Lupus Program

The Childhood and Adolescent Lupus Program provides diagnostic and therapeutic services aimed at maximizing the future health of young patients with lupus.

The program focuses on optimizing disease control and providing preventative services for some of the common long-term complications that children with lupus face. These services address heart and bone health, transition planning and social support.

The program lets families schedule lupus-related appointments on a single day in a single location, typically on Friday mornings. During routine visits, patients see a pediatric rheumatologist and any of the following providers, depending on their needs: pediatric nephrologist, specialty nurse practitioner, adolescent medicine physician, adult rheumatologist, registered dietician or social worker.

Getting Here

Lupus Program
Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-7337
Fax: (415) 353-2861

Hours: Friday
8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

What to Bring

  • Health insurance information including authorizations or referrals
  • List of your child's prescription medications and dosages
  • List of medications your child is allergic to
  • List of questions you may have
  • Recent test results related to your child's condition
  • Paper and pencil to take notes

Research and Clinical Trials

Our Services

Comprehensive Medical Care

  • Annual comprehensive care visits to screen for and prevent common long-term health problems affecting individuals with lupus
  • Evaluation checks for complications, such as abnormal cholesterol and lipid levels, which can lead to atherosclerosis and premature heart attacks and strokes
  • Screening for osteoporosis, which can lead to bone fragility and fracture
  • Assessment of bone density, cholesterol levels, dietary patterns and physical activity to help reduce risks

Reproductive Health Care

  • Education and consultation services with an adolescent medicine physician to address birth control, pregnancy planning and prevention of sexually transmitted infections

Care Coordination and Community Outreach

  • Managing a chronic condition like lupus often requires coordination among many providers, health care facilities, insurance companies and schools. A dedicated lupus liaison is available to educate community providers and help coordinate care. This can make it easier for families to receive services and resources near their home.

Lupus Youth Connect (Supportive Programming)

  • Children and families often face challenges after a lupus diagnosis. These include difficulty adjusting to the diagnosis; feelings of loneliness; problems keeping up with complex medical treatment plans; and issues finding care and resources. The Lupus Buddies Program and Lupus Peer Group augment the medical treatment by providing support, as well as strategies for coping. For more information, contact Mariel dela Paz at (415) 502-2019.

Transition Planning

  • The transition from pediatric to adult care can be a challenging time for teens and families. Often, decisions must be made regarding insurance plans and choosing new doctors. To smooth the transition, our program provides annual assessments of readiness skills; individualized transition planning with families; and a newly developed transition clinic, where teens can meet with a UCSF adult rheumatologist who specializes in lupus to address any questions or concerns before transferring care.

Resources & Education

General Education and Resources
Lupus Foundation of America
American College of Rheumatology
The Lupus Initiative

Medication Information
Steroid Use in Children with Lupus, with Dr. Emily von Scheven

Tips and Tools for Staying Healthy
Tips for Staying Healthy (downloadable PDF)
Lupus Symptom Checklist

Preparing for Transition to Adult Care
Arthritis Foundation Transition Toolkit & Library
My Health Passport (wallet-sized portable medical summary)

Related Information

Ways to Give

Clinics & Centers

Our Team

Emily von Scheven
Emily von Scheven, MD, MAS
Pediatric rheumatologist
Erica Lawson
Erica Lawson, MD
Pediatric rheumatologist
Paul R. Brakeman
Paul R. Brakeman, MD, PhD
Pediatric nephrologist
Elaine Ku
Elaine Ku, MD, MAS
Nephrologist
Maria Dall'Era
Maria Dall'Era, MD
Rheumatologist
Tara Valcarcel
Tara Valcarcel, MSN, PNP
Pediatric nurse practitioner
Caroline Hill
Mariel dela Paz
Mariel dela Paz, MSW
Social worker