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Disease Awareness Webinars

Lupus Canada is pleased to present the Let’s Talk Lupus – Disease Awareness Webinars sponsored by AstraZeneca and GSK. This program will consist of an informative and interactive series of webinars for all Canadians impacted by lupus. Each month we will offer a new topic. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin to learn more about our upcoming webinars.

Family Planning

On November 17th Lupus Canada was joined by Dr. Roger Levy who discussed empowering women living with lupus by educating them on lupus and pregnancy/fertility; what to know and to think of, questions to ask, things to consider, the stigma around lupus and pregnancy. A video recording of the webinar is available below for viewing.

Dr. Roger Levy

Professor Levy worked as Adjunct Professor of Rheumatology at The State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 1996 to 2017.
• He completed a fellowship programme in Rheumatology in 1989 at HSS/Cornell Medical College and received his PhD in Immunology/Biological Sciences from The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 1994
• Professor Levy’s research concerns the clinical and immunological aspects of Systemic Lupus erythematosus (SLE), antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), Sjögren’s syndrome and always had a special interest and many publications on the interplay of pregnancy and autoimmune diseases
• He participated in the BLISS-52 study as a principal investigator, as well as in the BASE study, in addition to a large experience in clinical trials for SLE and other rheumatic diseases
• He is a member of several scientific journal’s editorial boards, published 3 books and wrote many book chapters. He presented conferences at the most important congresses of Rheumatology. He has published over 180 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals with over 10200 citations and an h-index of 43
• He is a member of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) since 1986, and of the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR), the Pan American League Against Rheumatic conditions (PANLAR) and other local medical associations
• He has organized regional and international congresses and has participated in several guidelines’ elaborations and the APS classification criteria
• Professor Levy joined GSK in early 2018 and is currently a Global Medical Expert in the Specialty and Medical Care franchise, based in Upper Providence, Philadelphia, US

The Safety And Efficacy Of Vaccines As They Relate To Lupus Patients

On October 20th Lupus Canada was joined by Dr. Mark Matsos who presented on the safety and efficacy of vaccines as they relate to lupus patients and any updates on the most recent COVID vaccine. A video recording of the webinar is available below for viewing.

Dr. Mark Matsos, FRCPC Associate Professor of Medicine, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine McMaster University, McMaster Lupus Clinic-Boris Clinic (McMaster Site-Hamilton Health Sciences), Rheumatology Head of Service, Hamilton Health Sciences

Thriving on Good Nutrition for Lupus

On September 22nd Lupus Canada was joined by Tanya Freirich who presented Thriving on Good Nutrition for Lupus. A video recording of the webinar is available below for viewing.

Tanya Freirich, MS RD LDN CDCES

Tanya Freirich MS RD LDN CDCES is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in North Carolina. Tanya owns and runs a virtual private practice that serves people with Lupus and other autoimmune diseases, and can be found online as “The Lupus Dietitian”.

With more than a decade of experience in nutrition counseling and a Master’s degree in Nutrition, Tanya Freirich is passionate about educating and collaborating with her clients to find their personal path to health. She helps her clients make personalized holistic dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce and eliminate flares, symptoms, and side effects.

In addition to 1:1 nutrition counseling, Tanya Freirich enjoys speaking to Lupus support groups, and runs a group coaching program, “Live Better with Lupus.”


Cannabis and Lupus

On July 21st Lupus Canada was joined by Fonda Betts and Tanya Adams who discussed cannabis and lupus. A video recording of the webinar is available below for viewing.

Fonda Betts, Master Cannabinologist (MC)

Ms. Betts, Founder and CEO of the Greenleaf Medical Clinic (est. 2011), created the company’s vision of “Enriching and improving the quality of life for patients through the use of medical cannabis”. The company’s core values of leadership, passion, education and commitment are driven through the company’s promise of maximizing patient outcomes.

Fonda’s extensive knowledge of cannabis comes from studying Cannabinoids in Clinical Practice from the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, patient assessments, and collaboration with cannabis physicians and industry leaders.

