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Derm In The News: June 30-July 6

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Keep up with the latest headlines in dermatology from the past week, including the appointment of the Canadian Dermatology Association's new president, a program aimed at supporting diverse, aspiring dermatologists, and more.

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Canadian Dermatology Association: Dr. Gabriele Weichert takes the helm as President of the Canadian Dermatology Association

The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) has appointed Gabriele Weichert, MD, PhD, as its new president, effective June 28. Weichert, with 2 decades of experience in dermatology, currently serves as the medical director at SkinCareWest in Nanaimo, BC. She brings extensive expertise from her education and career, including her dermatology residency at the University of British Columbia and her PhD in physiology. As CDA President, Weichert aims to enhance patient care and support for dermatology professionals while positioning the CDA as a vital resource for education, practice support, and advocacy.

Washington Times: George Washington University event aims to train diverse cadre of dermatology students

Daphne Chan, PhD, MHEcon, a dermatology researcher at Johnson & Johnson, highlights the importance of personal connections in skin care, especially for people of color, and stresses the need for more minority dermatologists. She participated in a program by the American Academy of Dermatology and Johnson & Johnson, aiming to increase Black, Latino, and Indigenous dermatologists by over 50% by 2027. The program, held at George Washington University, trains diverse pre-med students in various skills and aimed to address disparities in dermatology.

WUSA9: 'Learn to Derm' event at Wards 7 and 8

The GW School of Medicine, Howard University, and Georgetown School of Medicine, supported by the GW Department of Dermatology and the Wards 7 and 8 Councils, hosted the 4th annual Summer Learn2Derm Skin Health Fair on June 29. The event aimed to educate over 100 attendees from underserved areas in Washington, DC, about proper sunscreen use and skin cancer prevention. The fair also addressed common skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis, emphasizing the importance of awareness and early treatment to reduce disparities in disease burden among people of color and low-income residents.

Compliance Week: Tareen Dermatology agrees to pay $1.6M over false claims to Medicare

For more information on the case, view details from the United States Attorney's Office District of Minnesota.

Tareen Dermatology, a Minnesota dermatology practice, settled charges of wrongful termination and retaliation linked to whistleblower claims from a former billing specialist. The lawsuit, initiated by ex-employees, alleged that TD engaged in fraudulent activities including unnecessary patient services, kickbacks, and up-charging. One was dismissed after reporting these issues, while another accused TD's leading dermatologist of directing her to alter billing codes. Although TD maintains they acted correctly, they settled to avoid the costs and distractions of prolonged litigation.

"Tareen Dermatology has always been an upstanding practice. We're proud of how we support our patients and provide them the best possible care; it's our focus and our passion," according to a statement given to Dermatology Times by TD. "In this matter, we continue to believe we did the right things for the right reasons – and the settlement reflects our position – but ending this case makes business sense; it avoids the distraction and expense of litigating record-keeping questions from years ago that have nothing to do with the quality of our care. That's consistent with our mission and values and honors our commitments to our patients."

FOX 7 Austin: Texas family exposed to mercury through skin cream purchased in Mexico

State health officials in Texas are warning about mercury poisoning linked to a skin cream called Nunn, purchased in Mexico. The Texas Department of State Health Services reported a case where a family member developed symptoms after using the cream, which did not list mercury as an ingredient. Mercury is often added to skin creams by third parties for skin lightening, acne treatment, and fading blemishes. Officials advise only purchasing sealed products from reputable retailers and avoiding unsealed, unlabeled, or handmade products from Mexico.

Have you seen any dermatology headlines this week that we may have missed? Share with us by emailing our team at DTEditor@mmhgroup.com.

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