therapeutics. He has worked with numerous pharmaceutical companies as both a consultant and investigator. His clinical responsibilities were equally divided between patient care and clinical trial investigation. Dr. Kaine has authored numerous scientific papers and lectures both nationally and internationally. After leaving Sarasota, he has relocated to Cashiers, NC where he lives with his wife and two Portuguese water dogs in the mountains.

Disclosures: Speakers Bureau: Pfizer, BMS, Lilly, Merck, Regeneron  /  Consultant: Pfizer, Lilly, Regeneron, Gilead Sciences


Elizabeth Kirchner, CNP, RN-BC

Elizabeth Kirchner currently resides in Ohio where she works as a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner at the Cleveland Clinic. She studied English Literature and Medieval Studies at Ohio Wesleyan University, received her Master of Science in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University and has been practicing rheumatology since 2000. Elizabeth is recognized as board-certified in Rheumatology Nursing and also lectures frequently on biomarkers, vaccines, biologics, and the immune system. She has published several articles and book chapters and her current work within the RNS includes writing and editing content for the Core Curriculum.

Disclosures: Nothing to disclose


Benjamin D. Korman, MD

Benjamin Korman completed his undergraduate and medical school training at Ohio State University and spent a year during medical school at the NIH working with Dr. Daniel Kastner on the genetics of autoinflammatory and autoimmune disease. He then completed an internal medicine residency and rheumatology fellowship at Northwestern University. At Northwestern, Dr. Korman worked closely with Dr. John Varga and did training in both the clinical aspects and translational science underlying systemic sclerosis (SSc, scleroderma). He is a recipient of an NIH K08 award as well as multiple additional research and teaching awards. He moved to the University of Rochester in 2018 where he now serves as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology and has set up a clinical scleroderma center, a clinical research program in scleroderma, and a basic science lab investigating the fundamental mechanisms underlying this disease.

Disclosures: Nothing to disclose


Robert W. Levin, MD

Robert Levin is in private practice specializing in rheumatology located in Clearwater, Florida since 1989. He is an Assistant Affiliate Professor of Medicine at the University of South Florida. He serves as the immediate past President of the Florida Society of Rheumatology and the President of the Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions. He is a member of the  board of directors of the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations. Dr. Levin is board certified in Rheumatology and Internal Medicine. He is involved in clinical research as a principal investigator in the areas of systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, novel treatments for osteoarthritis and novel treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, gout and osteoporosis.

Disclosures: Speakers Bureau: BMS, AbbVie, Exagen, Sanofi, Regeneron  /  Consultant: Crescendo


Eileen J. Lydon, MA, RN, ANP-BC

Eileen Lydon currently resides in New York where she works as a Nurse Practitioner in the rheumatology department at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital. She studied nursing at Molloy College, joined the Adult PA program for her MA at New York University, and has been practicing rheumatology since 2003. Eileen is the chapter chair on the board of RNS and the founding and current President of the Tri-state Metropolitan RNS chapter. She firmly believes that seeing nurses and other rheumatology healthcare professionals in community with one another can change the world of rheumatology.

Disclosures: Speakers Bureau: Sanofi Regeneron, Novartis, AbbVie  /  Advisory Board: Gilead


Edward J. Mathes, PA-C, DFAAPA

Edward Mathes is a former EMT/Paramedic, Army Medical Corpsman, a 1981 graduate of the Hahnemann Medical College Physician Assistant Program in Philadelphia, and is Board Certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. He has held positions in Critical Care, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, and currently in Interventional Radiology. He is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology PA Program. He is the former editor of the Radiology Review column in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and currently serves as a peer-review editor in radiology and surgery. He has multiple publications and speaks on the regional and national levels. He is an active member of the New York State Society of Physician Assistants, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, The Society of Interventional Radiology, and a founding member of the Rochester (NY) Regional PA Association and PAs For Tomorrow, a national organization advocating for the advancement of the profession.

Disclosures: Nothing to disclose


Eileen McCullagh, BSN, RN, ONC, CCRC

Eileen McCullagh currently resides in New York where she works as a Clinical Research Manager at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). She studied nursing at Pace University in New York and has been practicing orthopedics and rheumatology since 1981. Eileen is recognized as Vice President of New York Tri-state Metropolitan Chapter of RNS and Chair of the RNS Research Special Interest Group (SIG). She hopes to assist rheumatology nurses to become part of a clinical research team and work on developing nursing research projects in the future.

Disclosures: Nothing to disclose


Lauren Metelski, RN

Lauren Metelski is a Registered Nurse and Manager of the National Health Education Network at the Lupus Foundation of America. Her team of health educators offer tailored education and resources to people with lupus and their caregivers by answering over 400 calls and emails each month. In addition, the health educators are actively involved in the Foundation’s program planning and educational events on both local and national levels as well as managing their online support community, Lupusconnect, in partnership with Inspire.com, and producing the Foundation’s monthly video education series, The Expert Series.

Disclosures: Nothing to disclose


Amanda Mixon, PA-C

Amanda Mixon currently resides in Colorado where she works as a Physician Assistant at Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinic of Northern Colorado. She studied Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science at Michigan State University, accomplished PA studies at the University of New England, and has been practicing rheumatology since 2007. Amanda has taught medical students at MSU, educated the public in regards to various autoimmune and arthritis-related topics, and volunteered to provide rheumatology care to the underprivileged. She firmly believes in treating each patient with compassion and empathy as if they are a member of her family while offering the most current and up-to-date practices.

