In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, NIAMS hosted a Twitter chat in English and Spanish on September 30, 2014, with the hashtag #NIAMSLupusChat. The chat focused on lupus, a disease that disproportionately affects Hispanic women. Tweets were posted in both languages, and questions were answered in the language in which they were received. During the chat, Drs. Mariana Kaplan (Chief of the NIAMS Systemic Autoimmunity Branch) and Susana Serrate-Sztein (Director of the NIAMS Division of Skin and Rheumatic Diseases) shared the latest advances in lupus research. Dr. Irene Blanco, Assistant Professor of Rheumatology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, also participated and responded to questions. Other NIH Institutes and Centers, as well as offices within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the HHS Office on Women's Health, also participated.
The hour-long chat generated almost 600 tweets from more than 100 contributors, and reached a potential 1.2 million Twitter users with over 11 million impressions. This bilingual Twitter chat was part of the Institute’s ongoing efforts to share health information and resources with underserved communities.