Portland, Ore. (June 26, 2020) —The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) commends Abby Van Voorhees, M.D. for her many contributions to the psoriasis community and thanks her for leading the NPF Medical Board for the past six years.
A member of the NPF medical board for thirteen years total, Dr. Van Voorhees became the first female Medical Board Chair in 2014. Joining the medical board in 2007, Dr. Van Voorhees has been instrumental in guiding the development of programs dedicated to advancing the medical education of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
With a goal of substantially reducing the number of undiagnosed and undertreated psoriatic disease patients, Dr. Van Voorhees and the medical board worked with the NPF to design programs focused on addressing the knowledge gaps physicians may have in effectively treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
During her tenure as medical board Chair, Dr. Van Voorhees directed the creation of the Dermatology Rheumatology Training Symposium, an event providing in-depth activities about psoriatic disease and collaborative care for dermatology residents and rheumatology fellows and A-PReP: Advanced Health Care Provider Psoriasis Recognition Program, a continuing medical education (CME) program for nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Leading the effort for NPF to secure accreditation for its CME programs, Dr. Van Voorhees, along with the CME steering committee, worked with the NPF to acquire initial Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) accreditation in July 2016, and reaccreditation in August 2018.
Additionally, Dr. Van Voorhees facilitated the creation of programs to provide resources and information to medical students, residents, and early career practitioners. The recently founded Medical School Education Program is designed to raise awareness and knowledge of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to first and second year medical students, and the NPF Residents Meeting and Grand Rounds programs, offer residents the opportunity to learn from clinical researchers and experienced professionals actively treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Dr. Van Voorhees also assisted the NPF begin a series of symposiums designed to help early career physicians increase their knowledge of psoriatic disease and establish a clinical practice.
Furthermore, Dr. Van Voorhees assisted creating a mentor program that pairs early career practitioners with experienced mentors and developed a shared management program focused on increasing collaboration between dermatologists, rheumatologist and other health care specialist to provide comprehensive treatment of psoriatic disease and comorbid conditions.
Utilizing her experience in education and clinical research, Dr. Van Voorhees enabled NPF collaborations with the American Academy of Dermatology to develop and issue joint psoriasis treatment guidelines and the American College of Rheumatology to develop and issue joint psoriatic arthritis treatment guidelines, and led the creation of the NPF Treat to Target treatment strategy.
A key opinion leader in the research and treatment of psoriasis, Dr. Van Voorhees supported the NPF response in helping health care professionals and patients understand the uncertainties and implications of COVID-19, has been involved in a number of medical board projects and manuscripts, and is a guiding influence for NPF Patient Navigation Center resources and all patient education materials. The medical board representative on the NPF Board of Directors, Dr. Van Voorhees was instrumental in collaborating with the directors to advance NPF’s medical education efforts.
In addition to leading the NPF Medical Board, Dr. Van Voorhees is a Professor and Chair of Dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (JPPA) a peer-reviewed specialty journal of the National Psoriasis Foundation. The NPF thanks Dr. Van Voorhees as she completes her term as NPF Medical Board Chair on June 30, 2020.