As Advocacy Week in Washington, DC drew to a close last week, Solve M.E. honored Dr. Peter Rowe for his work as a medical provider, researcher, educator, and advocate for the ME/CFS and Long Covid communities.
Solve acknowledged with gratitude Rowe’s unwavering support of people of all ages affected by ME/CFS and his outstanding contributions as a physician and scholar. Solve Board Member Vicki Boies, whose family members have been treated by Dr. Rowe for many years, presented the award and recalled his decades-long promise to “never give up” in his pursuit of treatments and cures. “Dr. Rowe has a wonderful ability to let patients know he understands how sick they are, how much they’ve suffered, how much they’ve lost, and yet because of his expertise, knowledge, and especially his great sense of humor, he also makes them feel hopeful and cared for.” She also quoted a young family member with ME/CFS who simply stated, “Dr. Rowe saved my life.”
Ahead of receiving the award, Dr. Rowe led an informal fireside chat, sharing his reflections on ME/CFS, Long Covid, and the future of post-infection disease. In the coming weeks, we’ll share a link to that recording.
A longtime champion for our community, Dr. Rowe is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director of the Chronic Fatigue Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. His clinical and research work has focused on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and more recently on Long Covid.
His areas of clinical expertise include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and orthostatic intolerance. Dr. Rowe was the first to describe the relationship between chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and treatable orthostatic intolerance syndromes, as well as the association between Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and CFS. He is a member of the American Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, the Canadian Pediatric Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Academic Pediatric Association.
In addition to treating patients and conducting research, Dr. Rowe has worked to publicize the desperate need for treatments and cures. As part of our “How Long?” national public awareness campaign for Long Covid in October 2022, Solve conducted a satellite media tour to raise awareness about Long Covid, ME/CFS, and other post-infection diseases. Dr. Rowe represented the medical provider perspective on the tour, and, along with Board Member and Long Covid patient advocate Cynthia Adinig, was interviewed by 27 TV and radio stations across the U.S. in the course of a single day.
In each interview, Dr. Rowe explained the complexities of diagnosing and treating Long Covid, emphasizing that it’s not a “new” problem, but just the latest in a long line of post-infection diseases, such as ME/CFS. Dr. Rowe told journalists that we must connect the dots and link Long Covid to other post-viral illnesses like ME/CFS in order to apply learnings from prior research. He emphasized the real need to include ME/CFS and other post-infection disease patients in all studies of Long Covid.
Dr. Rowe has also been a tireless advocate for health equity. In December 2022, along with Camille Broussard, MD, MPH and Solve Lived Experience Task Force (LET) member Jailyn Mercadel, RN, he co-presented the webinar “Challenges in Ensuring Equity In the Study and Treatment of ME/CFS and Long Covid.” Watch that recording here.
Thank you, Dr. Rowe, for the care and consideration given to our community in your many years of medical practice. We’re grateful for your contributions!