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SLMMS past President George J. Hruza, MD, MBA, began a one-year term as president of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) in March. The world’s largest dermatologic society, the AAD represents more than 20,000 physicians specializing in the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of skin, hair and nail conditions.

Dr. Hruza will also hold the same position for the American Academy of Dermatology Association, a sister organization to the AAD that focuses on government affairs, health policy and practice information.

A board-certified dermatologist in private practice, Dr. Hruza was SLMMS president in 2008. Currently he is council chair of the Missouri State Medical Association. He also is a past president of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery and the American Society for Laser Medicine & surgery.

“The health care landscape is evolving, and it’s important for dermatology to evolve with it,” Dr. Hruza says. “During my time as president, I will work to empower our members to view change as an opportunity and to inspire them to get involved in the Academy’s efforts on behalf of their specialty. If we work together and speak with a united voice, we can drive positive development.”

Dr. Hruza earned his medical degree from New York University, where he completed his dermatology residency. He also completed an internal medicine internship at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, a laser surgery fellowship at Harvard University and a Mohs surgery fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His MBA is from Washington University.

He also is an adjunct professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University, and has written four laser dermatology textbooks and published more than 150 articles.

During his installation speech to the AAD convention, Dr. Hruza emphasized the importance of physicians engaging in advocacy. He recalled 2014 when he and SLMMS obtained extensive media coverage of UnitedHealthcare terminating the Medicare Advantage contracts of 60 percent of St. Louis-area independent private practice dermatologists, leaving many patients stranded without the physicians they had seen for years.

“A number of my patients wrote UHC, CMS and their members of Congress, and some dermatologists were reinstated into the network,” he told the meeting. “It’s through speaking up and becoming involved in the process – and getting our patients involved as well – that we can have a meaningful impact.”
 

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