Skinformation - November 2012
A Message from the Interim Chair
Alfons Krol, M.D.
Fall is often a time of reflection and anticipation. The academic pursuits of the department start their cycle of returning to regular teaching, classes, rounds and research grant preparation and writing. The 61st Annual Montagna Symposium on Biology of the Skin, always a highlight, again included incredible speakers, such as John McGrath and Jacob Tolar. I want to pass along my congratulations to our own Molly Kulesz-Martin, Ph.D., and her staff, for another successful event.
Moving into November, the Storrs Endowment Lectureship will be held on Nov. 9th, with Neil Prose, M.D., a good friend of many years, providing our keynote address. Dr. Prose will lecture and demonstrate ways to improve our communication with patients by harnessing the power of empathy. This will be followed by a panel that includes OHSU’s Medical Director, Chuck Kilo, M.D., with discussion on how being an empathic physician fits or clashes with the ever increasing quest for quality and efficiency.
I am happy to report our department exceeded its budgetary goals this year and will have continued growth in faculty in the coming year including the successful recruitment of four new faculty members; one who has already started, and three others who will begin in the summer of 2013. Julianne Mann, M.D., has joined Sabra Leitenberger (née Lofgren), M.D., and myself in pediatric dermatology.
We have also successfully co-recruited two dermatologists for our outreach programs with PeaceHealth in Longview, Wash. and Mid-Columbia Medical Centre in The Dalles. Rebecca Foreman, M.D., who is currently in her final year of training dermatology at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., will be starting with PeaceHealth. Melinda Cushing, M.D., currently in her third and final year of residency with us, will be establishing a full-time practice in The Dalles at Mid-Columbia Medical Centre. Both of these appointments are exciting opportunities in that they fulfill our mission for providing care to underserved areas, and they provide the practitioners full appointments and opportunities to contribute to our educational mission.
Our third newly recruited faculty member is Nicole Fett, M.D. Like Drs. Foreman and Cushing, she will join the department in the summer of 2013. Dr. Fett is currently an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania specializing in autoimmune diseases. She completed a combined internal medicine and dermatology residency at the University of Wisconsin where she focused on autoimmune diseases of the skin. Her move to the University of Pennsylvania continued that focus, with Vickie Werth, M.D., as her mentor. Dr. Fett’s expertise will compliment Lynne Morrison, M.D., and increase our ability and expertise in caring for patients with complex cutaneous connective tissue diseases, as well as patients with immunobullous disease. Another addition to the department is Gina Brown (née Knapschaeffer), M.D., who trained in pediatrics and dermatology in Colorado and has joined us as our pediatric fellow for the year.
I am also pleased to report that we have had no faculty losses this year and the future of academic dermatology at OHSU continues to look very bright. We will continue to support the growth of our clinical practice with the opening of new satellite clinic facilities in Lake Oswego this fall.
Our search for a new chair is now (hopefully) in its final stages, and this may be my final letter to all of you. I know that the new chair will be well received and unanimously supported by all the full-time and affiliate faculty and alumni. It has been a privilege to serve as interim chair for the past two and a half years. It is has allowed me to gain a better sense of the history, tradition and unique and special aspects of this department and training program. Regardless of where the future takes me and Penny, my time as interim chairman will always have special meaning to me.