The American Academy of Dermatology has named board-certified dermatologist Abby Van Voorhees, MD, FAAD as Hero of patient care for her leadership at the Rapid Access Clinic of Dermatology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Va.

Patients can visit a dermatologist on any day of the week without appointment to treat an immediate problem such as a rash or a new or changing birthmark. Kate Gleason from Norfolk came to the clinic with a rash that a dermatologist examined and biopsied. She was diagnosed with eczema and prescribed topical and oral treatment. With continued treatment, she remained symptom-free.

Gleason had recently moved to the area.

I did not have a dermatologist on site. In dermatology practice at Eastern Virginia Medical School, anyone with a skin condition can immediately enter and be seen. If the clinic had not offered appointments, I might have gone to a convenient nursing clinic.

Kate Gleason

Experts say patients benefit from early detection of skin conditions and rapid treatment. Early diagnosis is crucial for many dermatological conditions, such as melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. If a melanoma is detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.

If the melanoma spreads to other organs, the five-year survival rate drops to 23 percent. Research has shown that these survival scores may be even worse in colorectal patients as they are often diagnosed at a later date.

"Patients with new or changing skin conditions are often worried, uncomfortable and in pain," said Dr. Van Voorhees. "By visiting you every day, our team can quickly diagnose and treat skin conditions so that patients are symptom free and can return to their daily routines."

The AAD created the Heroes of patient care Recognize physicians who change the lives of patients by using their expertise and working with other physicians to treat serious skin conditions.

"With so many skin conditions occurring without warning or changing rapidly, it is crucial for patients to seek out a dermatologist who is approved by the Board," Dr. med. George J. Hruza, MBA, FAAD, President of the AAD. "The clinic of Dr. Van Voorhees is a great example of how physicians can provide high quality, fast and accurate care that ensures calming and immediate treatment."


American Academy of Dermatology