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Leveraging telemedicine to improve skin health and wellbeing for those who are incarcerated


American Academy of Dermatology honors Dr. Jun Lu and Clinician Tara Hood with National “Patient Care Hero” Awards

Rosemont, Ill. (April 22, 2021) – The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) named board-certified dermatologist Jun Lu, MD, FAAD, and Tara Hood, FNP-BC, as Patient Care Heroes for using telemedicine to improve the health and well-being of women who have been incarcerated.

Like many people, women at York Correctional Institute in Connecticut faced a need for specialized dermatologic care. With rising demand for this expertise, Dr. Lu—a practicing dermatologist and associate professor of dermatology at UConn Health—partnered with Tara Hood of the Connecticut Department of Correction to offer virtual preventive care and treatment.

“Our partnership fills a major need, which enables us to treat a variety of skin conditions for women who have been incarcerated,” said Dr. Lu. “Teledermatology offers safe, convenient care in an always-accessible location.”

Published commentary in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, co-authored by Dr. Lu, reinforces the need for expanding teledermatology to underserved communities, including those who are incarcerated, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hood says chronic and acute skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema are common among people who are incarcerated. For many, treating these conditions is important to both physical and mental health improvements.

“Having an uncomfortable and visible condition like psoriasis or eczema requires consistent treatment and management,” said Tara Hood. “Dr. Lu recognizes how important health is to patients’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Our patients are incredibly grateful for Dr. Lu’s expertise and professionalism.”

The AAD created the Patient Care Heroes program to recognize physicians who transform patients’ lives by utilizing their expertise and collaborating with other physicians to treat serious skin disease.

“Skin care is an often overlooked, but critically important issue in the prison system,” said board-certified dermatologist Kenneth J. Tomecki, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD. “Providing needed care to underserved populations is why we practice medicine. We want to help others when they need it the most.”

Learn more about the work of Dr. Lu and Tara Hood.

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About SkinSerious
SkinSerious is a campaign by the American Academy of Dermatology that highlights dermatologists’ role as partners in the health care system, providing expert care for serious conditions. To learn more, visit SkinSerious.org.

About the AAD
Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 20,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD 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 AAD at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin) or YouTube(AcademyofDermatology).