Welcome to the first issue of THE DERMATOSCOPE, our quarterly newsletter. This is the best way to keep up-to-date on the important work of the VDS in the areas of Leadership, Education, Advocacy, and Professionalism.

We're here to help!
As dermatologists, we have dedicated our lives to caring for and comforting our patients with not just our clinical expertise and knowledge of the structure and function of the skin, but with our kindness and empathy. While the beautiful biochemistry of melanin imparts not only biologic form and function to our skin, it can impact how we are seen and how we see each other. We must acknowledge and reckon with the very real agony, pain and frustration that many of us are feeling right now. The horrific killing of George Floyd and many other African Americans before him has caused outrage across our commonwealth and indeed across our nation. Our fellow Americans, merely on the basis of the color of their skin, the density and distribution of melanin, experience the effects of racism on a regular basis. We must act as one community, and be clear in our conviction to oppose racism, bigotry, and abuse of power. These acts are byproducts of hate, in contrast to our values as physicians which call upon us to embody respect, acceptance, and kindness towards all.

Our community, country and the world are in pain. As physicians we know the importance of comforting those in pain and working to cure its root causes. Right now, this means supporting one another, listening instead of judging, and acting from a place of love and compassion. Sharing our gifts: our minds to think and solve; our eyes to have vision; our ears to listen; our hearts to love and show compassion; our hands to serve and act. The very values of integrity, compassion, empathy, kindness, and respect that serve our patients can help heal our communities. As dermatologists we are adept at shining light into the shadows. We will strive to ask the right questions, work hard to listen, and take necessary steps to learn, support and serve better. We are listening and we want to hear your voice.
Our Proud Past and Bright Future
The Mission Statement of the Virginia Dermatology Society (VDS) is to support the community of Virginia dermatologists by promoting L eadership, E ducation, A dvocacy, and P rofessionalism in order to deliver the highest standard of patient care.

The Virginia Dermatology Society has its roots many decades ago when the Virginia Dermatological Society was begun. Active for many years, that society ceased its operations about 10 years ago, and has been resurrected in its current iteration as the Virginia Dermatology Society (VDS).

The first meeting of the current VDS was in December 2018 at which time a Board of Directors was established, officers were elected, and a mission statement was articulated. The Executive Board of Officers consists of the Past President, President, President Elect, Treasurer, Treasurer Elect and Secretary. All of these officers hold one-year terms. The VDS Board of Directors consists of 9 members-at-large whose terms are 3 years each, with 1/3 of the Board-at-large members rotating off of the board every year to be replaced by newly elected Board-at-large members.

During its first year, the VDS Board established its Articles of Incorporation, Societal Bylaws and obtained a 501-c3 tax exempt status. Additionally, extensive planning began for its first social event for March 2019 and its first weekend Annual CME Meeting for the fall of 2019.  

The first membership event of the Virginia Dermatology Society occurred in March 2019 at the AAD’s Annual Meeting in Washington DC. During a wonderful social get together of wine and hors d’oeuvres, Virginia dermatologists from all over the Commonwealth caught up with one another, met the VDS officers and Board members-at-large, and voted on the VDS logo design which is the one you see today on our letterhead and on our website.

The first year of the Virginia Dermatology Society ended with a hugely successful first Annual CME Meeting held October 26-27, 2019 at the Woodlands Conference Center in Colonial Williamsburg. Picture perfect late fall weather was the brilliant backdrop for Virginian dermatologists as they came together for 2 days of CME presentations. The meeting was supported by 16 Pharma reps and had a final attendee count of 110! The weekend Meeting included an annual Business Meeting for the membership, at which our finances were shared, our previous year’s activities were reviewed and vacancies for Officers and Board members-at-large were filled. 

The second year of the Virginia Dermatology Society began with the Board of Directors being organized into 6 Board Committees in order to carry out the VDS mission of L eadership, E ducation, A dvocacy and P rofessionalism. These 6 committees are:  Advocacy Committee (chair-Dr. Rachel Ellis), Financial Committee (chair-Dr. Karina Parr), Marketing Committee (chair-Dr. Chris Gorman), Meeting Planning Committee (chair-Dr. Jane Lynch), Membership Committee (chair-Dr. Valerie Harvey), and Scientific Committee (Dr. Kim Salkey). Each month during the VDS Board meeting, the chairs of each committee report their committee’s activity and accomplishments to the VDS Board of Directors. The synergy of these 6 committees has been indispensable for advancing the mission of the VDS.

