Knowledge, time and compassion.
“I want our division to be where young patients and their parents can say they’re getting all this,” says Floating Hospital’s Chief of Pediatric Rheumatology Diana Milojevic, MD, who joined the medical staff nearly a year ago. “Being diagnosed with a chronic disease – and most rheumatologic diseases are chronic – can be very stressful, and we’re here to provide excellent clinical care as well as guidance and support.”
With colleague Trevor E. Davis, MD, Dr. Milojevic is equally committed to providing responsive service to referring pediatricians. She understands the importance of getting a fast consultation and expert opinion; that’s why the division is making its members’ expertise more accessible, seeing patients at Floating’s satellite clinics in Chelmsford, Lawrence and Woburn in addition to strengthening its clinical presence in Boston. Later this summer, physicians from the division will begin seeing patients in Framingham and Easton.
“We want to offer our help where the kids are, and where it’s more convenient for them to see us,” Dr. Milojevic says. “It also makes it easier to collaborate with local pediatricians.”
She notes that the division is committed to seeing new patients within a week. In addition, she is open to having one-on-one or group sessions with community pediatricians who’d like to know more about pediatric rheumatology topics of interest to them. Some of the diseases her division treats are rare and not well-recognized, and she welcomes the opportunity to disseminate current information to frontline practitioners.
On the horizon are plans to develop a musculoskeletal ultrasound program at Floating Hospital – a capability unique to the region. Dr. Milojevic is one of the few pediatric rheumatologists in the nation who is a certified musculoskeletal ultrasonographer and says the technology enables better diagnosis and treatment follow-up, and more precision in interventions such as joint injections.
The division also is advancing pediatric rheumatology through research. Dr. Davis is involved in lupus basic science research. Dr. Milojevic, whose work focuses on juvenile idiopathic arthritis, is taking advantage of the infrastructure available through Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) to launch a clinical study of a combination NSAID and proton pump inhibitor that promises to prevent the gastric side effects of NSAIDs.
“Our main emphasis remains on excellent clinical work,” Dr. Milojevic stresses, and this encompasses the physical as well as psychological aspects of managing rheumatological disease in children. “It’s not easy growing up, but to grow up with a chronic disease, on medications that increase infection risk or alter the way you look, can be especially hard, which is why social workers also are part of our division.”
For more information, please contact the Pediatric Rheumatology Division at 617-636-8100.