More than 100,000 Americans suffer from scleroderma, a progressive autoimmune disease that occurs predominantly in young women, but can affect people of all ages. Scleroderma can lead to stiffening and scarring of the skin, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, and other organs.
The Northwestern Scleroderma Program provides exceptional care for people with all forms of scleroderma while pursuing intensive basic and clinical research.
Our team of dedicated physicians, healthcare professionals, and researchers work together to improve the lives of people with scleroderma. The unique strength of the Program is its passion for combining compassionate care with innovative patient-oriented discovery research.
A Clinical Program Dedicated to Scleroderma
Located in downtown Chicago, the Northwestern Scleroderma Program is one of only a handful of centers that specialize in this disease.
Our mission is to provide state-of-the-art patient care, conduct research toward a cure, and increase awareness about scleroderma.
We serve patients from throughout the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and the rest of the United States.
Multidisciplinary Team Approach
Since scleroderma affects many organs in the body, optimal patient care requires the coordinated efforts of experienced specialists.
At Northwestern, physicians from a wide variety of specialties work as a team to ensure that patients receive comprehensive evaluation and management.
People diagnosed with scleroderma experience the disease very differently. At Northwestern, patients receive individualized treatment that is tailored to their unique needs.
Ancillary services are incorporated into the overall management plan, including:
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Clinical psychology
Participation in Scleroderma Research
Patient participation in research studies at the Northwestern Scleroderma Program contributes to our growing knowledge about scleroderma.
Our primary research focus is the discovery, development, and evaluation of safe and effective treatments.
Research studies are currently examining ways to determine disease prognosis and severity, to predict and monitor response to therapy, to identify and understand how fibrosis and scarring occurs, and to learn about outcomes.
Access to Clinical Trials for New Treatments
Ongoing clinical research trials examine the safety and efficacy of medicines to treat scleroderma.
Recently, clinical trials have focused on the treatment of complications related to skin fibrosis, lung disease, digital ulcers, and Raynaud's Phenomenon.
Annual patient education seminars provide the opportunity to learn about recommendations for managing scleroderma and to hear about the latest research and treatments from scleroderma experts.
The seminars also foster connections among patients and their families, leading to the formation of supportive networks. "Scleroderma 101," an informational small group forum, is specifically designed for newly-diagnosed patients and their families.
Learn More About Scleroderma
The Scleroderma FAQ offers answers to common questions about scleroderma.
We also have several downloadable PDFs that offer you more information about our program, including the Northwestern Scleroderma Program (NSP) Bulletin:
The Scleroderma Research Foundation contains a wealth of resources on scleroderma for patients. Patients may also visit the Scleroderma Foundation for additional resources.
New Patient Appointments
If you are interested in scheduling a new patient appointment at the Northwestern Scleroderma Program, please contact Mary Carns, Program Coordinator, at 312-503-1137.
Please be sure to ask your referring physician's office that the following be faxed or mailed:
- Summary letters and office notes from your physician
- Pulmonary function test results (PFTs), if available
- Echocardiogram results, if available
- CT scan results, if available
- Recent laboratory findings
These records should be faxed to: 312-926-2967, attn: Scleroderma Program, or mailed to:
Northwestern Scleroderma Program
Division of Rheumatology
Atten: Mary Carns
675 N. St. Clair St. - Ste. 14-100
Chicago, IL 60611
Scleroderma Clinic Location
We are located in downtown Chicago, one block east of Michigan Avenue. Our clinic is located on the 14th floor of Galter Pavilion.
Division of Rheumatology
Galter Pavilion - Suite 14-100
675 North St. Clair St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Clinic phone: 312-695-8628
Last UpdateMay 16, 2013