During this second year the VDS Board also began working earnestly to have another social event at the AAD’s Annual Meeting as well as another social event, only to have the appearance of COVID19 put a very large monkey wrench in all meeting plans. Due to the cancellation of the AAD meeting, the March VDS social event was cancelled. The Board has continued working on the Fall CME Meeting and is considering either a combined in-person/virtual meeting or a completely virtual meeting. 
Despite the challenges of COVID19, the Board of the Virginia Dermatology Society continues to work diligently on behalf of the interests of dermatologists and their patients throughout the Commonwealth. Please continue to support your state professional society and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
VDS Executive Director
We are pleased to welcome our new Executive Director, Susan McConnel. Susan works at the Richmond Academy of Medicine and has over 20 years of experience in specialty society management. She can be reached directly at 804.622.8139 or by email at vadermsociety@gmail.com.

Please note the VDS mailing address has changed! Please update your records.
2821 Emerywood Parkway, Suite 200 | Richmond, VA 23294
New Website!

The VDS is excited to launch its newly redesigned website. Check it out at www.vaderm.org . The site will be updated regularly with important Society information.
Leaning Together to Provide Patients Excellent Dermatology Care
Kim Salkey, MD
Chair, Education Committee
Virginia Dermatologists will gather on October 24 & 25 2020 at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites for our 2nd Annual Meeting. Our theme is Dermatology Advances . The University of Virginia School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 9.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

The Program Committee has been busy putting together another dynamic program with timely topics and engaging speakers. We are actively monitoring COVID-19 and how it may impact our meeting; the Board is considering either a combined in-person/virtual meeting or a completely virtual meeting. More information will be available soon! Our Keynote Address will be: NIH – What We’ve Learned From Our Skin Microbiome by Heidi Kong, MD. The Important Trends in the Practice of Dermatology Addre ss will be: Corporatization and the Rise of Private Equity in Dermatology: the Elephant in the Room by Sailesh Konda, MD. Other talks addressing Medical Advances, Policy Advances, and Laser & Surgical Advances are included. Resident presentations will also be a part of our program.

The field of Dermatology continues to move toward the goal of more quick and accurate diagnosis of skin disease by sharing particularly educational cases that may be applied to future patients. The Virginia Dermatology Society is dedicated to educating health care providers involved in treating patients with dermatologic conditions.

Members receive a discounted registration rate!

Rooms have been reserved at the Colonial Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Suites and will be available on a first come, first served basis. Attendees will need to make their own reservations with the group name Virginia Dermatology Society Meeting. Room booking includes Continental Breakfast daily, complimentary wireless internet in all guest rooms and meeting space, and complimentary self-parking. Rates: $169 while rooms in the block are available or until 09/23/2020. Make reservations by calling the hotel directly at (800) 261-9530 or by clicking here .

Save the date and make plans to join us in October!
Leaning Together to Provide Patients Excellent Dermatology Care
Rachel Ellis, MD
My name is Rachel Ellis, MD FAAD and I am an active duty military dermatologist serving at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, in Portsmouth VA. I am joined on the committee by Dr. Janet Hickman (former private practice, currently involved in education and advocacy on the local, state, and national levels), Dr. Farhaad Riyaz (Mohs surgeon, currently in private practice and our treasurer elect for VDS), Dr. Mary Mather (private practice, Harrisonburg VA), Dr. Debbie Elder (private practice, Charlottesville, VA), and Dr. Asmaa Chaudhry (private practice, Aldie, VA).

We have some exciting developments from the committee. We are in the process of applying for an ASDS Ignite grant, with a focus on the Safe Laser and Energy-Based Device Act as well as the Medical Spa Safety Act. Any information, cases, and examples that would help this effort would be appreciated by the committee. The Reducing the Risk of Skin Cancer and Excessive UV exposure in Children Act was previously approved for the state of Virginia.

We are also pursuing resolutions and legislation with regards to truth in advertising and transparency of qualifications of those providing health care. We feel that this is very important given the expansion of practice for non-physician providers in the state of Virginia. The AAD has a link outlining differences in state laws with regards to transparency.

