Dear Friends of Vietnam VAC,
With great excitement, we would like to share with you our first Vietnam VAC newsletter! We had a wonderful and successful trip to Vietnam last month (Feb 9-14, 2014), filled with patient care, teaching, camaraderie and wonderful memories, including the images of 30 parents and children whom Vietnam VAC has helped and who personally came to thank us during our 5th anniversary celebration. We gained new members (from all over the US and also Korea) who joined in our effort to help the children: Drs. Denise Metry & Howard Pride (pediatric dermatologists), Dr. Bruce Smoller (dermatopathologist), Dr. Anton Hasso (interventional radiologist), and Dr. Ju Hee Lee (dermatologist/laser expert). Two wonderful residents from Harvard (Dr. Brooke Eastham) as well as Canada (Dr. Faisal Alsubhi) also attended the conference and clinics. We are fortunate to have a new corporate sponsor, Lutronic Corporation, who made a generous donation of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser for pigmented lesions, which is much needed to keep up with the volume of patients that we see. To keep you abreast of our activities at the Vietnam Vascular Anomalies Center, please read a summary of the Vietnam trip. As you can see from the summary, we did accomplish a lot in the short time we were there and also managed to have tons of fun. Our deepest thanks to you for your generous support and for caring for the children of Vietnam!
We also would like to highlight that our activities at Vietnam VAC were filmed and shown on national Vietnamese TV on Feb 28. Below are the two YOUTUBE web links of the TV clip. Sorry, it is all in Vietnamese, but hopefully you can see in the images what we did in Vietnam.
And in case you haven’t heard enough about Vietnam VAC, Thanh Nga is giving a talk at the Massachusetts Medical Society International Dinner (also a fundraiser for our clinic) about the activities of Vietnam VAC. We would love your presence and support. Please view the brochure or see below for more information.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
257 Cochituate Road, Framingham, MA
Cost to attend this event is $30 per adult and $10 per child.
Please contact Jill Cricones at (781) 434-7372 or
jcricones at mms.org
Looking forward to seeing you very soon!
The Houston Global Health Collaborative is holding their 2nd annual Connect Global Health Conference at Baylor College of Medicine. The CONNECT CONFERENCE 2014 is a gathering of interdisciplinary health professionals in the greater Houston and Gulf Coast areas who are working in Global Health. Thuy Phung was invited to speak about our work at the Vietnam Vascular Anomalies Center in Ho Chi Minh City at this event. Find out more.
Thanh-Nga’s work with VietnamVAC is mentioned in an article, “Inspiring Service: HMS Physician Honored for Service to Vietnamese Children”, in the Harvard Medical School newsletter.
[Thanh-Nga] and her team members find continued sources of inspiration and personal satisfaction in the hundreds of children that they have successfully treated over the years.
“We love the children. And we have learned so much in the past five years. The ability to learn from each other, to exchange ideas, to set up a clinic from scratch and see it blooming, to be able to help jump start research and educational programs in dermatology in Vietnam, to give back, to help children who would go otherwise go through life with disfiguring birthmarks is tremendously rewarding”.
Dermatology World, the official magazine of the American Academy of Dermatology Association, recognized Thanh-Nga for her work with Vietnam VAC.
For Vietnam-born Massachusetts General Hospital dermatologist Thanh-Nga Trinh Tran, MD, PhD, bringing modern methods for treating vascular anomalies to her native country is a deep, driving motivation. Since beginning work to modernize the treatment of hemangiomas and port wine stains in children, Dr. Tran has helped improve both education and patient outcomes for many of the country’s poorest residents.
Link to the full article by John Carruthers, assistant editor, on May 1, 2013.
Thanh-Nga Tran has been selected to receive the Harvard Medical School 2013 Dean’s Community Service Faculty Award for her work with VietnamVAC.
The award recognizes individuals whose dedication and commitment to community service have made a positive impact on the local and/or global community.
