Dermatology News
Updates from the UNMC Department of Dermatology
Serving Our Veterans in Our New Partnership with the VA
UNMC Dermatology is pleased to announce an official partnership with VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System to provide exceptional dermatologic care to veterans in Nebraska, western Iowa and portions of Kansas and Missouri. This partnership has been in the works since 2018 and our first official dermatology clinic was held in January 2021 in the new Ambulatory Care Center at the Omaha campus. "Our entire team is honored to be able to provide general and surgical dermatologic care to our veterans," says Dr. Wysong, newly named Chief of Dermatology for the VA, "Historically, veterans have had to wait months or to be referred through the Care in the Community program to receive dermatology services. With our new partnership, we hope to retain care of our veterans in the VA system and to improve access for all."

In addition to being a key aspect of our clinical services, the VA partnership is also going to be key for our mission of educating the next generation of dermatologists for Nebraska and beyond. UNMC resident physicians and medical students will have regular rotations at the VA. First year dermatology resident Dr. Tyler Evans says about his experience at the VA, "The VA has been a great experience thus far. It gives me a sense of pride in taking care of those who risked their lives to allow us all the freedoms we have today. The veteran population is one of my favorites to care for. In addition to giving back to those who gave so much more, the VA also offers us abundant surgical and medical dermatologic training, helping us further our training and better care for our patients in the years to come."  
Dr. Latenser: Leaving a Legacy
May 22, 1922 – December 31, 2020

Nebraska Dermatology lost a giant this year. Dr. John F "Jack" Latenser graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1946. Dr. Latenser was a pioneer and innovator. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corp and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for over fifty years. Although he comes from a family of architects (his grandfather John L. Latenser, Sr. designed Central High School) he chose medicine and started private practice in general surgery as a general surgeon and volunteer faculty member who saw private patients, made house calls and rollerbladed every day.

Dr. Latenser was a founding member of the American College of Chemosurgery. (Dr. Frederick Mohs was the founder), now called the American College of Mohs Surgery.

Memorials are suggested to the Latenser Mohs Micrographic Surgery Fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation, PO Box 82555, Lincoln NE 68508-2555 or online at keyword: Latenser. Please designate “In Memory of John Latenser”
Comprehensive Vein Clinic
An estimated 45 to 60 percent of all Americans suffer from some form of vein disorder. Risk factors for developing vein disease include genetics, hormones, pregnancy and obesity. When veins become diseased, their valves no longer function properly leading to increased pressures in the venous system and vein enlargement. Varicose veins can range from an undesirable skin appearance to a serious health problem. Clinical findings include leg pain, fatigue, heaviness, swelling, stasis changes, lipodermatosclerosis, and ulcers.
Nebraska Medicine’s Department of Dermatology launched a Comprehensive Vein Clinic in the fall of 2018. Our team includes dermatologic surgeons Dr. Adam Sutton and Dr. Ashley Wysong who are certified by the American Board of Venolymphatic Medicine (ABVLM) for the treatment of venous disorders and Alesha Smith a registered vascular technologist (RVT). We offer on-site ultrasound performed by the RVT that is reviewed in real time by our physicians. This "one stop shop" process allows for same day consultation, ultrasound evaluation, education and development of a customized treatment plan for patients.

Our dermatologists have advanced fellowship training in nonsurgical and surgical modalities for managing vein disorders. Our minimally invasive procedures are performed in clinic, under local anesthesia and require minimal downtime. These minimally invasive procedures include endovenous laser ablation, ultrasound guided endovenous chemical ablation, ambulatory phlebectomy, and sclerotherapy. Minimally invasive procedures along with conservative measures aim to normalize venous circulation and improve patient’s symptoms and quality of life. 
New Employee Spotlight: Megan Wackel
Current Position: First-Year master's student in the cancer research program & Wysong Lab
College or trade school attended for your profession: University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)
How long have you been at NM/UNM:
I started in August of 2020
What you like most about working at UNMC: Being able to collaborate with people who are genuinely very passionate about the work they are doing. This makes me want to work harder to get to where they are and motivates me to really do the best research I possibly can.
What first interested you in medicine/research: I was able to conduct my own research project at UNL under the supervision of an advisor. My project examined the impact of food insecurity, specifically limited protein intake, on the health of Ethiopians and Zambians. While conducting this research, I kept thinking of medical conditions involved with protein deficiencies and how this research related to health care. Since it was a student designed project, there were limitations to what I could study. I wanted to pursue a master's degree, specifically in medicine, to explore my curiosity around these topics.
Favorite or most interesting research project: I am currently working on looking at metastatic rates in immunosuppressed patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Even though I only have been working on this project for a short time, this is exactly the type of research I came to UNMC to conduct.

