UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center's Callahan receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Leigh F. Callahan, PhD, Mary Link Briggs Distinguished Professor of Medicine, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) / Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, MA on November 15, 2014. This award is the highest honor that the ACR/ARHP bestows.

UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center's Callahan receives Lifetime Achievement Award click to enlarge Leigh Callahan, PhD

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a current or former member of ACR/ARHP whose career has demonstrated a sustained and lasting contribution to the field of rheumatology and rheumatology health professionals.  

Joanne Jordan, MD, MPH, Joseph P Archie, Jr. Eminent Professor of Medicine, chief of the division of rhuematology, allergy, and immunology, and director of the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, nominated Callahan for the prestigious award and says, “Dr. Callahan’s entire professional career has focused on the advancement of arthritis research, advocacy for the importance of this chronic disease to the nation’s public health agenda, and devotion to recruiting and mentoring multidisciplinary researchers in the arthritis mission.  She sparkles with energy that is infectious to all around her and is tireless in championing the priorities of arthritis-related initiatives.”

Callahan is also a Professor of Social Medicine, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is Associate Director of Epidemiology and Outcomes Research and the Associate Director of the Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center at the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center.  She also directs the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA), which was recently acquired by UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center from the Arthritis Foundation. Callahan has an undergraduate degree from UNC and a PhD from Vanderbilt University.  She has more than 30 years of experience in arthritis and health outcomes research, and experience in public health as a former arthritis epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Callahan has served on a number of editorial boards, is a former editor for the Arthritis Care and Research journal and has been a reviewer for numerous journals including the Journal of Rheumatology, Arthritis and Rheumatism, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Medical Care.  She recently served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee that produced the report, Living well with chronic illness: A call for public health action. She formerly served on the United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) Board of Directors and is on the Steering Committee of the USBJI’s Chronic Osteoarthritis and Management Initiative (COAMI).  She is a member of the Non-Pharmacologic Trials Working Group of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) Guidelines for Conducting Clinical Trials in Osteoarthritis Committee. Callahan is a long-time volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation (AF) on both the state and national level, and received the Charles B. Harding Award for Distinguished Service in 2005 for her work with the Foundation.  In 2006, she received the Addie Thomas Service Award from the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals.  She has authored more than 200 research articles, book chapters, commentaries and editorials.  She is a frequent presenter at conferences and meetings worldwide, and continues to spearhead a number of projects examining the factors surrounding arthritis, epidemiology, health outcomes, and health disparities.  She has received numerous grants from the NIH, CDC and Arthritis Foundation. 

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