Medical Leadership

Lee Shapiro, MD
Chief Medical Officer

Shapiro_350x400.jpgDr. Shapiro, a prominent rheumatologist, plays a leading role in the foundation as its Chief Medical Officer and as an  Executive Committee Member. Dr. Shapiro is a professor at Albany Medical College, as well as an active researcher.  His research focuses on vascular aspects of scleroderma, Degos disease, calcinosis and related disorders. Dr. Shapiro has authored and co-authored numerous medical publications and abstracts. His practice site is the Scleroderma Center,  Albany Med, Division of Rheumatology in Malta, New York. 

He received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Yale University and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Shapiro completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Presbyterian–University Hospital, Pittsburgh, and served his Fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. Dr. Shapiro is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and in rheumatology, Subspecialty Board. His affiliations include Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology, Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and he is a member of New York State Rheumatology Society and serves on the Medical Advisory Board of the Scleroderma Foundation’s Tri-State Chapter.

Dr. Shapiro has been honored for his tireless advocacy and compassionate treatment of patients affected by scleroderma and Degos disease. His accolades include being named the Scleroderma Foundation Doctor of the Year, receiving the Distinguished Physician Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 by the Scleroderma Foundation, and being inducted into the CDPHP Physicians Academy, which recognizes physicians who serve as role models to their medical colleagues and who act as ambassadors in fostering the delivery of high-value health care.

Jessica Farrell, PharmD
Associate Medical Officer

Farrell_350x400.jpgDr. Farrell, the foundation’s Associate Medical Director, is an associate professor at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS). Her practice site is The Center for Rheumatology in Albany, NY where she provides a variety of clinical pharmacy services including pharmacotherapy consult services, patient counseling, and self-injection training visits. She serves as program coordinator for the ACPHS PGY-2 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Residency program, is a member of the American College of Rheumatology Government Affairs Committee, and was the first pharmacist member of the national Scleroderma Foundation Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. She also has previously held officer positions for the New York State Council of Health-System Pharmacists (NYSCHP)-Northeastern Chapter.

Dr. Farrell received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Subsequent to this, she completed an ASHP-Accredited Pharmacy Practice Residency at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, NJ.

Dr. Farrell presents nationally and internationally on numerous rheumatic conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, scleroderma, and pregnancy/lactation in rheumatic disease. She has received multiple professional awards including Preceptor of Distinction in Clinical Pharmacy, Steffens Scleroderma Foundation Ernest J. Dupont Award, Faculty Advisor of the Year and the Scleroderma Foundation 2019 Doctor of the Year.  

Board of Directors

The Steffens Scleroderma Foundation is governed by a talented and dedicated volunteer board of directors.

Executive Committee & Officers


Carla Gage
President, Treasurer, Executive Committee Chair


Linda Meenan
Vice President, Executive Committee Member


Celeste Freeman, OTR/L, CHT
Executive Committee Member


Michelle Morgan, MS, RDN, CDN
Secretary, Executive Committee Member

Board Members

Patricia Clausi

Jennifer Hoffman

Donna Langan

Peter Meenan

Theresa Slayton

Rosemarie R. Van Patten

Amy Gietzen

In Memoriam

Lou Renna