The Center of Excellence for Arthritis and Rheumatology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport was established and funded as an Academic Administrative Unit and budgetary cost center by the Louisiana Legislature in 1990 for the development and expansion of multidisciplinary, interdepartmental clinical programs, research, and education. For over 10 years, the Center has sustained and expanded programs of excellence in clinical patient care, medical education, and research. The development of these comprehensive programs related to arthritis and other rheumatic diseases has established the Center of Excellence for Arthritis and Rheumatology as one of the country's exemplary rheumatology programs.