JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As the new president of the American Dermatological Association, Dr. Robert Brodell will select an area surrounding diseases of the skin as a focus of his leadership. For now, he will champion a priority that’s important to patients in Mississippi and nationally: access to care.
“The saddest thing I see are people who didn’t have access to dermatological care who delay treatment of things that would have been simpler and easier to treat had they had the right treatment for the condition, at the right time,” said Brodell, professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson.
Lack of access is especially acute in rural areas, and Mississippi is no exception. Brodell brings to his presidency vast experience in establishing routes to care for those most in need, from clinics placed in rural areas to using teledermatology to connect both patients and doctors in small communities that don’t have a dermatologist.
“Dr. Brodell has ensured that practical topics are always foremost in our meetings, and that patient care issues remain a key focus,” Dr. Tom Helm, a clinical dermatologist in Buffalo, N.Y.
Brodell is the second UMMC physician to recently become president of a national association. Dr. J. Martin Tucker, professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, earlier this year assumed the presidency of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“I’ve always seen myself as a servant leader, whether it be in my department or in my community, or on the national level in the area of dermatology,” said Brodell. He was also a professor of pathology and was in private practice for 27 years in Ohio before joining the UMMC faculty in 2012.
Brodell chaired both dermatology and pathology for almost two years while that department searched for a new chair.