News & Events

NIAMS Multicultural Outreach News September 2010

NIAMS - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Multicultural Outreach News
Learn, Connect, Share.
September 23, 2010
The NIAMS Multicultural Outreach News is an online quarterly digest to help keep our partners informed about information and resources for multicultural communities on diseases and conditions of the bones, joints, muscles and skin.
Contact Information

Sara Rosario Wilson
Multicultural Outreach

Mimi Lising, M.P.H.
Multicultural Health Educator

Janet S. Austin, Ph.D.

Office of Communications and Public Liaison


Feature Stories
Photo of Robert Chen
NIAMS 2010 summer intern Robert Chen

Meet the 2010 IRP Summer Interns
NIAMS offers a Summer Research Program that provides outstanding opportunities for high school, undergraduate, graduate and medical students contemplating a career in biomedical research or academic medicine. Our interns learn new skills, receive career mentoring from NIAMS researchers, attend lectures and symposia, engage in basic and clinical research and gain credentials that help them pursue their career goals.

Robert Chen is a senior at the University of Rochester majoring in political science. Mr. Chen was a summer intern in the NIAMS Office of Communications and Public Liaison. In summer 2010, he had the exciting opportunity to interview some of his peers in the Intramural Research Program (IRP) and to learn about some of their experiences. “The IRP interns are a group of talented and incredibly driven students with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests,” Mr. Chen said. “It is my pleasure to share with you some of their stories.”

Dr. Juan Rivera
Dr. Juan Rivera

A Conversation with Dr. Juan Rivera
September is Hispanic Heritage Month. In recognition of distinguished Hispanic scientists, we asked Dr. Juan Rivera, the new NIAMS Deputy Scientific Director, to reflect on his career and to offer advice to up-and-coming scientists. Dr. Rivera, an outstanding mast cell biologist with a National Institutes of Health (NIH) career spanning 35 years, will lead NIAMS in the generation of a new strategic plan for its Intramural Research Program. In addition, he will assist with the creation of the NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine.

Multicultural News & Events
NRC Website
NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center Website

New NIH Website Offers Easy Access to Information on Bone Health
A new Web resource providing the general public with the latest science-based information on bone health and bone disease is now available through the NIAMS-operated National Institutes of Health (NIH) Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center (NRC). In addition to a fresh new look, the site offers more ways to search for scientifically accurate bone health information, including by audience type, language, reading level and disease. Explore the new site at

NIH Seeks to Break New Ground in Reducing Health Disparities
NIH has launched a multidisciplinary network of experts who will explore new approaches to understanding the origins of health disparities, or differences in the burden of disease among population groups. Using state-of-the-science conceptual and computational models, the network's goal is to identify important areas where interventions or policy changes could have the greatest impact in eliminating health disparities.

NIH staff, Madeline LaPorta (left) and Mimi Lising, review the materials included in the latest information kit.
NIH staff, Madeline LaPorta (left) and Mimi Lising, review the materials included in the latest information kit.

NIH Health Information Headed to Indian Country
As a means of increasing access to health information in Native communities, NIH distributes special health information kits to hundreds of community health representatives working in Indian country.

The community health representatives who receive the kits are tribal employees who serve as health promoters, educators and advocates, and they often also serve as the trusted source of health information for their communities. The latest health information kit included valuable and culturally relevant information on cancer prevention and education and was dispatched to more than 1,400 Indian country communities representing more than 250 tribes. The kits are distributed four times a year with the help of the Indian Health Service, the federal health program for American Indians and Alaska Natives that has been collaborating with NIH since 2007. Find more information about the NIH American Indian and Alaska Native health outreach activities.

Save the Date: NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting
The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held September 28, 2010, in Building 31, 6th floor, C Wing, Conference Room 6, NIH Campus.

USA Science & Engineering Festival on the National Mall
The inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival, the country’s first national science festival, will descend on the greater Washington, DC, area on October 10 to 24, 2010. The festival promises to be the ultimate multicultural, multigenerational and multidisciplinary celebration of science. The culmination will be a 2-day Expo on October 23 to 24, 2010, on the National Mall. The event will give more than 500 science and engineering organizations from all over the United States, including NIH, an opportunity to present hands-on, fun science activities to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. The Expo will be free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Health Disparities Seminar Series
The NIH National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) sponsors the monthly Health Disparities Seminar Series, which provides information on advances, gaps and current issues related to health disparities research. It features national and international health disparities research experts, including many who are funded by NCMHD, other NIH Institutes and Centers and federal agency partners. Each seminar focuses on a specific theme.

Coming Soon!
2011 Pocket Planner With Tips and Resources for Healthy Bones for Life
The 12-month planner contains tips and resources on bone health, osteoporosis and related topics. The planner also provides information on clinical trials, as well as the role of calcium in bone health, including how much calcium the body needs and a helpful reference table of selected calcium-rich foods. Look for the planner order form on the NIAMS Website in December 2010.

