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The Division of Rheumatology at Children's Mercy provides expertise in the evaluation and treatment of a wide range of rheumatic, autoimmune, and musculoskeletal diseases in children.

Our team understands the complex physical and emotional needs of a child with a chronic illness. Our team consists of board-certified pediatric rheumatologists, clinic nurses, a nurse manager, a clinical psychologist, a care assistant, an on-site social worker, and research coordinators. We maintain strong relationships with occupational and physical therapists to optimize the therapeutic options we have for our families. 

Your first appointment

Please bring all lab and x-ray results as well as a list of your child's medications to your first appointment. Children should dress comfortably and bring a pair of shorts.

Clinical Services

Children's Mercy offers the only pain management program in Missouri. Services promote and support optimal comfort, health, function and quality of life.

This supportive and interactive workshop is designed to help children with chronic or recurrent pain and their caregivers learn strategies to better manage pain and improve day-to-day function. The program is for individuals age 10 to 19 (patient must still be in high school to participate).

We work closely with the Section of Ophthalmology to care for children with chronic Uveitis in our interdisciplinary Uveitis Clinic.

We work closely with the Section of Neurology to care for children with auto-immune neurologic diseases and children with Rheumatic diseases that affect the brain and spinal cord in our interdisciplinary Neuro-Rheum Clinic.

To assist families who travel from the southern parts of Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, we have an outreach clinic in Joplin, Mo., once a month. To assist families who travel from western Kansas, we have an outreach clinic in Wichita, Kan.

Spanish Speaking Clinic

The Rheumatology Spanish Clinic provides expertise in the evaluation and treatment of a wide range of rheumatic, autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases in children whose primary language is Spanish. All staff is Spanish speaking including a nurse, social worker, care assistant and physician Maria Ibarra, MD.


Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes swelling, stiffness, and pain of the joints.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (also known as SLE or lupus) is a disease of the immune system.

Juvenile dermatomyositis is a rare systemic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the small blood vessels of the entire body, especially those located in the muscles and skin.

Localized scleroderma is an autoimmune condition that results in thickening and tightening of the skin.

Vasculitis is a term for a group of rare diseases that cause inflammation of the blood vessels (arteries and veins).

Inflammation of the inside of the eyes is called uveitis.

Raynaud’s phenomenon (also known as Raynaud’s Disease) describes the condition where exposure to cold or stress may decrease the blood flow to the skin.

Musculoskeletal pain syndromes, in collaboration with the hospital's Integrative Pain Management department.

Autoimmune brain disease
Recurrent fever syndromes

Improving care through research in rheumatology

Children's Mercy participates and leads research efforts to pave the way for better care for all children. A few of our current research efforts include:

  • Predicting Response of Methotrexate Treatment (PROMOTE):  A signature for response to Methotrexate to find out if we can predict who will respond to Methotrexate and who will not.

  • Childhood Arthritis & Rheumatology Research registry: a national registry to collect information on children with rheumatic diseases.

  • JARS: This study is a biorepository of synovial fluid from inflamed joints that are undergoing arthrocentesis and intra-articular steroid injection for routine clinical care.

  • PRCOIN: PR-COIN is a multi-site learning network created to improve the process and outcomes of care delivery for children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

  • Folate and Arthritis Screening in Down Syndrome: We hope to understand the need for folate and other nutrient supplementation and the risk associated with folate interrupting medications such as methotrexate. Also to prospectively screen for under recognized signs of arthritis in this vulnerable population.

  • Systematic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, phase 3 efficacy and safety study of 2 dose levels of subcutaneous Anakinra (Kineret®) in patients with Still’s Disease, (SJIA and AOSD):  Evaluating the efficacy and safety of Anakinra to treat systemic juvenile arthritis and adult onset Still’s Disease.

Contact the Rheumatology Clinic

(816) 234-1666

Children's Mercy Joplin
(866) 608-1666

Children's Mercy Wichita
(316) 500-8900