Not only were two MGHers honored with the annual Ernesto Gonzalez Award for Outstanding Services to the Hispanic Community, but one standout group was given the honorific name, “The Ernesto Gonzalez Service.”
More than 100 guests enjoyed a night of classical music, laughter, Vietnamese food and a silent auction in the halls of the First Church in Boston on Dec. 14, 2019, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam Vascular Anomalies Center (VAC).
Hosted by the MGH Department of Dermatology and the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, the event raised more than $60,000 to support the continued training and development of the interventional radiology clinic in Ho Chi Minh City, and a second satellite VAC clinic in Da Nang – expanding access to medical care for children with disfiguring birthmarks throughout central Vietnam.
“The clinic has done an amazing job taking care of children on such a small yearly budget,” says Rox Anderson, MD, director of the Wellman Center. “It’s the most efficient laser center in operation.”
Since its inception a decade ago, the Vietnam VAC in Ho Chi Minh City remains the only state-of-the-art facility of its kind in Vietnam, home to more than 90 million people. Anderson and Thanh Nga Tran, MD, PhD, MGH Dermatology Department, are two of the founders of the clinics.
The group also helped abolish the use of radioactive phosphorus in the treatment of vascular anomalies and provides yearly trainings to Vietnamese physicians and medical staff about modern, safe and effective medical treatments for disfiguring birthmarks and other severe skin conditions in children. Since its inception, the center and its dedicated team of physicians have provided more than 15,000 children with free laser and medical treatments.
“What I have learned is to get off your chair and go do something,” Anderson says. “There is no greater thrill than knowing what you do makes an impact, to meet the people of Vietnam and help improve the quality of these kids’ lives. It’s a chance to fully express idealism and know that the world is a good place. That’s the value of being part of this clinic. It is an honor to contribute to this effort.”For more information, visit www.VietnamVAC.org.
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Research at the MGH is interwoven throughout more than 30 departments, centers and units and is conducted with the support and guidance of the MGH Research Institute. The Research Roundup is a monthly series highlighting studies, news and events.
- Jul | 12 | 2019
“Even on a cloudy summer day, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through the clouds,” says Shinjita Das, MD, MGH dermatologist and technology director in the Department of Dermatology. “We expect people to enjoy the outdoors, so here are some simple tips to help you protect your skin.”
- Jun | 14 | 2019
Following their fourth humanitarian mission trip to Yerevan, Armenia last month, Lilit Garibyan, MD, PhD, of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, and Rox Anderson, MD, director of the Wellman Center, have established two independent medical laser clinics there.
- Aug | 24 | 2018
A new device that gives the human eye a “bionic edge” may sound like science fiction, says MGH dermatologist Victor Neel, MD, PhD, but it is a real and much-needed development for a procedure called Mohs surgery, a procedure to remove skin cancers on the face.
- Mar | 23 | 2018
J, a middle-aged woman staying at a shelter in Boston, did not begin wearing makeup until she became homeless. She says when she had housing, there were many things in her life that gave her value and a sense of worth. However, once she lost housing, she started to feel ashamed.