Arthritis Ireland hosted a webinar ‘Bridging the gap - Multidisciplinary care for children with Down Syndrome Arthritis (DA) around Transition on World Down Syndrome Day Thursday 21st March from 12.30-2pm 

Webinar speakers and topics:  

  • Rachel Ruddy: Physiotherapy for Down Syndrome Associated Arthritis  

  • Cathy White: Occupational Therapy for Down Syndrome Associated Arthritis  

  • Dr Orla Killeen: Transition from child to adult Rheumatology services 




Rachel Ruddy  

Rachel completed an MSc in Advanced Paediatric Physiotherapy from University College London Great Ormond Street in 2021. For her MSc dissertation she examined outcomes from the ‘Strength and Wellness’ group which is running in the Rheumatology service in CHI at Crumlin Hospital, Dublin. Rachel graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2010, she spent time working in Singapore after graduating and Dublin in both hospital and private settings. She has worked in CHI Crumlin since 2013 and has been specialising in Rheumatology and MSK for the last 7 years. 


Cathy White 

Cathy works as a Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist in Paediatric Rheumatology at CHI Crumlin. Cathy qualified with an MSc in Occupational Therapy in 2012. She initially worked in adult medicine and rheumatology before moving into paediatrics in 2014. Cathy has just completed an MSc in Advanced Occupational Therapy Practice at Ulster University. She focused on Down Syndrome Associated Arthritis for the research element of this qualification.  



Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist

Clinical Associate Professor UCD

Cross Hospital Clinical Lead       

National Centre for Paediatric Rheumatology            

Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin, Dublin   

Dr Orla Killeen qualified from UCG (University of Galway) in 1996. She trained in General Paediatrics at CHI (Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin and Temple Street University Hospital, Dublin) before sub specialising in Paediatric Rheumatology. She undertook her paediatric rheumatology training at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London and went on to complete a Barbara Ansell Clinical Fellowship at the Royal Hospital at The Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow.

She was appointed as Ireland’s first Paediatric Rheumatologist in 2004, and her took up her post in 2006 as Consultant Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatologist at CHI Crumlin and at St Vincent’s University Hospital where she runs the YARD (Young Adolescent clinic for Rheumatic Disease). She set up the National Centre for Paediatric Rheumatology and is the cross site Clinical Speciality Lead for CHI. She was appointed as a Clinical Associate Professor for UCD in 2015. She is a current board member for Arthritis Ireland and is Principal lead for the Paediatric arm of the National ARC Biobank   (UCD).

Her principal clinical and research areas include Down Syndrome Associated Arthritis, JIA, Auto- inflammatory disorders as well as transition care in Adolescents.