By C. William Hanke, MD, MPH, FAAD
A healthy life is our most basic aspiration. In dermatology we understand that healthy skin is a fundamental part of this goal.This is what those in dermatology have committed their careers to doing — helping patients achieve healthy skin, healthy lives.
Dermatologists do this in many ways; the most obvious, perhaps, is providing quality care to patients every day. But there's more to it. It's a dedication to constant training and knowledge development to keep on top of a changing field. It also means making a positive impact on our communities. Those in dermatology are giving time, expertise, and financial support to help people around the world achieve healthy skin, healthy lives.
I'm proud to announce that the Academy has launched Aspire, a new quarterly magazine designed to promote our specialty and the impact we make daily on patients' lives.
Dermatology has a story to tell--many stories, in fact. They happen every day in dermatologists offices — and even outside the office. Take the story of skin cancer survivor Annie Appleby (highlighted in the video below), whose life was saved by a fast-thinking dermatologist. Annie was jogging on the beach when a stranger, who happened to be a dermatologist, stopped her and told her she had a suspicious "freckle" on her back. He insisted that she see dermatologist immediately. She went to her dermatologist the next day and discovered the "freckle" was, in fact, melanoma. She underwent surgery the next day and has been cancer-free for several years.
Annie Appleby, a late-stage melanoma survivor, tells the story of how a dermatologist saved her life. She is now committed to spreading the message of sun safety and skin cancer detection. Through her business, YogaForce, she's raised money for the Academy's SPOT Skin Cancer™ program. Her story is detailed in the Spring 2014 issue of Aspire.
Stories like these are one of the great pleasures of practicing dermatology — making a visible impact on patients' well-being.
That's what Aspire will do — share the stories about all of us in the dermatology community: individual dermatologists volunteering skin care to needy patients or supporting a cause or organization near to their hearts; corporations and their employees dedicating themselves professionally and personally to advancing skin health; the Academy, with it its wealth of programs and services, and recognize those who support our mission through donations and volunteerism. We will put faces and stories to those who help achieve the mission of healthy skin, healthy lives.
You may have read some of these stories in our newsletters Today and Tomorrow, which went to members and other individual donors, and inPartnership, which was shared with our corporate partners. This new publication will consolidate and expand upon those efforts, tapping a wide and varied pool of voices and stories that truly demonstrates all the time and resources you give to enhance the specialty and deepen the impact of dermatology. Because when it comes to that core belief — that all people can and should aspire to and achieve healthy skin, healthy lives — we are one community reaching for a shared goal.
Aspire is about you and what you're doing in your community. We want to hear from you! If you have a story you want to share, an opinion about the magazine, or want more information on anything you read about let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also encourage you to visit our new webpage, www.SupportAAD.org, dedicated to helping you understand how you can support the mission of healthy skin, healthy lives.
C. William Hanke, MD, MPH, is clinical professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, and chair of the Academy's Development Committee and chair of the Ad Hoc Task Force on Office-Based Surgery. He is a past president of the AAD.
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