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Illinois dermatologist organizes local effort to vaccinate frontline health care workers

American Academy of Dermatology honors Dr. Amy J. Derick as National “Patient Care Hero”

ROSEMONT, Ill. (June 2, 2021) — Local board-certified dermatologist Amy J. Derick, MD, FAAD, was honored as a Patient Care Hero by the American Academy of Dermatology for her efforts to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines for frontline health care professionals in Illinois after realizing they could not obtain vaccinations at the start of the vaccine rollout in December 2020 and January 2021.

“Once COVID-19 vaccines were authorized, my dermatology staff was vaccinated as soon as possible to reduce potential risks to our patients,” she said. “I learned how challenging it was for health care professionals who didn’t work in a large health system or hospital setting to access vaccines, despite having significant exposure to patients.”

Dr. Derick collaborated with a nearby health system to establish a clinic that vaccinated more than 1,500 primary care, orthopedic, ophthalmology, and other specialty professionals in a month including orthopedic surgeon Benjamin Domb, MD, and his staff.

“My health care team and I had trouble getting our first COVID-19 vaccine doses because we didn’t work in a big hospital network,” said Dr. Domb. “Dr. Derick’s team was instrumental in helping us care for our patients more safely after getting vaccinated.”

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

“Frontline health care professionals play an essential role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and are at higher risk for infection due to their patient care,” said board-certified dermatologist Ken Tomecki, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD. “Vaccinating everyone who cares for patients is an important first step to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts like these are making that possible.”

To learn more about the work of Dr. Derick, visit www.aad.org/skinserious/stories-derick-kuchnir.


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 (888) 462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), Instagram (@AADskin1), or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).