February 1, 2024 – Alexandria, Virginia – The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is pleased to announce four outstanding honorees at the 2024 Commit to Cure Gala in Dallas, Texas on April 27, 2024. Dermatologist Colby Evans, M.D., and dermatologist and rheumatologist Joe F. Merola, M.D., MMSc will be recognized for their remarkable accomplishments as health care providers treating people with psoriatic disease. Dedra Pennington and her daughter Tiara Pennington will be celebrated for their tireless dedication to advocating on behalf of those living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
“Dr. Evans and Dr. Merola exemplify the values NPF looks for in the medical professionals we collaborate with. They are people-centric providers and fierce advocates for our community,” says Leah M. Howard, J.D., the President and CEO of NPF. “I’m so excited we also get to honor the contributions of Tiara and Dedra. Both have been incredibly effective representatives of the more than 8 million people in this country impacted by psoriatic disease. They are leaders and community allies of the highest order.”
Meet the Honorees
Dr. Colby Evans began his work with the National Psoriasis Foundation in 2007 advocating to reduce patient co-pays for phototherapy treatment. He served on the NPF’s Outreach Committee and Advocacy Committee before joining the Board of Directors in 2010. He served as the first physician Chair of the Board from 2015-7. After completing his Board service, Dr. Evans became the chair of the NPF’s Research Committee, which he still serves as a member of today. He has given dozens of volunteer lectures on psoriatic disease in the NPF’s Updates in Psoriasis series to medical, dermatology, and rheumatology departments around the country and visited multiple state capitols and Washington, D.C. to advocate for patients with psoriatic disease.
Dr. Merola is the newly appointed Chair of Dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern. He is on the Board and is Founding President of the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Clinics Multicenter Advancement Network Consortium in addition to serving on the Scientific and Medical Boards of NPF. He is also Treasurer of the International Dermatology Outcome Measures Group and Vice President of the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. Dr. Merola is the current president of the Medical Dermatology Society and is president-elect of the Rheumatology-Dermatology Society. He is a past recipient of a NPF’s outstanding educator award.
Dedra Pennington has been an advocate and volunteer with NPF since 2013. She volunteered with Psoriasis Take Action Alabama from 2013 to 2017. This group served central Alabama and hosted the Queenly Halloween Fashion Show and Luncheon Fundraiser, along with hosting Alabama's Psoriasis Day. She was an NPF delegate at the 2016 Patient Focused Drug Development meeting with the FDA. In 2019, she participated in Capitol Hill Day to gain support for step therapy legislation. She and her daughter were featured in NPF Advance™ magazine. Recently, she participated in the 2023 Birmingham Pstamp Out event. She resides in Helena, Alabama, and continues to share her story.
Tiara Pennington is currently a second-year law student at the University of Alabama School of Law. She began her involvement with the NPF in 2013 when she was selected to be one of 36 community ambassadors nationwide. Ambassadorship inspired her to create a support group, Psoriasis Take Action Alabama, through which she has educated hundreds of students with her Pso-Fun classroom tours and anti-bullying campaign. In 2016, she attended the FDA Patient Focused Drug Development meeting. In 2019, she participated in the NPF Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C. As Miss Alabama in 2019 & 2020, she traveled across the state educating the public about psoriatic disease. She participated in the first Pstamp Out event in Birmingham and the NPF Psound Bytes™ podcast, as well as appearing on the cover of NPF Advance™ magazine.
Join Us in Dallas
Tickets and tables for the NPF Commit to Cure Gala remain available but will not last long. This evening of community togetherness and celebration raising critical funds to cure psoriasis and improve the lives of those affected will be held at the Thompson Dallas. To make a donation in honor of Dr. Evans, Dr. Merola, or Dedra and Tiara Pennington, simply click on the name.
If Dallas, Texas is too far from your home, look for an NPF event in your area.
About the National Psoriasis Foundation
Serving the community of people impacted by psoriatic disease for more than 55 years with patient support, advocacy, research, and education, the National Psoriasis Foundation is the leading nonprofit representing individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The mission of NPF is to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of more than 8 million individuals in the United States affected by this chronic immune-mediated disease. Learn more at psoriasis.org.