Disclosures: Speakers Bureau: AbbVie, Celgene, Novartis, Lilly, Janssen  /  Consultant: Celgene, Novartis, Sanofi-Regeneron, Medac


Brian Nyquist, MPH

Brian Nyquist is the Executive Director of the National Infusion Center Association and has been a dedicated advocate for access to care for almost twenty years. Through NICA, Brian advocates for patient access to in-office infusion and injectable medications among the autoimmune disease community. In this role, Brian coordinates and oversees nationwide activities to support access to the in-office infusion delivery channel through advocacy, education, and resource development. Before joining NICA, Brian served as the Policy Analyst for the Texas House Committee on Public Health. Brian received his bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from the University of Texas and his master’s degree in Public Health from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health. Known for his tenacious passion for helping others, Brian is committed to helping the nation’s sickest and most vulnerable citizens access the health care they desperately need to maximize quality of life and minimize the economic burden of disease.

Disclosures: Nothing to disclose


Cathy Patty-Resk, MSN, RN-BC, CPNP-BC

Cathy Patty-Resk currently resides in Michigan where she works as a Rheumatologist at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. She studied nursing at Wayne State University and has been practicing rheumatology since 2009. Cathy is recognized as a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner, pediatric at-large-member and active member of the legislative advocacy team of the RNS. She has served as the co-editor of and a contributor to the Core Curriculum for Rheumatology Nursing and has partnered with the American Nurses Credentialing Center to launch the certification by portfolio for rheumatology nurses. She continually seeks opportunities to bring awareness of the need for pediatric pharmaceutical clinical trials and health care system barriers that negatively impact the health of children with autoimmune diseases.

Disclosures: Advisory Board: Novartis, Sandoz

Ali Porter, PharmD, BCPS

Ali Porter, PharmD, BCPS

Ali Porter is a Clinical Pharmacist practicing within rheumatology at The University of Vermont Medical Center. She was awarded her doctorate in pharmacy from The University of Iowa in 2015 and completed a 1 year post-graduate pharmacy residency at The Iowa City VA Medical Center. She practiced as an inpatient pharmacist at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY prior to entering the field of rheumatology in Vermont in 2017. During her time as a Rheumatology Pharmacist, Ali has focused on improving access to specialty medications, assisting the clinic with quality improvement initiatives, and providing medication education to clinic faculty, staff, and patients alike.

Disclosures: Nothing to disclose


Monica Richey, MSN, ANP-BC/GNP

Monica Richey currently resides in New York where she works as a Nurse Practitioner at the Division of Rheumatology at Northwell Health. She received her training at Hospital for Special Surgery and has been practicing nursing since 2002. Monica developed several different patient education programs including cardiovascular disease prevention, contraception, and preventive health and works as the advocate member-at-large for the RNS and has participated in several Washington, D.C. meetings helping to support patient advocacy groups and making the patient’s voices heard.

Disclosures: Speakers Bureau: Mallinckrodt, Novartis


Vickie L. Sayles, MHA, BSN, RN-BC, CRNI

Vickie Sayles currently resides in Ohio where she works as a Clinical Nurse Manager for the Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. She studied nursing at Ohio University and has been practicing since 2008. Vickie was recognized as a “Tier 1” leader and volunteers for various projects both within and outside of the Cleveland Clinic. She has board certifications in Ambulatory Nursing, Rheumatology Nursing, and Infusion Nursing. She firmly believes in delivering world-class care through quality initiatives and evidence-based practices.

Disclosures: Consultant: Celgene, Sandoz, Guidepoint, Gilead Sciences


Roxanne B. Sukol, MD, MS

Roxanne Sukol is an internationally recognized expert in health and wellness. As a physician, speaker and writer, she advises C-level executives and medical professionals in Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, non-profits, and academic organizations. Dr. Sukol has spoken extensively at seminars, events, and conferences including TEDx and has written for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Wall Street Journal, KevinMD.com, Human Pathology, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and the Baltimore Review. She has been quoted in the New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Arthritis Advisor, Martha Stewart Living, Marie Claire, Redbook, and Prevention Magazine. Dr. Sukol is a 1995 graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine with distinction in Biomedical Ethics, and a member of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA). She is author of the blog Your Health is on Your Plate, with over 30 million hits, and a certified yoga teacher.

Disclosures: Nothing to disclose


Timothy R. Walker, RN

Timothy Walker currently resides in South Carolina where he works as the Infusion Suite Coordinator at Piedmont Arthritis Clinic. Following his career in Architecture, in 2002 he studied nursing at The University of South Carolina Upstate, Mary Black School of Nursing and has been practicing rheumatology nursing since 2009. Tim is a former Treasurer of the Rheumatology Nurses Society. He has written policies and procedures for rheumatology infusion suites, as well as formal education training programs. His passion is educating and learning from his patients and fellow nurses.

Disclosures: Nothing to disclose


Carolyn Zic, RN, BSN, CPN

Carolyn Zic currently resides in New Lenox, Illinois where she works as a Pediatric Rheumatology Nurse at Comer Children’s Hospital in the University of Chicago Medicine. She studied nursing at Madonna University and has been practicing pediatric rheumatology since 2011. In 2018, Carolyn was recognized as the Chicago area Arthritis Foundation Medical Honoree for her excellence and compassionate care to patients and their families. She firmly believes in patient advocacy and treasures the bond that she has created with her patients over the years.

Disclosures: Consultant: Sandoz

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2019 12th Annual RNS Conference

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2019 12th Annual RNS Conference


JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
4040 Central Florida Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32837 / 407‑206‑2399


Wednesday, August 7, 2019 to Saturday, August 10, 2019