Honorees Recognized for Engagement in Initiatives That Benefit Dermatologic Surgery and its Patients

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ROLLING MEADOWS, ILL., NOVEMBER 18, 2021 – The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) is proud to announce the recipients of its annual awards this week during the ASDS / ASDSA Virtual Annual Meeting.

Top Advocate

ASDSA is proud to recognize its members who contribute significant time and expertise advocating for patient safety.

2021 ASDSA Gold Advocates:

  • Seemal Desai, MD (Plano, Texas)
  • Anthony M. Rossi, MD (New York, N.Y.)

2021 ASDSA Silver Advocates:

  • Murad Alam, MD, MBA (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Terrence A. Cronin, Jr., MD (Melbourne, Fla.)
  • Ann F. Haas, MD (Sacramento, Calif.)
  • Geoffrey Lim, MD (Lone Tree, Colo.)
  • Brian Petersen, MD (Denver, Colo.)
  • Mona Sadeghpour, MD, MHS (Centennial, Colo.)
  • Kelly Wilmas, MD (Houston, Texas)

2021 ASDSA Bronze Advocates:

  • M. Laurin Council, MD (St. Louis, Mo.)
  • Catherine DiGiorgio, MD (Boston, Mass.)
  • Leonard Goldberg, MD (Houston, Texas)
  • Lawrence J. Green, MD (Rockville, Md.)
  • H. William Higgins, II, MD, MBE (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Deirdre Hooper, MD (New Orleans, La.)
  • George J. Hruza, MD, MBA (Chesterfield, Mo.)
  • Basia Michalski, MD (St. Louis, Mo.)
  • Sara Moghaddam, MD (Selbyville, Del.)
  • Thomas E. Rohrer, MD (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
  • Arjun Saini, MD (Edgewater, Md.)

“ASDSA works hard to elevate patient safety concerns to policymakers, centering on surgical dermatology related to skin cancer and cosmetic medical procedures,” said ASDSA President Mathew M. Avram, MD, JD. “These members’ dedicated participation in advocacy initiatives is essential to the success of our specialty. Our 2021 Top Advocates have continued to work through pandemic related restrictions to voice the issues most important to our patients, and for that we are immensely grateful.”

Patient Safety Hero Awards

The following awards distinguish efforts made by state leaders to improve policy efforts impacting the safety of dermatologic surgery patients and practices.

ASDSA State Legislative Patient Safety Hero
This award is presented to a state legislative member who has contributed significantly to an issue the ASDSA supports, centered on patient safety initiative.  Awardee Senator Miller was crucial in passing ASDSA’s SUNucate model legislation in Rhode Island, which allows children to possess and utilize sunscreen at school without a physician’s note or prescription.

ASDSA State Dermatological Society Patient Safety Hero
This award is given to a state dermatological society that has promoted and been successful on behalf of the dermatologic surgery specialty and patient safety. This year’s winner is the Rhode Island Dermatology Society (RIDS). RIDS has been chosen for this honor because of their persistence in passing SUNucate.

The SUNucate law in Rhode Island allows students, parents and school personnel to use an FDA-approved sunscreen without a physician’s note or prescription. The law also includes a provision for school districts to incorporate teaching sun-safe behaviors in schools. The legislation went into effect immediately, allowing students in Rhode Island to be protected from dangerous ultraviolet rays while outdoors during the 2021-22 school year.

“ASDSA appreciates its partners in policymaking and recognizes these notable efforts to protect students in using sunscreen at school as a way to prevent skin cancer,” said Dr. Avram. “SUNucate has been a very successful legislative tool to help states protect youth from the dangers of sun exposure. We appreciate the efforts of Senator Miller and RIDS, and ASDSA is proud to name them as the 2021 Patient Safety Heroes.”

Ignite Grants

ASDSA awarded three Ignite Grants to help state dermatology societies advance its patient safety initiatives. This grant program provides funding and assistance for state dermatology chapters to pursue ASDSA’s model legislation, including the Safe Laser and Energy-based Device Act, Reducing the Risk of Skin Cancer and Excessive UV Exposure in Children Act (known as SUNucate) or Medical Spa Safety Act.

The 2021 recipients include:

  • Nevada Society for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery: Medical Spa Safety Act
  • Louisiana Dermatological Society: SUNucate and the Medical Spa Safety Act
  • Rhode Island Dermatology Society: Medical Spa Safety Act

“The Medical Spa Safety Act is ASDSA’s newest effort to protect dermatology patients by requiring on-site supervision of all non-physician providers, and I’m thrilled these three organizations are all working to implement this important legislation in 2022,” said Dr. Avram. “Additionally, SUNucate has been our most successful model bill with 26 states having passed this legislation, and I am hopeful that the Medical Spa Safety Act will be just as effective.”


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With a membership of 6,400+ physicians, ASDSA is a 501(c) (6) association, dedicated to education and advocacy on behalf of dermatologic surgeons and their patients. For more information, visit http://asds.net/ASDSA

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