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Jillian Rose Receives Distinguished Educator Award from Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals

Jillian Rose, LCSW, MPH, director of Community Engagement, Diversity and Research at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City, has received the Distinguished Educator Award from the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP). Ms. Rose received the honor at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology/ARHP in Chicago on October 20.

The award honors an ARHP member "who has demonstrated sustained excellence in the teaching of patients and students/trainees, including health professional students, medical students, residents, graduate students, and/or fellows, with their primary focus being rheumatology-related content," according to the association.

Ms. Rose, who began her career at Hospital for Special Surgery in 2005, is recognized by her colleagues as an innovative thought leader, talented educator and compassionate individual. She dedicates much of her work to understanding inequalities in rheumatology care and addressing them through educational programs for health professionals, as well as patients, to promote the highest quality of care for all.

Ms. Rose says she was humbled and surprised to receive the Distinguished Educator Award. "To be recognized for doing work that is your life passion is an amazing honor," she said. "This award is especially meaningful to me as a social worker and a change-agent for people who are disproportionately affected by negative health care outcomes. I am committed to education as a platform to empower both patients and health care providers to achieve the best health care outcomes."

"It is hard to imagine a more passionate, innovative, and committed rheumatology educator than Jillian," said Roberta Horton, LCSW, ACSW, assistant vice president, Department of Social Work Programs at HSS. "Her vision and implementation of rheumatology educational initiatives seek to engage others to be curious and to be passionate about discovering, learning and integrating new knowledge. Jillian accomplishes this not only through her teaching, supervision, presentations, research, and program development, but also by creating safe learning environments from which enhanced self-awareness and understanding emerge."

Growing up in an impoverished village in Guyana, Ms. Rose began to experience firsthand the impact that a lack of health education and access can have on communities. She moved with her family to the U.S. when she was 11, and later began her undergraduate studies at Providence College in Rhode Island. While taking a course in public health, she began to truly understand the impact of poorly-designed and inaccessible health services on marginalized, minority communities. It was then that she found her calling and decided on a career in health policy and social work.

Ms. Rose fosters education in rheumatology care through a number of initiatives at Hospital for Special Surgery. She plays an integral role in the hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment and Community Service Plan.

Since 2005, she has overseen Charla de Lupus (Lupus Chat)® and LupusLine® at HSS, nationally recognized peer support and education programs for people with lupus and their families. 

Ms. Rose has developed and implemented hospital-wide training for staff on working with multicultural populations and fostering an inclusive environment for the LGBTQ community. She chairs the LGBTQ Committee at HSS, providing ongoing leadership and support for the collection of data regarding gender identity, sexual orientation and race, ethnicity and preferred language.

As a member of the Disparities Research Committee at HSS, Ms. Rose participates in quality initiatives to develop appropriate tools and evaluation processes to ensure the highest quality care for all. She has served as principal and co-investigator on many studies impacting rheumatology care, including the development of a lupus app as a self-management tool for people with the condition.

More recently, she was co-investigator on a national study training research coordinators at nine hospital centers focused on engaging Latina and African American women to examine their treatment options for arthritis using a decision-making tool. 

Ms. Rose has shared her knowledge as a rheumatology educator through numerous national and international conferences and public forums. Her contributions include presentations at American College of Rheumatology-Association for Rheumatology Health Professionals national conferences; the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR); the Office of Minority Health’s Leadership Summit; the Movement is Life National Caucus on Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Health Disparities; the American Hospital Association and the Greater New York Hospital Association.

In 2017, she gave a well-received presentation at HSS titled, "Understanding Implicit Bias and Its Impact on Clinical Practice, Decision-Making and Achieving Optimal Health Outcomes" in honor of National Professional Social Work Month.

For the past decade, Ms. Rose has volunteered with the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals, serving as a member of the association’s Practice Committee, Marketing Committee, Executive Committee, and most recently of COIN, a new collaborative initiative to advance health equity.  

Ms. Rose’s vision and dedication have resulted in previous awards. In 2012, she received the Wholeness of Life Award from HSS, which recognizes a member of the hospital staff who has made a significant contribution to the quality of patient care. In 2010, she received the Emerging Social Work Leader Award from the National Association of Social Workers, New York City Chapter.

Ms. Rose earned a Master of Science degree from Columbia University School of Social Work in 2005, a Master’s degree in Public Health from George Washington University in 2015, and is currently a  PhD candidate in Public Health at Columbia University.