Arthritis Foundation Honors Exceptional Pediatric Rheumatologist, Researcher and Volunteer

Emily von Scheven, MD, MAS, won the 2023 Lee C. Howley Sr. Award for her tireless dedication to her patients, research and volunteer work with the Foundation.

ATLANTA (January 17, 2024) — Keeping with the long-standing tradition of honoring physician-scientists who perform important arthritis-related research and show exceptional commitment to volunteer work, the Arthritis Foundation announced Emily von Scheven, MD, MAS, as the 2023 Lee C. Howley Sr. Award recipient for her dedication to her patients, scientific research and several Foundation events, including JA camps and JA Family Summits.

“We’re very excited this year to, for the first time, award the Lee C. Howley Sr. prize to a pediatric rheumatologist,” said Steven Taylor, Arthritis Foundation President & CEO. “Hundreds of thousands of kids and teens in the United States live with juvenile arthritis or other pediatric rheumatic diseases. We are incredibly thankful for physician-scientists like Dr. von Scheven, whose research and service in and out of the clinic has been nothing short of exceptional.”

Dr. von Scheven received her medical education from Pennsylvania State University. She then specialized in pediatrics and rheumatology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, respectively. In addition, she has a strong background in topics related to public health, which she applies to her research.

“A very important part of her training was to receive a master’s degree in epidemiology and biostatistics, which I think really positioned her to show very important leadership in developing, leading and pushing for studies that improve outcomes for children with not just arthritis, but other chronic diseases,” said Mary K. Crow, MD, physician-in-chief emeritus at Hospital for Special Surgery and Arthritis Foundation National Board Member. 

Throughout her career, Dr. von Scheven has focused on improving the end results of treatments in children with rheumatic diseases. For instance, she spearheaded the efforts to create consensus treatment plans (CTPs) for juvenile proliferative lupus nephritis. These CTPs help to directly compare treatment strategies based on standard clinical presentations of rheumatic diseases. In another line of work, Dr. von Scheven’s team has developed the “hope conceptual model” based on the feedback on research priorities from focus groups of young people with rheumatic disease and their caregivers. The information gleaned from this questionnaire will help better select national research agendas and funding opportunities. 

Within the Foundation, Dr. von Scheven is an active member of the Northern California Arthritis Foundation Board. She also serves on the board of directors for the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA). Dr. von Scheven is the program director for the Wellness Center for Youth with Chronic Conditions and the Lupus Program at the University of California, San Francisco, Benioff Children’s Hospitals. 

“I don’t do my work alone. Whether with my UCSF team or CARRA by my side for many years, all the accomplishments I’m proud of are made possible because of all these people I collaborate with,” said Dr. von Scheven. “This recognition goes to them as well. I’m humbled, honored and excited to be the recipient of this award.”

About the Arthritis Foundation:

The Arthritis Foundation is fighting for all people who live with arthritis. As a Champion of Yes, it’s the Arthritis Foundation’s mission to turn the obstacles arthritis causes into opportunities. The Arthritis Foundation champions life-changing solutions and medical advancements, and it also provides ways for people to connect, break down barriers in health care and join the fight for a cure — uniting hearts, minds and resources to change the future of arthritis. To join the fight to cure arthritis, visit

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