University of Miami Health System Sarcoidosis Program Named Center of Excellence

Marisa Wexler, MS avatar

by Marisa Wexler, MS |

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University of Miami and sarcoidosis

The World Association of Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders (WASOG) and the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) have recognized the University of Miami Sarcoidosis Program as a Sarcoidosis Center of Excellence.

This recognition is granted to multidisciplinary teams of medical professionals, who share a specialized facility that has proven sustainable and provides leadership, best practices, research, support and/or training for people with sarcoidosis and healthcare professionals.

The University of Miami (UM) program — part of UM’s Miller School of Medicine — is the only center in Florida to receive this designation, which has been given to only 21 other centers around the world.

“This designation provides formal recognition of our multidisciplinary team’s commitment to serve the needs of sarcoidosis patients and stay current with the ongoing advances in the field,” Mehdi Mirsaeidi, MD, said in a press release. Mirsaeidi is associate professor of medicine and clinical public health sciences at UM and director of the UM and VA Sarcoidosis Programs.

The patient-centered UM program was launched in 2015. Since then it has become the largest sarcoidosis-focused program in the Southeast U.S., providing care to more than 500 people with sarcoidosis.

“Our team helps manage this condition, prevent organ damage, and improve the overall quality of life. We offer our patients a supportive home with multiple options for treatments, including clinical trials,” Mirsaeidi said.

The program’s multidisciplinary team includes a variety of specialists with different areas of expertise: there are pulmonary physicians, critical care doctors, pharmacists, and specialists in topics including cardiology, ophthalmology, nephrology, neurology, dermatology, gastroenterology, and rheumatology.

“With this collaborative approach, our patients receive comprehensive care and the benefits of cutting-edge research,” Mirsaeidi said.

Currently, UM researchers are working to develop and validate molecular diagnostic tests that could help to personalize sarcoidosis treatment. Efforts to improve treatment outcomes and to better understand the genetics underlying sarcoidosis are ongoing.

The UM program also aims to better educate healthcare providers and medical students about sarcoidosis, which is particularly important because  the symptoms of sarcoidosis can resemble other diseases, often resulting in delayed diagnoses.

“We would like to expand our educational program to South America, where we can help academic institutions, hospitals, and physicians deliver leading-edge care to their patients,” Mirsaeidi said.