Recipients of the award are nominated. Selection for the award is made by an advisory committee composed of representatives of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
Awards will be presented at the Dean’s Community Service Award Recognition Breakfast on June 11, 2013 at the Harvard Medical School campus.
Massachusetts General Hospital newsletter has a report (on page 2) on Vietnam VAC’s benefit concert on December 1, 2012.
Our very own Rox Anderson was selected for a Member Making a Difference award by the American Academy of Dermatology. Here is the excerpt from Dermatology World magazine.
We would like to share with you a great news from Vietnam Vascular Anomalies Center (VAC). The Cancer Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City will no longer perform radioactive phosphorus 32P treatment for hemangiomas in children! It is a great achievement for Vietnam VAC, especially for VAC’s Medical Director Dr. Hoang Minh and the medical team in Vietnam, who have worked tirelessly to make this happen and have aired our interview when we were in Saigon as well as a documentary about hemangiomas, its current treatments including laser therapy, and the damages done to children from radioactive phosphorus! The Vietnam television crew was also very helpful, airing the documentary at least 4-5 times to help raise awareness. The doctors and the Cancer Hospital have admitted that the treatment is harmful and are interested in collaborating with our doctors at VAC to learn about new therapies for hemangiomas and port-wine-stains. This is fantastic news and one of the primary goals of Vietnam VAC! We are so grateful for all of your support and hard work to make this happen! It is a beginning step to get modern treatment to the children with vascular birthmarks in Vietnam.
We are very excited to share with you that we are now a formal center at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Ho Chi Minh City, a premier training and educational center in Southern Vietnam. The ribbon cutting ceremony was performed on March 6th, 2012 and the formal ceremony was done in conjunction with our third anniversary and conference at the White Palace on March 8th, 2012. This is very exciting for us as we now have a permanent home at the University Medical Center, Branch No 3. This will lead to better, more coordinated patient care as well as enhanced ability for teaching, training, and humanitarian collaboration.
We look forward to sharing with you more news about the Center in the coming months.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
We have just returned from Vietnam again on a most exciting trip. We have happy news to share with you all: we are now formally designated as part of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Ho Chi Minh City as a Center for Vascular Anomalies. We have a formal and permanent office, operating room and the enthusiastic support of the University Medical Center, Branch No 3. With this new capacity, we will be able to touch so many more lives and work towards fulfilling the mission of the Vietnam VAC:
- Continue to provide excellent care for our patients affected by vascular and pigmentary birthmarks
- Many other dermatologic problems including vitiligo
- Scholarly research that will enhance the understanding and treatment of these lesions
- Humanitarian medical collaboration between US and Vietnamese physicians
With the generous support of laser devices from Candela/Syneron and Lumenis Corporations, we were able to offer treatment to many children with vascular/pigmented birthmarks as well as disfiguring scars. Thousands of children remain untreated in underdeveloped nations around the world where access to care as well as correct treatment is often out-of-reach. The most striking example as been the continued use of radioactive phosphorus 32 in Saigon to treat hemangiomas in children, an outdated procedure that causes severe scarring and depigmentation, not including the risk of malignancy. We are working hard with our colleagues in Vietnam to try to change this practice and also are working toward a potential treatment to improve the scars in these children. Our work in Saigon has touched over 700 children thus far – and with your help, we are expanding the reach of our program.
We again would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for supporting our effort in Vietnam. You are all essential members of our team who have volunteered time, resources, and effort towards this worthwhile cause. Without your support, we would not be able to maintain and expand our clinic. Thank you again for your generosity.
Here are a few images from our trip. We all had a wonderful time and formed new friendships while working hard in the operating room. We will also continue to update our website with the latest information about the clinic, including photos, blog, treatment results, future fund raising efforts, etc.
Rox Anderson, MD
Stuart Nelson, MD
Tri Nguyen, MD
Thuy Phung, MD PhD
Thanh Nga T. Tran, MD PhD
PS: Please view the photos from our trip