LANtern Program Helps People with Lupus

Program Dedicated To Serving the Asian Community

New York, NY—March 26, 2003

Did you know approximately one million people a year suffer from lupus, or SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), with 9 out of 10 people being female? The disease, which can be hard to diagnose, mostly strikes women in their late teens through their thirties. Reaction to the illness, both physically and psychologically, can cause overwhelming anxiety and depression.

Even more startling is the fact that Asian women are twice as likely to suffer from the disease as Caucasian women are. To meet the need for more language appropriate support and education in the Asian Community for people with lupus, Hospital for Special Surgery just launched the LANtern (Lupus Asian Network) Program, the first of its kind.

A key element of this program is the LANtern Support Line, a toll-free national, telephone peer support service (866-505-2253), which is staffed by trained volunteers who themselves have lupus. These volunteers, fluent in Mandarin and/or Cantonese, are prepared to respond to callers' concerns about lupus over the telephone.

"Lupus is a chronic, life-threatening autoimmune disease with many different symptoms -- extreme fatigue, hair loss, joint pains, fever, rashes, weight loss, kidney failure, skin lesions and extreme sensitivity to the sun," says Dr. Arthur Yee, Rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University. "Despite its greater prevalence in the Asian community, Chinese women are less likely to be diagnosed due to cultural reasons. This makes it particularly important to educate both patients and health care providers so that the illness can be identified and treated earlier."

The LANtern program was established by Hospital for Special Surgery in collaboration with its partners, The S.L.E. Foundation, Inc., Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, NYU Downtown Hospital Chinese Community Partnership for Health, and Hospital for Joint Diseases. As part of its mission to enhance a greater understanding of this serious illness, the program also offers community presentations and educational workshops. As a young woman with lupus said, "I'm so glad I found a place where people care about us." Generous support from Rheuminations, Inc. has made this program possible.

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s largest academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2017), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at

For More Information
Contact program coordinator Karen Tsai at 212-774-2508 or if outside of New York City, call the program's toll-free number at 866-505-2253.


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