More than 100 people enjoyed beautiful operatic melodies, sounds of cellos, pianos and the Chinese lute, and Vietnamese delicacies at the eighth annual Vietnam Vascular Anomalies Center (VAC) Classical Benefit Concert. The Nov. 19, 2017 concert – hosted by members of the Department of Dermatology and the Wellman Center for Photomedicine – raised funds for the VAC’s humanitarian effort to treat children with disfiguring birthmarks and other severe skin conditions on a free, safe and effective basis in Vietnam. 

“Many of the treatments we take for granted in the United States are beyond the reach of families in Vietnam,” said Rox Anderson, MD, director of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine and a founding member of the VAC. “The children we treat face social stigma and lives of limited potential simply because of their skin disorders. With resources and training, we hope to change that.”

Money raised during this year’s silent auction – totaling more than $50,000 –  will help support the treatment of children, supplies and continued maintenance of a new vascular anomalies center in Da Nang, which serves the indigent people in central and northern Vietnam. David Fisher, MD, PhD, chief of the Dermatology Department, also shared his virtuoso cello talents at the benefit concert, as he has each year.

Throughout the past eight years, the Vietnam VAC – a medical collaboration between physicians from the MGH; Brigham and Women’s Hospital;Beckman Laser Institute, Irvine, California; Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston; and the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – has transformed the lives of more than 10,000 patients and expanded clinical operations to include modernizing dermatopathology, providing training in pediatric dermatology and building a state-of-the-art wound care center.

“What I have learned through the years of working with the VAC is the incredible value of taking what you can do and helping somebody on the other side of the world,” says Anderson.

For more information about the VAC, visit

Read more articles from the 02/09/18 Hotline issue.