The National Minority Health Association will be joined by Toni Braxton & the Lupus community kick off Lupus Call to Action Day

Published April 18, 2024
Special Presentation to be held Wednesday, May 1st live at NYU

Apr. 18, 2024 / PRZen / NEW YORK -- Healthcare stakeholders come together to drive awareness & enact change to improve health equity:

- Toni Braxton award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, producer, and entrepreneur will share her personal journey to empower people with lupus and lupus nephritis (LN) to prioritize their kidney health.

- Renowned thought leaders will share best practices to:

- Promote timely access to care for ALL people living with lupus or suspected of having lupus and routinely screen people living with lupus for renal involvement

- Encourage health care providers to identify the earliest signs and symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and Lupus Nephritis (LN), and swiftly refer to Rheumatology and/or Nephrology for appropriate diagnostic workups.

- Provide ALL people living with SLE/LN in NYC with education on advanced and complex therapies & clinical trial opportunities.

Educational events will occur throughout the US in honor of Lupus Awareness month (May).

The National Minority Health Association (NMHA) in collaboration with members of the lupus community declare May 1, 2024, as Lupus Call to Action Day in NYC  event will be held at New York University's Murphy Auditorium, marking a pivotal step in the NMHA's "Equity for All" campaign aimed at addressing healthcare disparities, enhancing understanding of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and lupus nephritis (LN) disease management, and fostering empathy and trust among healthcare professionals and patients.

This live event is invite only, scheduled from 1pm to 3pm EST, the program will highlight the lived experience of Lupus patients, and feature expert insights expert insights by Dr. Amit Saxena, Associate Professor, NYU, Dr. Anca Askanase, Professor of Medicine, Director & Founder of the Columbia Lupus Center, Dr. Jill Buyon, Professor of Rheumatology, Director of Lupus Center Department of Medicine at NYU, and a panel discussion on health equity's impact on NYC's lupus patients.

Dr. Saxena &  Askanase's commentary will highlight the critical need for targeted campaigns to address health disparities in lupus and lupus nephritis, especially among lower socio-economic populations, women and communities of color disproportionately affected by this disease. The NMHA's initiative aligns with both city and state efforts to declare May as Lupus Awareness Month, emphasizing a collective commitment to health equity.

A celebrity interview with Toni Braxton, in partnership with Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, is also planned to underscore the importance of community support, testing and awareness. "Getting routine urine tests and seeing a doctor regularly is so important because up to 30 percent of people with lupus who have kidney involvement will experience kidney failure," says Toni Braxton, "especially women of color, who are more likely to be affected by lupus nephritis." About 1 out of 2 people with lupus develop lupus nephritis over time. Black and Asian women are four times more likely to develop lupus nephritis and Hispanic and Native American women are twice as likely.

To ensure the Black community is educated about lupus, (BDO) plans to live stream this important program. (BDO) is one of the leading and most trusted health platforms for Black consumers, reaching a total audience of 20 million people (about the population of New York), with six million monthly website visitors. BDO leverages culture, content and technology to improve health outcomes for Black consumers.

In partnership with multiple organizations including Healthfirst, Lupus Research Alliance, Global Healthy Living Foundation, and the thought leaders from NYU & NYP; the NMHA seeks to improve outcomes for those living with lupus through education, advocacy, and research. With support from UCB, Biogen and Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, this Lupus Call to Action Day is an important moment in the ongoing battle against lupus and lupus nephritis in the pursuit of equitable healthcare for all.

"It is exciting to see leading healthcare institutions, renowned thought leaders, patient organizations, payers and pharmaceutical manufacturers in rheumatology, joining forces with the NMHA in this innovative effort to raise awareness and improve outcomes for people living with Lupus, their caregivers and healthcare providers. "This group of stakeholders have pooled their collective expertise and resources to make this monumental event as impactful as possible," said Donna Finale, US Sustainability Lead, UCB.  "Our hope is that health systems adopt best practices to improve access to care and medications and policy makers continue in their efforts that support Lupus, Lupus Nephritis and other chronic diseases that disproportionally impact the lower socio-economic populations," continued Finale.

SLE manifests itself differently in people, so too does art touch each of us in a unique and personal manner. The program has harnessed the power and impact of art through a newly commissioned painting by internationally noted artist Quana Madison ( ). "Quana's art will be used as a catalyst for conversation, empathy, and reflection, as it relates to Lupus and helps foster greater patient/physician/community conversation and connections," said Burgess Harrison, Executive Director, NMHA.

The event is hosted by National Minority Health Association, Global Healthy Living Foundation, HealthFirst,  Get Uncomfortable,  and NYU with support from UCB,  Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, Biogen, and Sage Growth Partners. (

Additional events will be occurring throughout the month through the Lupus and Allied Diseases Association (LADA) (, Lupus Research Association (LRA) (, and Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) (

About the NMHA: The National Minority Health Association is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 1988. The NMHA delivers on its mission of health equity through innovative programs including, Equity for All, Health is for EveryBODY™ ( ), Operation Healthy You™, Equityville™, and The Art Alliance, to name a few. The lack of health equity in underserved, marginalized, and hard-to-reach communities translates into lost lives, adverse health outcomes, higher costs, diminished productivity, and declines in quality of life and well-being for everyone. For more information visit

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Source: National Minority Health Association

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