Why I am excited about my current research project: I am excited about getting to learn more about conducting research in medicine. I am also excited about learning more about my specific research, squamous cell carcinoma.
Hometown: Lincoln, NE 

Favorite place to visit: Memorial Stadium for a Nebraska Husker football game.
Favorite trip: When I was conducting my undergraduate research project I had the opportunity to go to Ethiopia and Zambia.
Most memorable memory from 2020? Getting my acceptance in the master's program at UNMC this summer.
What are 3 things people don’t know about me:
1. I was born without two adult teeth.
2. While working on getting my private pilots license I was able to conduct my solo flight.
3. I have a smashed penny with a picture on it from everywhere I have traveled.

When relaxing I really enjoy: Spending time outdoors or watching sports with family and friends.

New Dermatopathology Services Offered
We are excited to bring dermatopathology services to the Department of Dermatology, Nebraska Medicine and the state of Nebraska!

Dr. Georgesen is a fellowship-trained and board-certified dermatopathologist and dermatologist. Dermatopathology is the study of skin disease under a microscope. When the dermatologist decides to perform a skin biopsy procedure, a sample of skin is collected and processed in a laboratory to be placed on a glass slide. The dermatopathologist then examines the slide, and in certain cases orders additional tests, to make a diagnosis for various skin tumors and inflammatory skin conditions. 

Dermatopathology is a very important tool utilized on a daily basis to make accurate diagnoses and inform the most appropriate treatment for patients with skin disorders. There are 3 dermatopathologists at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine who help us provide exceptional care for our Nebraska Medicine patients.
For physicians and providers outside of Nebraska Medicine, please call
402-552-7928 for more information on how to add dermatopathology services to your practice.

Our Team:

Corey Georgesen, MD, Director of Dermatopathology

Chantalle Ferguson, Sr Associate Patient Coordinator for Dermatopathology
Resident Corner
There have been a couple of exciting updates that have taken place over the last couple of months:

- We started seeing patients at the VA; this has been a rewarding experience, and we really enjoy working with the veterans. It has also allowed us to provide more direct patient care with us doing all of the callbacks on our patients.

- We recently held our virtual interviews for the upcoming 2 resident classes. We had a social hour with both classes the night before, essentially using Zoom as a way to tell them more about our department and what it is like living in Omaha. The candidates were all very impressive, both on paper and in their interviews, and we are excited to have them join our team in the upcoming years.

- We held our first Botox training session a couple of weeks back. It was really fun to have family and friends come in for our training, and it was awesome to have hands on experience. We've had a lot of friends and family request "free Botox" at any future training sessions.
Overall, residency continues to go very well. We have been learning a great deal in our morning lectures, and it has been great to see this translate into patient care. 

Dillon Clarey, MD
Dermatology, HO-II
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Resident Match Announcement
On March 19th, the UNMC Dermatology team announced our six new future resident physicians to our ACGME program:
Starting with our Dermatology Team on July 1, 2021:
Dr. Robert Borucki
Medical University of South Carolina, College of Medicine
Dr. Erica Lee
University of Hawaii, John A Burns School of Medicine
Dr. Alfredo Siller, Jr.
Medical College of Wisconsin
Starting with our Dermatology Team on July 1, 2022:
Dr. Jennifer Fernandez
University of Arizona, College of Medicine
Dr. Kevin Kwan
University of Louisville, School of Medicine
Dr. Allison Lloyd-McLennan
University of California-Davis, School of Medicine
The official announcement came on March 19th, the annual "Match Day", when hopeful residency candidates eagerly await the life changing news of where they will be continuing their educational journey. Everyone has been working tirelessly to ensure that UNMC matches with the best possible candidates for the growing UNMC program. Collectively, the faculty holistically reviewed over 400 applications before narrowing the search down to just over 70 candidates that were invited to interview virtually in December and January.
While all six matched residents will eventually be joining UNMC by summer 2022, only three will start this July and on-boarding of the new residents has already begun in the Graduate Medical Education (GME) office. To welcome the new members of the dermatology residency, Dr. Wysong, Dr. Adams, and Dr. Arthur initiated excited phone calls to each person and the Program Coordinator, Mackenzie, created and sent out welcome boxes with additional UNMC and NM Dermatology swag. 
Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee has been busy!
The UNMC Dermatology’s DEI committee had been hard at work over the holidays to find ways to give back to the UNMC and Nebraska Medicine community. In November, the department participated in a food and toiletry drive to donate to the University of Nebraska Omaha’s (UNO) Maverick Food Pantry that provides free resources to faculty, staff, and students at both UNO and UNMC who are facing food insecurity. With the help of our whole department, we were able to donate a trunk full of items. In December, our department collaborated with Nebraska Medicine in their annual Adopt-A-Family event. We were able to help a single mom and her five children by donating over $500 in gift cards for food, gas, and toys for the holidays. We plan to continue both of these drives every year around the winter holidays as well as find ways to give back to our community throughout the year.

