Danielle Piquette 2015-11-15 22:24:49
The Academy’s Members Making a Difference Award honors outstanding volunteer commitments by dermatologists. Each issue, Aspire highlights one of four annual winners of this prestigious award. C. Ralph Daniel, MD C. Ralph Daniel, MD, is more than just a dermatologist—he’s a leading example of what philanthropy and community activism represent to both the specialty and the public. For over 30 years, Dr. Daniel has been a practicing dermatologist in Jackson, Miss., where issues like access to care and poor education are much more prominent than the majority of other states. But Dr. Daniel’s desire to give back has made a considerable impact on his community, and the dermatology profession as a whole—which is why the AAD chose him as the latest recipient of the Members Making a Difference Award. Supporters of his nomination went above and beyond to corroborate how influential Dr. Daniel’s efforts have been. Richard K. Scher, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and former president of the AAD, shared that “if his service to all the organizations [he contributes to] were added up, it would reflect an investment of well over 1,000 hours per year.” (That’s approximately two and a half hours every single day!) Dr. Scher went on to say, “I have known Dr. Daniel for several decades now, and can think of no one who deserves this honor more than him. Dr. Daniel has been caring for thousands of patients in a dedicated manner unselfishly for years. He has attended patients of all strata—the poor, the infirmed, and the neglected—never questioning or hesitating, regardless of their financial status…I believe honoring Dr. Daniel as a recipient of this award will, in turn, bring honor to our specialty.” Over the span of his career, the list of charitable endeavors Dr. Daniel has been involved with has become quite extensive. He is currently the chairman of the St. Dominic Health Care Services Foundation in Jackson, Miss., and on the Board of Directors for both the St. Dominic Health Center and the Women’s Dermatology Society (WDS). Among other pursuits, he has served on endowment committees for both the Noah Worcester Dermatological Society and the American Dermatology Association (ADA), and was elected as the chair of fundraising at the University of Alabama (UAB). He also helped initiate the American Academy of Dermatology’s Furthering Excellence in Dermatology Endowment Fund, the WDS Legacy Fund, and the NOAH Endowment Fund, in addition to making annual contributions to the UAB and the DERM Fund of the University of Mississippi— which supports the only dermatology department and residency program in the entire state. As impressive as his philanthropic efforts are, Dr. Daniel’s professional contributions are equally as remarkable. He has become one of dermatology’s leading pioneers in the diagnosis and treatment of nail disorders and nail surgery, and mentors many individuals interested in this facet of the specialty. He was also the vice president of the European Nail Society and the past president of the Council for Nail Disorders (CND)—which he helped develop at its inception over 20 years ago. With his renowned experience, Dr. Daniel has also written countless articles, and is the assistant editor of the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery, in addition to being on the editorial boards of numerous other journals. For those dermatologists who are interested in following in Dr. Daniel’s footsteps, he has some words of advice: “Develop the ability to get more fulfillment from helping others than material things for yourself. The opportunities dermatologists have in the United States do not exist in most places around the world, and it is wonderful to be able to improve someone’s life—whether it’s temporarily or permanently.”
Published by American Academy Of Dermatology. View All Articles.