Division of Pediatric Rheumatology

Dr. Richard Vehe and patient

The Division of Pediatric Rheumatology specializes in patient care, professional education, and research related to children with rheumatic diseases.

Pediatric Rheumatology is the specialty focused on the evaluation and care of children with arthritis and related diseases. There are 80 or more conditions that can be associated with arthritis symptoms, and it is estimated that 300,000 children in the U.S. have one of these conditions. Although many problems are temporary, prompt identification and appropriate treatment of the more serious or chronic conditions is essential to prevent lifelong damage and consequent pain or disabilities.

The activities of the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology include:

  • Evaluation and care of children as outpatients and inpatients who are suspected to have a rheumatic disease,
  • Education of students, residents, fellows, physicians, nurses, and therapists regarding pediatric rheumatic diseases, and
  • Clinical, translational, and basic research regarding rheumatic diseases in collaboration with other centers in the U.S. and worldwide.

Education & Training

The goal of our Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Program is to train new specialists that can advance patient care, professional education, and research for arthritis and other rheumatic conditions for the benefit of the estimated 6,400 affected children in our area, and children elsewhere.

Patient Care

Our pediatric rheumatologists continually explore innovative ways for evaluating, diagnosing and treating rheumatic diseases and conditions, including juvenile idiopathic arthritis.


Your child may be eligible to participate in a research project that will help increase our understanding of childhood rheumatic diseases. We value participation in research because it is an important way for to learn new things about what is best for kids like yours! We participate in both of the major research networks for the specialty of Pediatric Rheumatology.

View our Current Studies

Feel free to ask your doctor or contact our research coordinator for more information: Sara Kramer at (612) 301-1554 or krame455@umn.edu.

Juvenile Arthritis Minnesota (JaMINN) Study

The Juvenile Arthritis Minnesota (JaMINN) study is designed to learn more about the environmental factors that trigger JIA onset and disease flare in children.

Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA)

The Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) is a North American organization of pediatric rheumatologists who are committed to advancing the health and quality of life of children living with rheumatic disease and arthritis and who have joined together to answer critical clinical research questions.

Observational Study of Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases: The CARRA Registry

This is a long-term observational registry designed to answer pressing questions about therapies used for pediatric rheumatic diseases, including safety questions. 

The Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group (PRCSG)

"The Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group (PRCSG) was founded in 1973 and has over 150 members at over 90 academic clinical pediatric rheumatology centers in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The chief aim of the PRCSG is to conduct high quality clinical trails, of therapeutic agents, in children with rheumatic diseases."

An Observational Registry of Abatacept in Patients with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

This is a long-term observational registry for patients who are less than 18 years old and taking abatacept (Orencia). It is designed to carefully monitor the safety and effectiveness of this therapy for JIA.

A Long-Term, Open-Label Follow-Up Study of CP-690,550 for Treatment of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

This is a long-term follow-up study of the safety and effectiveness of tofacitinib for people who have participated in an earlier study of tofacitinib.