Members of our committee and our department have also attended several events and presentations sponsored by the UNMC Office of Inclusion over the last couple of months. Dr. Sheritta Strong, Director of Inclusion at UNMC, and her team have been hard at work to provide the UNMC campus with opportunities to be part of virtual presentations followed by breakout sessions for open discussions. There are monthly “Conversations for Inclusive Excellence” that are to encourage the UNMC community to talk about tough subjects in a safe space to learn and grow with each other. February was Black History Month and UNMC provided an independent film screening followed by a two-hour discussion on the film Black Men in White Coats. There were several other virtual events throughout the month including UNMC Black History Trivia, Great Plains Black History, Museum Virtual Tour, Gospel Fest and History of Health Panels. The members of our committee come together monthly to discuss key takeaways from the events that they were able to attend the month prior. We also hosted our first Dermatology DEI virtual happy hour in March. Since March is Women’s History Month, we celebrated all of our she-roes in health care, the amazing women that have influenced our lives, and had fun learning more about each other in an informal setting. We had a great turnout and plan to host a few of these a year.

Karle Olnes, Co-Founder of UNMC Dermatology DEI Committee

Dermatology Interest Group Association (DIGA) and Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students (SPOTS) Update
Spring Events:

Thursday, March 25th - a co-meeting between Dr. Kristie Hayes and DIGA students about DIGA and White Coats for Black Lives

Wednesday, April 7th - DIGA volunteers will partner with Omaha's Women's Center for Advancement (WCA) to provide an informational session on women’s health and skin health

Tuesday, April 20th - DIGA is hosting a Lunch and Learn with Dr. Ronald J. Sulewski, Jr., presenting “Lasers in Dermatology”
"The Dermatology Interest Group has been able to host faculty for learning opportunities over the noon hour each month. Most recently we were able to learn about common infectious diseases and their skin manifestations from Dr. Jennifer Adams. It was an amazing opportunity to review some of the important diagnoses, the skin appearance and findings and review treatment options with a superb teacher. Additionally, we were able to have a lunch discussion with Dr. Megan Arthur, the Director of Medical Student Education for the UNMC Department of Dermatology, about the process and details of applying for a residency application. This was useful for our members at any stage in medical school whether that be first years who may be considering dermatology or third years preparing for the upcoming residency application process. Furthermore Dr. Erica Lee, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, was able to speak to our members about all of the research opportunities within the Department of Dermatology. Overall, the lunch hour meetings provide additional dermatology related educational opportunities and advice about preparing for a career in dermatology and ultimately serve as a great opportunity for medical students to get involved with the Department of Dermatology."

Taylor Uhlir, UNMC DIGA President

Wellness Challenge
As we started the new year full of hope and the extra pounds from the pandemic and winter we thought it would be great to do a challenge in our clinic. We came up with a 12-week weight loss challenge for those that wanted to participate in our department.

Each week we calculate and log our weight loss from the previous week or for some of us the weight gain. It’s a rollercoaster but we do keep each other accountable. We have set times to meet in the hall for pushups or wall sits for 5 minutes to keep the moral up.

Nebraska Medicine also offers through our Empower Your Wellbeing portal challenges that we can each sign up for. February was Be Kind to Your Mind. This challenge was focused on finding time for yourself. It challenged people to complete favorite hobbies, discover ways to relax and focus on self-care. While our clinic had a weight loss challenge we encourage everyone to remember your emotional wellbeing too. It’s easy to forget that with all the past year has thrown our way.

Our focus for March as an organization is Lead the Way. It’s a steps challenge where we log our steps each day. This was a great challenge for our clinic as most of us are walking a lot during clinic while taking care of our amazing patients.

Chantalle Ferguson, Patient Coordinator Sr. Associate for Nebraska Medicine Dermatology
A Message from the Chair - Ashley Wysong MD, MS
Founding Chair
William W. Bruce MD Distinguished Chair of Dermatology
We have been challenged in ways we never anticipated over the last year, yet have come together as a team to take exceptional care of patients and to move all aspects of our academic mission forward!

