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NIAMS Community Health Center

Updated October 22, 2012

About the NIAMS Community Health Center

What is the NIAMS Community Health Center?
Where is the health center located?
What types of patient care services are available at the health center?
What kinds of health information and education programs are available at the health center?
How does the NIAMS benefit from the NIAMS Community Health Center?
What are arthritis and other rheumatic diseases?
What is the NIAMS?
More on the NIAMS Community Health Center

What is the NIAMS Community Health Center?

The NIAMS Community Health Center is a medical and health information center providing health care services to people affected by arthritis, lupus, and other rheumatic diseases. The health center offers patient care with access to a specialist, health information, and referral to clinical studies for the prevention and treatment of rheumatic diseases. The health center includes a main facility in Silver Spring, MD, and was established through a partnership with the Cardinal McCarrick Center of the Spanish Catholic Center of Catholic Charities.

Where is the health center located?

The NIAMS Community Health Center is located in the Cardinal McCarrick Center of the Spanish Catholic Center of Catholic Charities at 12247 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland.

What types of patient care services are available at the health center?

All patients are referred for evaluation by their primary care physician. Patients who are accepted for evaluation will be enrolled in the Natural History of Rheumatic Disease in Minority Communities study and will need to sign a consent form allowing NIAMS health care providers to provide care. Natural history studies are a general type of clinical study where the health care team provides standard care for people with a disease. This care covers standard medical care, including medical examinations, X rays, blood tests, and standard medicines and treatments. Patients may also receive physical or occupational therapy, and dietary recommendations and/or exercise recommendations. No experimental treatments or procedures are tested in this type of study.

X rays and specialty testing will take place at the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Assistance with transportation can be provided between the NIAMS Community Center and the Clinical Center in Maryland upon request.

The NIAMS provides medical care associated with treatment under the clinical study, including prescription medications, at no charge to the patient.

Medical staff will monitor the patient's disease progress and treatment program just as in any other health care facility. This information will help physicians and researchers understand the causes of rheumatic diseases and why many of these diseases occur more frequently and more severely in certain minority groups.

Some patients may be eligible for other clinical studies that may include experimental treatments. For any of these additional studies, patients will need to sign a separate consent form. Anyone who does not want to participate in another study (e.g., treatment study) can still receive standard medical care under the natural history study.

Participation in the health center's programs is completely voluntary, and patients may stop using the health center at any time and for any reason. Patients who are receiving care at other health care facilities can request at any time to have medical staff at the health center share their medical information with other physicians.

What kinds of health information and education programs are available at the health center?

Fact sheets and brochures on the various types of arthritis as well as diseases and conditions of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin are available in English and Spanish. The information highlights signs and symptoms, disease management, treatment options, and additional resources. Educational programs are available to groups upon request.

How does the NIAMS benefit from the NIAMS Community Health Center?

The NIAMS's mission is to (1) support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis, musculoskeletal, and skin diseases, (2) support training of scientists to carry out this research, and (3) disseminate information on research progress to improve public health.

The health center helps the institute meet this mission by creating a medical and health information facility where NIAMS researchers can (1) provide medical care where access to a medical specialist is limited, (2) gather health information to answer research questions about disease, and (3) provide scientifically based health information on rheumatic, musculoskeletal, and skin diseases that affect the community.

What are arthritis and other rheumatic diseases?

There are more than 100 rheumatic diseases. These diseases may cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints and other supporting structures of the body such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Some rheumatic diseases can also affect other parts of the body, including various internal organs. These can be life-threatening or may be so severe that people are unable to work or carry out their daily activities. For more information about rheumatic diseases please see the publications below.

What Are Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases?
(http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Arthritis/arthritis_rheumatic_ff.asp)
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
(http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rheumatic_Disease/rheumatoid_arthritis_ff.asp)
What Is Osteoarthritis?
(http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Osteoarthritis/osteoarthritis_ff.asp)
What Is Lupus?
(http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Lupus/lupus_ff.asp)

What is the NIAMS?

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), within the U.S. Government. The NIAMS leads the Federal effort on research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress to improve public health.

The NIAMS, which is focused on diseases affecting millions of Americans, supports and conducts basic, clinical, and epidemiologic research and research training at universities and medical centers throughout the Nation, as well as through the Intramural Research Program on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

More on the NIAMS Community Health Center

The NIAMS Community Health Center operates as an extension of the rheumatology research program at the NIAMS in Bethesda, Maryland. Some of the medical services provided are available to patients through their participation in clinical studies. These include noninvasive medical evaluations, such as questionnaires, physical examinations and X rays, as well as invasive techniques such as blood tests and other laboratory tests. Patients also will have the opportunity to receive the latest investigative treatments.

Main Number: 301-761-4590
Nurse Practitioner: 301-443-9831
Medication Refills: 301-594-6035

For more information contact the NIAMS Information Clearinghouse at:

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Information Clearinghouse
National Institutes of Health

1 AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Phone: 301-495-4484
Toll Free: 877-22-NIAMS (877-226-4267)
TTY: 301-565-2966
Fax: 301-718-6366
Email: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.niams.nih.gov