We are closely watching developments with regards to the COVID pandemic, telemedicine reimbursement, and how this is affecting private practices.
For truth in advertising and for COVID developments we are planning on partnering with the Medical Society of Virginia for help with resolutions and in the legislative process.

There has been additional discussion with regards to private equity and prior authorizations, among other topics.

You may be thinking “ How can I help? ” There are multiple avenues to provide support to the specialty and our colleagues.

  1. The first thing that I would ask is to please text, call, or email at least five dermatologists in Virginia and ask them to join the Virginia Dermatology Society. There is power in numbers, and the more we can band together the more we can get our voices heard.
  2. Please consider attending the Medical Society of Virginia meeting at the Homestead in Hot Springs, VA from October 9-11 2020.
  3. If you are unable to attend this meeting, please consider attending our second annual Virginia Dermatology Society meeting in Williamsburg, VA October 24-25, 2020. We had an outstanding group of presenters last year, and it was a fantastic venue with high yield presentations.
  4. If you know any local, state, or federal level lawmakers, staffers, or lobbyists that may be sympathetic to our cause please feel free to put them in touch with any of us on the committee.
  5. Finally, if any of this interests you as a member, if you have ideas, if you know a motivated medical student or resident that wants to get involved, or if you have an issue we want to hear from you! We are here as a committee to serve our patients, our colleagues, and our specialty. Any thoughts, suggestions, and recommendations are more than welcome.

Thank you for all you are doing for our patients and our specialty. We are in unprecedented times, but I am confident that we can work together to come back from this stronger, with a better position for the future. 
Call for Resolutions
If there is an issue of interest and/or concern, now is your opportunity to submit a resolution from which an official Academy position might arise. Even if you do not have experience drafting resolutions, I encourage you to contact Academy staff or members of the Advisory Board Executive Committee with ideas and they will be able to guide you through the submission process. The template can be accessed at this link . Resolutions are due June 24 th.
The Academy has developed a virtual meeting experience called AAD VMX that will be held June 12-14, 2020. Participants will join the Academy for a three-day live and online experience from the comfort and safety of their home and/or office. AAD VMX offers at least 24 CME credits, more than 14 robust sessions on multiple clinical topics, live Q&As with presenters, 900 posters, a virtual exhibit hall, and more! Register now.
2020 AADA Legislative Conference will be Virtual
After careful consideration of the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the Academy has decided to hold a virtual 2020 AADA Legislative Conference, in lieu of the in-person event originally planned for September 13-15 in Washington, DC. While dermatologists won’t be able to visit Capitol Hill in person, the virtual conference will allow an even greater number of AADA members to learn more about advocacy and bring the AADA’s message to Congress via virtual meetings. Commit to participate today and save the date for calls to Congress on September 15, 2020. More information about the 2020 AADA Virtual Legislative Conference is coming soon.
The AADA is continually updating its website with information on COVID-19. Link .
Take the LEAP with VDS
Take the  L.E.A.P.  today and join the newly re-formed Virginia Dermatology Society.

The VDS focuses on L.E.A.P . ~ L eadership,  E ducation,  A dvocacy, and  P rofessionalism through cultivating passionate leaders, providing meaningful educational opportunities, advocating through a unified voice, and maintaining a standard of excellence in our profession.

We speak with one voice.  But we can't do this without you . Your commitment and financial support allows us to provide great programs, services, and advocacy for dermatologists in Virginia. 
hands diverse

Membership in the VDS has many benefits!

  • Participation in meaningful educational opportunities & secures a discounted rate to the Annual Meeting
  • Subscription to our quarterly newsletter, The Dermatoscope
  • Timely member communications
  • Advocate for our patients and our profession
  • Leadership opportunities
We want to hear from You!
Chris Gorman, MD
Debbie Elder, MD

Your Marketing Committee members are hard at work, finding ways to disseminate meaningful and relevant content to our members. If you have suggestions for additional topics or newsletter sections, please contact us today! Send an email to vadermsociety@gmail.com .
contact us
Virginia Dermatology Society
2821 Emerywood Parkway, Ste 200
Richmond, VA 23294
Executive Director | Susan McConnell