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The 2018 SKINPACT Awards Are in North America, And Here’s What You Need to Know.

The deadline for the 2018 SKINPACT Awards project submission is fast approaching. July 9th is the last day to submit a project and this year the focus is on North America. Dermatologists and medical professionals will have the chance to submit a proposal and win one of four US $10,000 awards to be put toward the commencement, development, and or growth of a community initiative or educational project.

The first Galderma SKINPACT Awards were presented in 2015 at the World Congress of Dermatology in Vancouver. These awards aim to “recognize and celebrate what dermatologists do . . . beyond the call of duty,” said Francois Blanchette, PhD, Medical Professional Relations Director at Galderma International, in an interview with The Chronicle of Skin and Allergy. The SKINPACT Awards are a social responsibility initiative, and submitted projects should benefit the patient, either directly or indirectly, and should not come from a treatment or a for-profit organization.

Partnered with the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) and the Women’s Dermatological Society (WDS), the SKINPACT Awards aim to recognize and support both the dermatology field and experts who help carry out voluntary projects that support a sustainable dermatology community.

“Dermatologists are used to public awareness about skin cancer and sun protection, so maybe we can go beyond that and see where dermatologists can interact with their communities, or provide programs for their communities,” said Dr. Cheryl Rosen, head of dermatology at the University Health Network in Toronto in an interview with The Chronicle.

Dr. Julie Powell (left) and

Francois Blanchette, PhD (right)

With a focus on North America, the SKINPACT Awards will recognize regional issues in skin health. Dermatologist team leaders are invited to submit a project proposal online aimed at helping to improve skin health through an educational medium or community-based project. Whether it be developing tele-medicine, outreach or educational programs, or even media campaigns, all ideas are welcome and highly encouraged. Submitting a project is easy. Applications run approximately 1000 words. Details and criteria can be found online at

The four awards are split among two project categories: Excellence in Education and Community Leadership. Dermatologists from North America (Canada and U.S.) may choose which category they want to submit their initiative to. A distinguished expert panel of 20 dermatologists will review, score, and shortlist the projects (5 projects/category) and determine one project per category that will receive the Expert Panel Award. From the top five projects in each category, the international dermatology community will vote online for two projects that will receive the Community Vote Award.

Five CDA nominated expert panel members from Canada will take part in the project pre-selection process, alongside 15 WDS nominated colleagues from the U.S. Dr. Rosen, Dr. David McLean, Dr. Julie Powell, Dr. Gordon E. Searles, and Dr. Victoria Taraska will represent Canada on the expert panel. Dr. Tina Alster, Dr. Karen Burke, Dr. Kimberly Butterwick, Dr. Doris Day, Dr. Ronda Farah, Dr. Mona Gohara, Dr. Pearl Grimes, Dr. Adelaide Herbert, Dr. Maria Hordinsky, Dr. Jeannette Jakus, Dr. Mary Moloney, Dr. Sandra Read, Dr. Rebecca Tung, Dr. Wendi Wohltmann, and Dr. Cyndi Yag-Howard will represent the U.S. on the expert panel.

Last year’s awards focused on the Asia-Pacific region. Of the 105 submissions from over 12 countries, awards were presented to four outstanding projects. Dr. Pradip Kumar Das, dermatologist, and team were awarded the community leadership award for their initiative that focused on water treatment to mitigate arsenic pollution in different arsenic affected villages of West Bengal. Other winning projects included a community skin health strategy as a combined approach to detecting skin-related neglected tropical diseases by Dr. Belen Lardizabal Dofitas, Fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society and President of the Board of Trustees-Philippine Leprosy Mission, and team. The excellence in education award recipients used innovative mobile technology to improve education of undergraduates in the field of dermatology and a rash education initiative for early detection using both film and a comic book.

Dr. McLean and Dr. Rosen, as expert panelists for the 2018 SKINPACT Awards, say they hope to see initiatives that can make a significant impact on North American communities. Whether it be aimed at improving lives of patients or physician education in rural, urban, or isolated communities, the possibilities are endless and a void is waiting to be filled, noted both Dr. McLean and Dr. Rosen in interviews with The Chronicle. “We don’t have to do it on our own, we can link up with people who are specialist in other areas . . . urban planners, landscape architects, school boards, or epidemiologists if we want to look at certain projects. There are lots of possibilities.” said Dr. Rosen.

Although North America has some of the world’s leading dermatologists, much in the field of skin health can still be improved.

“Not only does this create discussions for some needs, but planting the seeds, and showing other people that these programs really can work and they are worth the effort,” said Dr. McLean, Professor Emeritus, Dermatology and Skin Science, Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, in an interview with The Chronicle.

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