Pediatric rheumatology patient smiling during visit at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children


Arthritis, which means inflammation of a joint (where two or more bones meet), actually refers to more than 100 different conditions that all fall into the category of rheumatology. Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are diagnosed by stiffness, swelling, pain and limited movement in joints and other supporting body structures, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissues and bones. Scottish Rite Hospital’s Rheumatology Clinic treats children with conditions that can cause inflammation in many different parts of the body.


The hospital’s extensive experience and recognized expertise is continually enhanced with advanced research to offer accurate diagnostic services and effective pediatric rheumatoid arthritis treatments that make a difference in the lives of our patients.

In 1956, Scottish Rite Hospital established one of the country’s first pediatric rheumatology clinics. Today, the clinic is led by internationally recognized pediatric rheumatologist Marilynn Punaro, M.D., Scottish Rite Hospital’s Medical Director of Pediatric Rheumatology. She serves on numerous boards and was selected as one of the 12 international experts by the American College of Rheumatology to establish global guidelines in the treatment of juvenile arthritis. In 2014, Dr. Punaro received the prestigious Patricia and William L. Watson Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine, and in 2016 was awarded the designation of Master, one of the highest honors bestowed by the American College of Rheumatology. 

The hospital’s Rheumatology Clinic is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier clinical treatment and research centers for rheumatic conditions.

The rheumatology team at Scottish Rite Hospital includes five board-certified pediatric rheumatologists, making it one of the only clinics of its kind in North Texas. They monitor the progress of approximately 1,500 pediatric rheumatology patients.

Scottish Rite Hospital’s Rheumatology Clinic is actively researching advanced treatment methods for a variety of rheumatic conditions. Collaboration with Virginia Pascual, M.D., from UT Southwestern Medical Center, has led to innovative treatments for children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. All Scottish Rite Hospital Rheumatology physicians are active members of the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) and participate in the National Registry and other research protocols. 

Scottish Rite Hospital is committed to improving patient care through its professional training programs. Our teaching program, one of only 35 in the country, allows fellows to train with our pediatric Rheumatology team and contribute to the department’s research advances.