Alumnae start local dermatology organization to educate the public and foster professional growth

Alumnae start local dermotology chapter

The inaugural officers of the local chapter of the DNA are
(left to right): Kristin Capuano, secretary; Trisha Breitung, treasurer; Malgorzata Sass, director of public relations; Ginny Hanchett , president; and Anne Marie Ebling, president-elect.

For four years, Ginny Hanchett, FNP, DCNP, an alumna of the School of Nursing, considered starting a Rochester chapter of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association (DNA). The DNA is a professional nursing organization committed to quality care whose core purpose is to promote excellence in dermatologic care.

“I am involved at the national level of the DNA. After attending many wonderful conferences all over the country I just felt there was something missing at the local level,” she said. “Members who belong to the DNA would receive the journal and get a reduced conference rate, but then would ask, ‘What does the DNA really do for me?’”

Hanchett and four other nurse practitioners—all graduates of the School of Nursing’s nurse practitioner programs—hope to show these colleagues what the DNA can do with the creation of a local chapter. All five were voted in as the first officers of the Greater New York Chapter on March 9, 2010. In addition to Hanchett, who serves as president, chapter officers include Anne Marie Ebling, MS, NP, president-elect, Malgorzata Sass, MS, NP, director of public relations, Trisha Breitung, MS, ANP, treasurer, and Kristin Capuano, MS, FNP-C, secretary. The local chapter covers the greater Rochester region, which includes east of Syracuse and west to the border of New York, including Buffalo.

“I wanted to develop something local that our members could ‘reach out and touch,’ ” Hanchett said. “Opportunities like educational sessions to nurture their own professional growth, community projects for the volunteer spirit, involvement in health fairs and teaching on prevention for the benefit of Rochester and surrounding communities.”

Interested in joining the Greater Rochester Chapter of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association of New York State?

For more information, call Ginny Hanchett at 585-487-1410 or send an e-mail. Membership is open to dermatology nurses as well as staff who work in dermatology offices.

For an organization in its infancy, Hanchett and her fellow officers are already seeing results. To date they have recruited 56 members, raised about $1,000 toward fighting melanoma for the American Cancer Society, and held educational meetings that considered psoriasis, acne and dry skin. But this is just the beginning of what Hanchett and the other officers hope to achieve.

“We are developing an extension of the SunAware program of skin cancer prevention for teenagers in our local high schools,” she said. “In future years we hope to raise money for dermatology-related causes such as the National Psoriasis Foundation and present a teaching day for professional nurses in our area; we also hope to help inform local colleges and universities on the dangers of tanning. There is definitely a role for us to lobby local government and insurance companies as patient advocates affecting health care policy.”

Hanchett credits the inaugural officers’ enthusiasm for making the local chapter a reality. “Once established, we looked around and said, ‘We are all graduates of the University of Rochester School of Nursing!’ Through this bond, we share a common thread with common goals and dedication. We are bound to succeed,” she said.

Related Information

For more ways to stay in touch with the School and former classmates, check out the alumni page  on the School of Nursing website.

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