Patients & Supporters

Lupus. Know the Signs. Take Action.


What is lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease (when the body attacks its own healthy cells and tissue) that affects women – and especially women of color – more than any other demographic group. It can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, and nervous system. It is a chronic illness with periods of no symptoms and periods where symptoms flare up. There is no cure for lupus, but treatments are available that can help sufferers live full, active lives. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is the membership organization for rheumatologists (ROOM-uh-TALL-uh-jist), doctors who specialize in treating diseases that affect the joints and muscles, like lupus. The ACR created The Lupus Initiative as a way to increase awareness and education around lupus.

Common signs and symptoms of lupus include:

  • Swollen or painful joints
  • A rash from being in the sun
  • Pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress
  • More tiredness than usual
  • Mouth sores
  • A butterfly rash across your nose and cheeks
  • A history of kidney disease

What do I do next?

If you have three or more symptoms listed above, or other symptoms you can’t explain

  • Go see your doctor
  • Your doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist. You can find rheumatologists in your area using the Find a Rheumatologist feature on the American College of Rheumatology’s website.
  • Check out the Central Oregon partners and resources below
  • Check out other ACR lupus materials on this website

Central Oregon Resources

If you live in Jefferson, Crook, Deschutes, or surrounding counties, there are healthcare information and resources available specifically to you.

The Let’s Talk Diversity Coalition is a Madras-based Oregon Health Authority office of Equity and Inclusion-Regional Equity Coalition (RHEC) organization dedicated making Central Oregon a welcoming place for all people to live, learn, work, grow and play. The Coalition is an integral part of raising lupus awareness in Central Oregon, and has placed lupus information in several community locations in Warm Springs, Madras, Prineville, Redmond, La Pine, and Bend. You can also call the Coalition at 541-475-4292.

St. Charles Health System has 4 hospitals in Central Oregon: Bend, Madras, Redmond, and Prineville. St. Charles also has many local clinics, including a rheumatology clinic. You can call St. Charles at 541-382-4321.

The St. Charles Rheumatology Clinic offers comprehensive services for patients with a variety of rheumatology-related diagnoses. Dr. Heather Hansen, an ACR member rheumatologist, works with the ACR to bring lupus information to her colleagues in Central Oregon. You can call the Rheumatology Clinic at 541-706-7735.

The Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is a national organization offering individualized and sustained case management services to those in need. PAF’s primary purpose is providing mediation and arbitration services to patients, providers, family members, and caregivers of those dealing with significant medical issues and the impact on their lives.  You can also call PAF at 1-800-532-5274.

This project is supported by Grant Number CPIMP161119-00- 01 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the HHS, OMH.

This project is also supported by ACR and The Lupus Initiative partners