Friday, January 17, 2014

Playing it forward

STRIKING A CHORD: From left, cellist David Fisher, MD, chief of MGH Department of Dermatology; Anderson; and Tran

Brahms and Bach filled the Goethe-Institut Boston on Dec. 15 for the fourth annual Vietnam Vascular Anomalies Center (VAC) Benefit Concert, hosted by the MGH Department of Dermatology and the Wellman Center for Photomedicine. Attended by more than 120 guests, the concert helped raise more than $50,000 for the center.

 “Since its opening, the center has helped more than 3,000 children with disfiguring vascular birthmarks, pigmentary lesions and severe scars,” said Rox Anderson, MD, director of the MGH Wellman Center for Photomedicine and VAC co-founder. “By eliminating the source of physical dysfunction, social stigma and isolation, the lives of these children have been dramatically improved.”

Established in 2009, the VAC is a humanitarian collaboration between physicians from the MGH; Brigham and Women’s Hospital; The University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; the Beckman Laser Institute, Irvine, Calif., and Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston. Its mission is to care for underserved children and to promote mutual learning, education, and research in the diagnosis and treatment of life-altering skin conditions.

On Feb. 9, the VAC medical team volunteers will embark on a trip to Vietnam to install new and much needed anesthesia equipment and additional laser machines. “These devices will help meet the overwhelming demand for treatment as well as providing a safe treatment environment for the children,” said Thanh–Nga Tran, MD, PhD, of MGH Dermatology and VAC co-founder.

For more information about the VAC, visit

Read more articles from the 01/17/14 Hotline issue.



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