Featured Resource

NIH News in Health
Read practical health information in NIH News in Health, which is reviewed by NIH’s medical experts and is based on research conducted either by NIH’s own scientists or by our grantees at universities and medical schools around the country. The August 2010 issue featured an article about psoriasis.

Did You Know?

There is a difference between obesity and overweight. According to the National Library of Medicine, obesity means having too much body fat, and being overweight means weighing too much. The latest issue of NIH MedlinePlus magazine features useful information for parents and children on how to reduce childhood obesity.

Health Partnership Program Update
Participants at the June 2010 National Multicultural Outreach Initiative Strategic Planning Meeting
Participants at the June 2010 National Multicultural Outreach Initiative Strategic Planning Meeting

Update on the National Multicultural Outreach Initiative
The National Multicultural Outreach Initiative gained momentum after convening a strategic planning meeting of its Leadership Group and four Minority Work Groups in June 2010. The Multicultural Initiative is an outreach program that brings together NIAMS partners to help address disparities in access to health information on diseases and conditions of the bones, joints, muscles and skin for racial, ethnic and underserved populations.  More than 50 participants—consisting of representatives from the NIAMS Coalition, NIAMS Advisory Council, health professional organizations, community-based organizations, federal and local health agencies and NIH staff—gathered for 1½ days to make recommendations on developing and disseminating culturally and linguistically appropriate health messages and materials for communities of color. The research-based messages and materials will focus on helping people to cope with their chronic disease or condition to improve their quality of life.

Community Health Center Welcomes New Fellows
NIAMS has added three new fellows to its Rheumatology Fellowship Program.  Drs. Adam Schiffenbauer, Apostolos Kontzias and David Michel are the members of the 2010–2011 Rheumatology Fellows class.  The Rheumatology Fellowship Program falls under NIH’s Graduate Medical Education training program, which allows students who choose to pursue an academic medical career in rheumatology to obtain hands-on experience through clinical rotations and research activities. Applicants must have completed 2 or more years of Internal Medicine residency training in order to apply to the program.

Adam Schiffenbauer
Dr. Adam Schiffenbauer

Dr. Schiffenbauer received his Medical Doctor degree from Pennsylvania State University in Hershey, PA, in 2007.  He completed an Internal Medicine residency at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC, in June 2010. Dr. Schiffenbauer has notable publications in Arthritis and Rheumatism, Clinical Chemistry and the Journal of Virology. From 2004 to 2007, he served as a clinical research assistant with the Department of Rheumatology at Pennsylvania State University. “It is wonderful to be starting here at NIAMS and has been a relatively smooth transition thanks to our great program coordinator,” said Dr. Schiffenbauer.

Apostolos Kontzias
Dr. Apostolos Kontzias

Dr. Kontzias received his Medical Doctor degree from the University of Athens Medical School in Athens, Greece, in 2004.   He served as a general practitioner at the General Hospital of Korinthos, Greece, from 2004 to 2006. During this time, he also provided volunteer physician services in Tanzania with a Greek Medical NGO in 2005 and later in the Rheumatology Department at Weill Cornell Medical College in 2006. He completed an Internal Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in Bronx, NY, in June 2010. His scholarly publication and participation in professional conferences have been impressive, including articles in Drugs, Nature Clinical Practice Rheumatology and the Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine. Dr. Kontzias has served as principal and subinvestigator on rheumatology-related research projects and is an active member of the Hellenic Medical Association and American College of Physicians. “In structure as well as function, NIH provides a cyclical path from bench to bedside where disease manifestations raise research questions, and the answers continue to improve the health of our society.  As a young physician, there is not a more exciting place to be,” expressed Dr. Kontzias.

David Michel
Dr. David Michel

Dr. Michel received his Medical Doctor degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA, in 2007. He completed an Internal Medicine residency at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital–Cornell in June 2010. Throughout his medical education, he has been active in research, mentoring and teaching. Dr. Michel has notable publications in Arthritis and Rheumatism and Expert Review of Clinical Immunology. From 2005 to 2006, he served as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical fellow, investigating chronic graft versus host disease in the SLE-1 mouse model. His dedication to medicine and his interest in rheumatology is evident through his research, publications, professional memberships, honors and awards.

Where is the NIAMS?

The NIAMS exhibit will be traveling to the following events:

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science
September 30 to October 3, 2010
Anaheim, CA

Tenants and Workers United Multicultural Health Fair
October 2, 2010
Alexandria, VA

Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students
November 10 to 13, 2010
Charlotte, NC

American Indian Science and Engineering Society
November 11 to 13, 2010
Albuquerque, NM

See the complete health fairs and exhibits schedule.