Skin of Color Society Strategic Plan: A Clear Path Toward an Envisioned Future

June 7, 2022
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2021-2022 SOCS Executive Committee (from left): Drs. Candrice Heath, Lynn McKinley-Grant, Valerie Harvey, Donald Glass and Executive Director Kimberly Miller.

Over the course of several months in 2021, twenty-seven Skin of Color Society leaders and seven staff members worked in collaboration with Tecker International, a management consulting firm, to develop a comprehensive five-year strategic plan. 

As part of this rewarding, intensive process, participants worked diligently to establish the following ideals and values to guide the future of SOCS:

To advance skin of color dermatology to achieve health equity and excellence in patient care.  

To promote awareness of and excellence within skin of color dermatology through research, education, mentorship, and advocacy. We are committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in the field of dermatology to advance patient care.

EQUITY: We ensure inclusivity and diversity to achieve health equities in patient care.
EXCELLENCE: We leverage our recognition and authority within dermatology, the house of medicine, and the public as experts in skin of color dermatology.
MENTORSHIP: We value mentorship as a leadership development tool to foster a diverse workforce at all levels, developing and empowering future leaders in the field.
RESEARCH and INNOVATION: We lead research and innovation through our diverse array of advanced research activities, leveraging collaborations with domestic and international corporations and organizations.
EDUCATION: We educate the public, partners, and colleagues in support of our mission and noble purpose. 

The group also invested significant time looking ahead and imagining the impact SOCS can make in the world in years to come. This “envisioned future” clearly articulates hope for SOC dermatologists, patients and our future leaders. 

The Skin of Color Society (SOCS) is globally recognized as the preeminent leader in advancing skin of color dermatology to achieve health equity and excellence in patient care. The individual and collective efforts of leaders and members of the Skin of Color Society work synergistically to advance the continued expansion and evolution of the field of skin of color dermatology.

SOCS serves as the go-to authority and source of skin of color dermatologic knowledge and expertise for patients of color, the dermatological workforce, trainees, collaborators in the medical community, industry, the media, and the public-at-large.

The Society heightens awareness, deepens understanding and bridges knowledge gaps as the leading repository of skin of color dermatology education, including information on a wide array of dermatologic conditions, challenges and issues affecting people of color.

As a result of the work of SOCS, patients of color, physicians, the field of dermatology reap ongoing benefits from a more diverse, highly competent, well-trained, culturally sensitive, and inclusive workforce that is representative of, and reaches parity with, the global population–ultimately delivering compassionate, excellent and equitable dermatologic care for all.

A continuous pipeline of dermatological students, residents and fellows is comprehensively trained in the care of diverse populations with ready access to highly skilled mentors in all aspects of skin of color dermatology (medical, cosmetic and surgical), spanning private practice, public service and academia. This significant, sustainable increase in the number and diversity of well-trained dermatologists enables us to achieve healthcare equity for patients of color, ensure excellence in patient care and introduce innovations that positively impact the entire dermatology ecosystem.

SOCS shapes the future of skin of color dermatology by providing leadership development opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders, as well as offering ongoing mentorship experiences to physicians at all career levels–resulting in the continuous evolution and growth of dermatologists and the specialty as a whole, ultimately benefiting patients of color.

Research in the field of skin of color dermatology thrives, leading to important scientific and technological discoveries and breakthroughs, including effective new treatments and even cures for complex conditions affecting people of color. Patients of color participate regularly and broadly in clinical trial research for a wide variety of new medications and treatments under investigation.

SOCS stands as the globally recognized leader in supporting skin of color research, facilitating funding for investigative study in this diverse dermatologic field. SOCS itself offers grants to support junior investigators and seasoned physician-scientists alike, whose scientific investigations advance the field and lead to better treatments and cures that will positively impact people of color.

On an ongoing basis, SOCS leverages effective partnerships with like-minded organizations to advance understanding of the science of hair, skin and internal diseases in patients of color, as well as the art of dermatology and vital healthcare considerations relevant to racially, ethnically and culturally diverse populations.

SOCS supports unified, diverse communities around the world consisting of dermatologists with expertise in, and a passion for, skin of color dermatology, who collaborate with supporting local institutions and organizations to ensure that patients of color have access to the highest quality dermatologic care in a culturally competent manner.

Thank you to the following SOCS leaders who participated in the SOCS strategic planning:

Crystal Aguh, MD, FAAD
Ammar Ahmed, MD, FAAD 
Chere Lucas Anthony, MD, FAAD 
Cheryl Burgess, MD, FAAD 
Valerie D. Callender, MD, FAAD 
Marcelyn Coley, MD, FAAD
Seemal R. Desai, MD, PhD, FAAD
Ncoza C. Dlova, MD
Nada Elbuluk, MD, FAAD
Donald Glass, II, MD, PhD, FAAD
Pearl Grimes, MD, FAAD
Corey Hartman, MD, FAAD
Valerie M. Harvey, MD, MPH, FAAD
Candrice R. Heath, MD, FAAD
Loren D. Krueger, MD, FAAD
Henry Lim, MD, FAAD
Lynn McKinley-Grant, MA, MD, FAAD
Amy McMichael, MD, FAAD
Amit G. Pandya, MD, FAAD
Stavonnie Patterson, MD, FAAD
Maritza Perez, MD, FAAD
Ellen (Nikki) Pritchett, MD, MPH, FAAD
Caroline Robinson, MD, FAAD
Rashmi Sarkar, MD
Susan C. Taylor, MD, FAAD
Neelam Ajit Vashi, MD, FAAD
Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, FAAD

As work progresses toward our identified goals, SOCS leadership plans to share regular updates with our members and partners. We look forward to making meaningful progress together.