NEW ORLEANS (Jan. 31, 2011) —
The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) is bringing thousands of visitors back to The Big Easy for the Academy’s 69th Annual Meeting, to be held Feb. 4-8, 2011, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Academy members are not only helping to revitalize the city by spending their tourist dollars in New Orleans, but they also are assisting with volunteer efforts to help those still struggling after the disaster. Dermatologists and their spouses along with other meeting attendees will be converting unused green space into an urban garden at the Lower Ninth Ward Village on Thursday, Feb. 3, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. The garden will eventually supply Lower Ninth Ward residents with farm-fresh produce. The Lower Ninth Ward does not currently have a supermarket within biking distance.
“Most of our membership last visited the city for the Academy’s 63rd Annual Meeting in February 2005 — just six months before Hurricane Katrina,” said Academy president William D. James, MD, FAAD. “In planning our return to New Orleans, Academy leadership felt compelled to help the city’s residents who have suffered so greatly. We hope this garden will provide residents with fruits and vegetables that will help them live healthy lives, as well as a place of peace and beauty.”
“Our Hands@Work team looks forward to working alongside American Academy of Dermatology volunteers to positively impact the Lower Ninth Ward Village,” said HandsOn New Orleans CEO Cathy Puett. “Visits from socially responsible groups like the Academy help revitalize our neighborhoods through dedicated volunteer service — proving that they are great corporate citizens."
The efforts are part of the American Academy of Dermatology’s Dermatology in Action volunteerism initiative. In addition, dermatologists are collecting donations of medical supplies for the Tulane Community Health Center and raising money for future volunteerism efforts.
The Academy seeks to give back to each community in which it holds a scientific meeting. The first Dermatology in Action project in August 2010 awarded a grant for two shade structures to the Chicago Park District. Chicago was the host city of the 2010 Summer Academy Meeting.
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 16,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org
HandsOn New Orleans, a HandsOn Network affiliate and the official Volunteer Center for the Greater New Orleans area, transforms communities through volunteer service and leadership development. Since 2006, HandsOn New Orleans has provided local and visiting volunteers with the tools, housing and training necessary to strengthen and rebuild their communities. For more information or to volunteer, visit us online at www.handsonneworleans.org