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Who We Are

LupusChat was created to amplify caregiver and patient voices within the healthcare sector & help build meaningful relationships fostering dynamic change between the Lupus community and healthcare professionals.

We host an online Twitter chat bi-weekly on Sundays at 3:00 pm ET where we discuss a wide range of health concerns and the significance they have on the lives of those living with Lupus.

 

Our Mission

LupusChat is a global health organization based in New York City, founded in 2012 by Tiffany Marie Peterson, a Patient advocate diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. Staff members voluntarily dedicate thousands of hours annually to lupus advocacy and host online global lupus discussions developing regional and foreign educational resources, to proactively fight lupus.

Our mission is to improve the quality of life for all those impacted by lupus, chronic, autoimmune, and rheumatic diseases. Through health literacy, support, and advocacy, our goal is to create innovative initiatives utilizing technology and community outreach to educate, encourage, and empower patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals worldwide.

 

Our Goals

Patient-Driven Research Methodology

Community Mobilization & Outreach

Digital Health Literacy Initiatives

Health Industry Collaborations

Legislative Partnerships

 

The LupusChat Team

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Tiffany Marie Peterson

 

Founder, Chief Experience Officer & Host of LupusChat

Tiffany Marie Peterson is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LupusChat, a patient-driven online community established in 2012, designed to educate all entities in the healthcare sector thus sparking innovative discussions and breaking restrictive barriers between patients and various healthcare stakeholders.

Tiffany is a New York City-based patient advocate whose inspiration arose from her own personal battles within the healthcare system following her diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis.

She is a longstanding member of the Society for Participatory Medicine educating both patients and healthcare professionals how to implement this mindset into their practices. Proud member of The Walking Gallery, she speaks across the country on the importance of patient-centered care. She has presented at numerous prestigious health conferences such as Health Datapalooza, ONC National Health IT Consumer Summit, Medstartr Momentum, Health 2.0 NYC, and ePharma.

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Carlene O. Harrison

Chief Research Officer & Co-Host of LupusChat

Carlene Harrison, affectionately called Carly is Chief Research Officer & Co-Host of LupusChat. In her role as Chief Research Officer, Carlene is responsible for the development, oversight, and implementation of all research related initiatives. Carlene also assists with the administration and management of LupusChat’s daily activities. She strives to continue educating others about Lupus and breaking down barriers within the healthcare system to enhance patient representation and drive policy change.

Diagnosed with Lupus and Raynaud's in 2011, Carlene is a Patient Advocate currently working to make an impactful change in the healthcare sector. Carlene strives to educate the masses on these two diseases all while providing support for other patients. With academic training in the physical (biochemistry, human genetics) and social sciences, Carly not only approaches Lupus from a scientific standpoint but also works to help patients manage the socioeconomic effects that being chronically ill can have on one’s life.  She has worked with legislators, physicians, patients, community leaders, and health technology experts toward improving patient care and ensuring that patients (as prominent stakeholders) are present in every step of the healthcare process.

When not advocating for patients, Carly enjoys playing piano, reading novels and scientific journals, practicing yoga and spending time with family and friends.

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Christele Felix

Chief Operating Officer & Co-Host of LupusChat

Christele Felix is the Chief Operating Officer of LupusChat and oversees the various projects and initiatives of the organization. Since joining the #LupusChat team as a co-host, she has been actively involved in the development of the bi-weekly conversations, selecting discussion topics relevant to our patient community, and has worked with legislators and various members of the healthcare community, including doctors, data analysts, researchers, and patients to ensure that the Patient voice continues to be at the forefront in the fight against Lupus.

Christele is a native of Haiti who was diagnosed with SLE in April 2007. Her Lupus diagnosis and the impact of its symptoms threatened but thankfully did not end her college career. From her background in Science, Christele has a strong interest and passion in clinical research. It is because of that passion, that she was awarded a Sigma XI Award for Excellence in Research in Biology. To this day, she continues to allow her enthusiasm for clinical research fuel her life’s work. Christele is involved with the Lupus Research Alliance as the co-Chair of their Young Leadership Board’s Social Media committee and a member of their Multicultural Task Force; She is also a Lupus Foundation of America Ambassador.

Additionally, Christele currently works as an activity specialist for a non-profit program that introduces low-income children to topics in Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology (STEM). She plans to pursue a career in clinical research where she will combine her patient experience and her academic expertise to make sure the perspective of patients is taken into account in medical research.

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Elizabeth SantaCruz

Director of Outreach & Communication, Co-Host of LupusChat

Elizabeth SantaCruz is Director of Outreach & Communications at LupusChat. As a mother of two from Kearny NJ, Elizabeth became a passionate advocate for raising Lupus Awareness after her daughter was diagnosed with lupus at the young age of 9.


As a parent and caregiver, she was invited by The Lupus Research Alliance to participate as a Lupus Advocate at the Annual Advocacy Meeting and Hill Day in Washington D.C. to meet with Congressional members and their staff to discuss the support for Lupus research.

Elizabeth also has had the honor of being interviewed by Emmy-Award winning Brenda Blackmon from PIX11 News & Nilda Rosario from Telemundo47 to discuss how Lupus affects children. Awareness-Conciencia, a bilingual lupus awareness book created by Brenda Blackmon, was released in May 2017 and Elizabeth’s daughter’s story is part of the book.

Elizabeth believes that lupus education is crucial in the community because it establishes people’s awareness and knowledge. These are necessities in order to change and improve educational settings such as school health awareness programs which can effectively impact future generations.

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Candy Brown

Facebook Community Manager

Candy Brown is the LupusChat Facebook Community Manager. She moderates the community's Facebook page and its private group's forum. Candy is also a member of the Lupus Research Alliance’s Multicultural Task Force and is on the New Jersey committee for their Walk to Cure Lupus.  

Candy was diagnosed with SLE in April of 2008. Three months later she was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis and Multiple Cognitive Tissue Disorder.  Since neither of these diagnoses was familiar to her or her family she embarked on an effort to find out as much as she could about these chronic diseases.