Deborah McCurdy, MD
Dr. McCurdy is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, the Director of Pediatric Rheumatology , and the Director of the Pediatric Rheumatology Training Program at UCLA. She received her medical degree from the Drexel University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and trained in Pediatric Rheumatology at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. On completion of her training, she moved to Children's Hospital Orange County and became the Director of Rheumatology in 1997 until moving to UCLA in 2003. Twenty percent of her time is dedicated to the education of fellows, residents and medical students. In addition to her clinics at UCLA-Westwood campus, she also holds clinics at UCLA Harbor, Olive View, and Ventura Medical Center. On the first and third Tuesdays of each month, Dr. McCurdy holds a Pediatric Lupus Clinic at UCLA in conjuction with Dr. Ora Yadin (Professor of Pediatrics – Nephrology) . Dr. McCurdy’s research interests include DNA repair in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and candidate genes in the pathogenesis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and SLE.
Alice Chang Hoftman, M.D.
Dr. Hoftman received her medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and completed her Pediatric Residency training and Pediatric Rheumatology training at UCLA. She previously practiced Pediatric Rheumatology at the Children's Hospital of Orange County (now known as CHOC Children's), and has since returned to practice Pediatric Rheumatology at UCLA. Dr. Hoftman is a California Children's Services (CCS)- paneled physician and co-manages the Pediatric Rheumatology CCS clinics. She is currently involved in translational research in the recognition of novel biomarkers in pediatric autoimmune diseases.
Ornella Rullo, M.D.
Dr. Rullo is a Clinical Instructor in the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology. She received her medical degree from the University of Southern California, and completed her pediatrics and pediatric rheumatology training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles and UCLA. Her research interests include the development and progression of systemic lupus erythematosus in the pediatric age group.
Miriam F. Parsa, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Parsa is a Clinical Instructor in the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology. She completed her Fellowship and Pediatric Residency Training at UCLA. Dr. Parsa received her medical degree from Albany Medical College in New York and her Masters in Public Health at Yale University. She is currently involved in translational research involving the use of ultrasound in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). She has started an ultrasound clinic at UCLA, where she will be able to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of children with arthritis.
Gil Amarilyo, M.D.
Dr. Amarilyo is a 3rd year fellow in the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology. He completed his Pediatric Residency Training at Dana Children's Hospital, Tel Aviv Medical Center, Israel. Dr. Amarilyo received his medical degree from Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Dr. Amarilyo is interested in both lab-based and clinical rheumatology research. He is currently involved in basic science projects in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) under the supervision of Dr. Antonio La Cava and Dr. Bevra Hahn of the Division of Rheumatology-Medicine in addition to conducting a clinical study in children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis under the supervision of Dr. Deboarh McCurdy and Dr. Daniel Furst, also of the Division of Rheumatology-Medicine. Dr. Amarilyo's goals include establishing a Pediatric Rheumatology service in Tel Aviv Medical Center.
Elizabeth Chupina , Authorization Coordinator
Ms. Chupina coordinates with the Pediatric Rheumatology team to determine Center Care eligible patients and submit new referrals to the California Children's Services (CCS). She helps to verify insurance coverage and request authorizations for medical procedures and laboratory tests for new and established CCS patients.
Eric Yen, MD
Dr. Yen is a first-year pediatric rheumatology fellow. He received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed his pediatric residency at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital. Before joining the fellowship program at UCLA, Dr. Yen practiced General Pediatrics at the Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center.
Judy Eloed, MSW, LCSW
Judy is the Clinical Social Worker for Outpatient Pediatric Rheumatology patients. She completed her Bachelor in Social Work Degree at Whittier College, her Master of Social Work Degree at University of California Los Angeles and received her LCSW in 2000. Judy provides psychosocial assessments including evaluation of coping and mental health issues, crisis intervention, consultation to the medical team, supportive counseling, coordination with other systems the child is involved with (i.e. schools, regional centers, etc.), advocacy and referral, and assesses the patient and family as a whole in order to address and improve their overall coping and adjustment to their diagnosis. Judy is responsible for following all children designated as part of the Special Care Rheumatology Center at UCLA.
Danziger, Crescent, PT
Crescent is a consulting physical therapist for the Pediatric Rheumatology Clinic sponsored by California Children's Services. She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Ithaca College in New York State. Crescent provides gross motor and developmental assessments, as well as strength, range of motion, gait, and biomechanic evaluation. In addition to seeing patients in the clinic, Crescent also provides physical therapy for newborns to age 21 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Jennifer is the study coordinator for pediatric rheumatology and has been working with the group since 2008. Jennifer manages recruitment and follow-up for all clinical and translational research studies conducted through the outpatient clinics. In addition, she is conducting quality improvement research on clinic workflow and is interested in investigating programs for improving the quality of life in lupus patients and their families.
Heather Zepeda assists medical providers in the Pediatric Rheumatology Clinic with obtaining medical records, and communicating with families regarding results, including laboratory and x-ray results.
Lisa Scott-Alexander is the Office Manager and is primarily responsible for clinic coordination and the front office. She has expertise in obtaining insurance authorizations for medications, imaging, and physician consultations. In addition, Lisa serves as fellowship coordinator for the Division of Pediatric Allergy/Immunology/Rheumatology.
Ms. Galvez is the Pediatric Rheumatology Assistant. Her duties include assisting patients in co-ordination of the care, appointments, update and file medical records, perform phone follow-up with patients; record and deliver messages and prior authorizations. She helps organize, support and manage the doctors schedule/calendars. You may contact her whenever you have a question and/or request, she is there to help!