NEW FACULTY PHYSICIANS: Over the late Winter as vaccination numbers have increased and travel restrictions have loosened, our faculty recruitment efforts have moved full steam ahead! We are ecstatic to share that we have officially hired three new board certified dermatologists who will be joining our team late Summer/early Fall 2021. In alphabetical order:
  • Dr. Nicole Harter M.D. -- Chief of Pediatric Dermatology; fellowship-trained and board-certified pediatric dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon -- starting September 2021
  • Dr. Matthew Stephany M.D., Medical Director of Medical Dermatology; general dermatologist, transplant dermatology, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma -- starting September 2021
  • Dr. Melodi Whitley M.D./Ph.D. -- Director of Transplant Dermatology, general dermatology, translational researcher (high-risk squamous cell carcinoma) -- starting October 2021

PARTNERSHIPS: Since the first week of January, we are pleased to have our faculty and resident physicians practicing at the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System. This is an important partnership for the clinical and educational missions of the department and an honor to serve our veteran population.

We are also excited to announce the formal partnership between UNMC Dermatology and Children's Hospital and Medical Center (CHMC) of Omaha. Over the past 2 years, we have worked closely with CHMC leadership to build a business plan for the new Division of Pediatric Dermatology to include recruitment of 3-4 faculty physicians, development of educational and research programs, build a new pediatric dermatology clinic, design an ACGME fellowship in pediatric dermatology, and expand access to care for pediatric dermatology. We could not be more delighted for Dr. Nicole Harter to lead our team in these efforts as Chief of Pediatric Dermatology!

A PLACE TO CALL HOME: Since the official launch of the new Department of Dermatology in May 2018, no one could anticipate the rate of growth of our team nor the overwhelming need for dermatologic services in our region. We have outgrown our initial home in the Lauritzen Outpatient Center on main campus and have been working closely with UNMC and Nebraska Medicine leadership, as well as philanthropic partners, to identify a long-term home for UNMC Dermatology.

Specifically, our strategic plan involves designing space for the UNMC Department of Dermatology and Nebraska Medicine (NM) dermatology clinical services on the Med Center campus over the next several years. We are also expanding our dermatologic services with the development of a comprehensive clinical dermatology hub at Village Pointe. We are currently working closely with architects and NM ambulatory leadership to expand our comprehensive dermatology service at the Village Pointe project. In addition to main campus and Village Pointe, we will maintain access for patients in our "frontline dermatology clinics" embedded in primary care and other NM facilities to provide dermatologic care throughout Omaha and beyond.

DEI: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been a pillar of our strategic plan since the inception of the department in 2018. I am extremely proud of the efforts of our Founding Co-Chairs of the Department of Dermatology DEI Committee founded this year by Dr. Kristie Hayes and Karle Cordova Olnes on our team. In great thanks to our philanthropic partners and in honor of our two founding Co-Chairs for DEI, we have established two new opportunities to support diversity in dermatology:
  • The Dr. Kristie Hayes Visiting URiM Medical Student Externship in Dermatology -- this visiting externship will be awarded to rising 4th year Underrepresented Minority Students in Medicine (URiMs) interested in dermatology to receive funding for travel, lodging, and board for a 1 month sub-I clinical rotation at UNMC Dermatology. This rotation may be done in the months of June, August, or September.
  • The Karle Cordova Olnes UNMC Dermatology URiM Summer Medical Student Research Fellowship -- this award will allow Underrepresented Minority Students in Medicine (URiMs) interested in dermatology to perform basic, translational, clinical or outcomes research during the summer between M1 and M2 years in medical school. This award is open to UNMC and outside medical students, however, preferences will be given to UNMC medical students. This research fellowship is typically performed in June, July, and August.
Ways to Support our Department
Developing new clinical programs, innovative education strategies and cutting edge research protocols depends on support from our philanthropic partners. UNMC alumni, grateful patients and community partners have expressed an interest in learning more about our program, our opportunities to enhance the impact we have at UNMC and across Nebraska and our vision to become a national leader in treatment, physician training and outreach. If you would like to learn more about private gifts and partnerships in these or other areas, or about volunteering for our programs, we welcome the chance to share them with you.  We are grateful for every gift as well as each person who would like to be a part of the team serving our dermatologic community.

We have immediate needs in the following areas:
  • Research Pilot Start-up Fund
  • Education Funding -- Resident Education Fund, Medical Student Research Scholarships, Endowed Research Fellowship
  • Patient Care and Clinical Support
  • Endowed Faculty Sponsorship

For more information please contact:

Visit us on the web at
Tom Thompson, NU Foundation
UNMC Department of Dermatology
985645 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5645