She has assessed and developed customized treatment plans for more than 15,000 patients. Her work and dedication have gained her recognition as a leader in cannabinoids.

Ms. Betts continues to focus on bringing the benefits of cannabis to all adults, whether they are patients, adult consumers or simply interested in learning more about cannabis and how to use it safely.

The genetics of lupus – what we know and where we are going 

On the June 23rd webinar Dr. Linda Hiraki discussed the genetics of lupus – what we know and where we are going. A video recording of the webinar is available below for viewing.

Dr. Linda Hiraki

Dr. Linda Hiraki is a Clinician-Scientist in the Division of Rheumatology and Scientist in Genetics & Genome Biology Program at SickKids Research Institute. Dr. Hiraki completed her medical degree at Queen’s University, and her clinical training in paediatrics and rheumatology at SickKids. She is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in the specialties of paediatrics and paediatric rheumatology. Dr. Hiraki went on to pursue research training at the Harvard School of Public Health where she completed a Masters and Doctor of Science in Epidemiology. Dr. Hiraki holds a Canada Research Chair in Genetics of Rare Systemic Inflammatory Diseases.

Dr. Hiraki is coordinating a large, international cohort of systemic lupus erythematosus patients followed prospectively over years of disease to understand the genetics of lupus, its many manifestations, the disease course, and related outcomes. She is also leading studies to identify rare genetic changes leading to systemic inflammatory diseases including SLE and Neonatal Lupus Erythematosus (NLE) studies.


What’s Happening in Lupus Research

On May 26th Lupus Canada hosted the “What’s Happening in Lupus Research” webinar presented by Dr. Christine Peschken. A video recording of the webinar is available below for viewing.

Christine Peschken, MD MSc FRCPC

Dr. Christine Peschken is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba.  She is the current Division Head for the Division of Rheumatology, as well as acting Division Head for the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba.

She established the University of Manitoba Lupus clinic at the health sciences Centre in Winnipeg in 2002.  She received her medical degree (with distinction) from the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, and trained in General internal medicine and rheumatology at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba.  She completed a Master’s degree in epidemiology and biostatistics at McGill University and the University of British Columbia prior to joining the faculty of medicine at the University of Manitoba in 1999.

Dr Peschken is an established investigator in outcomes in systemic lupus erythematosus, with special emphasis on and expertise in health disparities in vulnerable populations with lupus.  She is a member of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC), and is the chair of Canadian network for improved outcomes of systemic lupus erythematosus (CaNIOS).

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care

On April 21st Lupus Canada hosted the “Benefits of Chiropractic Care” webinar presented by Dr. Heather Bailey. As mentioned in the webinar, the link for the Rapid Access Clinics for Low Back Pain is A video recording of the webinar is available below for viewing.

Dr. Heather Bailey, B.H.K., D.C.

Dr. Bailey graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 2012 with both honours and clinical honours. Her undergraduate degree is in Human Kinetics (Kinesiology) from the University of Windsor. Her first position as a Chiropractor found her working in downtown Toronto where she worked alongside a family doctor, physiatrist, orthopedic surgeons (specializing in knees and feet), kinesiologist and personal trainers. She has a very strong exercise and rehabilitation background, and believes the key to any successful recovery comes with changing how the body works through exercises. She also stays up to date on current research and “best-evidence” practices.

In July of 2015, Dr. Bailey took part in the PanAm Games as part of the volunteer medical staff, providing chiropractic services as well as assisting the first responders for the athletes, coaches and owners at the Caledon Horse Park.

Dr. Bailey is also a part of the Low Back Rapid Access Clinic, where patients receive rapid low back pain assessment, education and evidence-based self-management plans. It is designed to decrease the prevalence of unmanageable chronic low back pain, reduce unnecessary diagnostic imaging as well as unnecessary specialist referral. It also aims to reduce wait times for specialist referral when necessary. It is a part of the Local Health Integrative Network and is OHIP funded (referrals to this particular program must be made through a family doctor who is registered with the program).

She is a member of both the College of Chiropractors of Ontario and the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

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