Patients with lupus and APS often require coordinated care with other medical specialists in addition to their rheumatologist due to their complex disease manifestations. In an effort to provide complete care, our rheumatology team has partnered with a comprehensive group of medical specialists experienced in caring for lupus and APS patients. These physicians work with Lupus & APS Center of Excellence rheumatologists to provide coordinated, high quality patient care.
Margaret S. Smith, MBA, MPH, CHES - Manager, Rheumatology
Margaret Smith, MBA, MPH, CHES is the Manager of the Systemic Lupus and APS Center of Excellence in the Department of Rheumatology. She is responsible for advancing the goals of the Lupus and APS Center: expanding knowledge through research trials and studies, enhancing patient education, and maximizing patient health outcomes and satisfaction. Ms. Smith focuses on community health and primary prevention of co-existing conditions. Her work includes patient and doctor outreach to increase development, awareness, and use of health programs in the Lupus Center. She received her Master of Public Health degree from New York Medical College, concentrating in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Additionally, she holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University. She has been active in her home community in youth substance use prevention.
Juliette Kleinman, LCSW ACSW - Senior Social Work Manager, Rheumatology
Juliette Kleinman, LCSW ACSW is the Senior Social Work Manager, Rheumatology. She is responsible for the supervision and strategic direction of social work services in the Hospital’s Rheumatology Private and Ambulatory Care Center, including adult rheumatology social work and VOICES 60+ Senior Advocacy Program. Ms. Kleinman has a specialty in social work practice in gerontology and health disparities with many years of experience working in the community, private and non-profit sectors. Ms. Kleinman received her Master of Social Work degree from New York University Silver School of Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds memberships in the Academy of Certified Social Workers, National Association of Social Workers, National Society on Aging, and Society of Social Work Leadership in Healthcare. She was a past chair of, and held leadership positions in, the East Side Council on the Aging. Ms. Kleinman has presented the VOICES 60+ program model at local and national conferences.
Alexandra Jurenko, LCSW - Manager, VOICES 60+ Senior Advocacy Program
Alexandra Jurenko, LCSW, Manager, VOICES 60+ Senior Advocacy Program is responsible for providing social work services for rheumatology patients, 60 years of age and older, in the Ambulatory Care Center and Private Rheumatology patients. She has oversight of the VOICES 60+ team social worker and volunteer. Ms. Jurenko has a specialty in social work practice in gerontology, nephrology, and caregiver support with many years of experience working in the community and private sectors. Ms. Jurenko is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her Master of Social Work degree from the Rockefeller School of Social Welfare, University at Albany. She completed a Post- Masters Certificate in Palliative and End of Life Care from New York University Silver School of Social Work. Ms. Jurenko is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and has held positions on the board of the East Side Council on the Aging.
Susan Rodriguez, LMSW - Social Worker, Rheumatology
Susan Rodriguez is a Licensed Social Worker at Hospital for Special Surgery. She works with adult patients who are 18-59 years of age in the Ambulatory Care Center and Department of Medicine. Ms. Rodriguez works with patients who are newly diagnosed or coping with chronic rheumatologic disease. She provides support and services ranging from emotional support to referrals for community resources that can assist in enhancing the quality of life and adjustment to acute and chronic conditions. Ms. Rodriguez has a keen interest and experience in the psychotherapeutic management of chronic pain. Ms. Rodriguez obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at CUNY-Hunter College, and her Master of Social Work Degree at Columbia University School of Social Work.
Albairis Rosa, LMSW - Social Worker, VOICES 60+ Senior Advocacy Program
Albairis Rosa, LMSW is the social worker for VOICES 60+ Senior Advocacy Program of the Department of Social Work Programs. In her role, she conducts assessments of rheumatology patients 60 years of age and older coping with chronic rheumatic disease. Ms. Rosa refers patients to appropriate life enhancing services. Ms. Rosa received a Master of Social Work degree from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work with a concentration in social work practice in gerontology. Ms. Rosa’s second year of field placement was with HSS’s VOICES 60+ Program. Ms. Rosa has a deep interest in how culture and health disparities impact health outcomes.
Jillian Rose, LMSW - Director of Community Engagement, Diversity and Research
Jillian is manager of the LupusLine® and Charla de Lupus® (Lupus Chat) Programs at Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Under her direction, over a five-year period, Special Surgery's lupus peer support and education programs grew by nearly 40 percent and provided approximately 25,000 interventions to patients, families and communities affected by lupus. She has been recognized for her work with underserved communities within the HSS community and nationally. In 2010, Rose received the Emerging Social Work Leader Award from the National Association of Social Workers, New York City Chapter. In 2012 she received the Wholeness of Life Award from HSS and the Healthcare Chaplaincy. Despite her busy schedule, Rose still finds time to serve her community outside of the hospital, volunteering at a housing shelter to feed the homeless. Every three months, she sponsors a dinner for more than 100 adults. She is also a founder/leader of the Sister 2 Sister Young Woman's Mentorship Program and a team organizer for the AIDS Walk in New York City.
Priscilla Toral, LCSW - Program Manager, LupusLine® and Charla de Lupus (Lupus Chat)®
Priscilla Toral, LCSW, is the Program Manager for LupusLine® and Charla de Lupus(Lupus Chat)® programs, national peer based support and education programs for people with lupus and their loved ones. She is responsible for the planning and operational oversight for program initiatives, training and supervision of program staff and volunteers, initial screening and psychosocial assessment and social work intervention with patients and their families. Ms. Toral also provides direct support as needed upon referral from Rheumatology adult and pediatric social workers, and other health team members regarding program services. Ms. Toral received a Master of Social Work degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work and has an extensive background working with the pediatric asthma population of East Harlem. Ms. Toral’s professional interests include psychosocial aspects of coping with chronic illness, patient education and advocacy.
Eliza Ngan-Dittgen - Senior Program Associate, LANtern® (Lupus Asian Network) Manager
Sophia Loo – Lupus & APS Registry and Repository Coordinator (Dr. Jane Salmon)
Marta Guerra – IMPACT & PROMISSE Project Coordinator (Dr. Jane Salmon)
Mary Peng – Clinical Research Coordinator (Dr. Kyriakos Kirou & Dr. Mary Crow)
JoAnn Vega – Clinical Research Coordinator (Dr. Medha Barbhaiya, Dr. Doruk Erkan & Dr. Michael Lockshin)