MD For Moms Radio, Every Wednesday 1pm (ET) on The BBM Global Network, TuneIn and iHeartRadio or as a podcast on iTunes.
This week on MD for Moms, I interview Michele Hamburger, Executive Director of the Frances Hamburger Institute (FHI) about her experience as a patient with two autoimmune diseases diagnosed later in life and about her work with FHI. Michele is a mother and had to push through the broken healthcare system to finally be accurately diagnosed, which was a profoundly frustrating and eye-opening experience. We explore how this journey changed her perspective and how other women who are on a similar road can learn from what she faced and avoid various pitfalls and spoils. We also discuss life as a mom with autoimmune diseases and ways to maximize the joy in life despite managing chronic illnesses.
As the Executive Director of the Frances Hamburger Institute, Michele is determined to improve the broken rheumatic healthcare system. She explains what she hopes FHI will be able to accomplish in the short and long run, and how she and the FHI stakeholders and physicians plan to improve patient care.
Have a question for Michele Hamburger about having Rheumatic illness or the Frances Hamburger Institute?
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Learn more about my guest, Michele Hamburger:
Michele Hamburger is a wife, mother of two children, Executive Director of the Frances Hamburger Institute (FHI) for Community Rheumatology and suffers from two autoimmune diseases (Psoriatic Arthritis (PSA) and Myasthenia Gravis (MG)) that were diagnosed later in life. Her experience being a patient – struggling to find a diagnosis, treatment and cover the high expenses – ignited her desire to bring stakeholders together through her position at FHI with the goal of improving patient care. On June 19, 2002- FHI organized the First Annual Stakeholder Roundtable, bringing together leading stakeholders within the rheumatology community encompassing: biomedical innovation, data science, diagnostics, government policy, mental health, patient advocacy, payers, physicians, providers and researchers came together, to identify ways of improving the rheumatic healthcare ecosystem.
Michele graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor’s of Arts, majoring in Psychology and Sociology. For her graduate training, she attended The George Washington University earning a Master’s Degree in Computer Fraud, as well as a Masters in Forensic Sciences. Michele worked with Professor Emeritus James E. Starrs researching and challenging numerous forensics cases. She was also a member of a scientific exhumation team, including renowned professionals Michael Baden and Henry Lee, that was responsible for reinvestigating high profile solved and cold cases throughout the country. Michele is very excited and proud to honor her mother-in-law, Fran, in her role as Executive Director for the Institute.
The Frances Hamburger Institute (FHI) is laying the groundwork to ensure that everyone with this illness will receive accessible, cost-effective, quality care today and in the future. Founded and initially funded by Rheumatologists, the FHI has the distinction of having input from a global roster of physicians and world-renowned researchers, all working collaboratively on initiatives and projects to make living with Rheumatic diseases easier and less frightening. The FHI was created to honor the legacy of Dr. Frances Hamburger, a respected clinical psychologist and wife of Rheumatologist Dr. Max Hamburger. Frances suffered from a rheumatic disease that severely impacted her life. Having gone through her own battles with this illness, Fran dedicated the last decade of her career advancing rheumatic disease care for the betterment of community rheumatologists and their patients.
Frances Hamburger Institute:
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