After receiving more COVID-19 vaccinations than his dermatology staff needed, Dr. Kuchnir acted quickly to ensure the vaccines were utilized by public health professionals, which was a state mandate at that time. Coordinating with local superintendents, Dr. Kuchnir organized a vaccination site at his dermatology office to make the vaccine available for school nurses who were eligible in Phase 1A of the state’s distribution plan.
“When I realized I had a surplus of COVID-19 vaccines I knew I couldn’t let them go to waste,” said Dr. Kuchnir. “It was rewarding to contribute to school safety and show how dermatologists in a small community can be a resource for others.”
The clinic remained open two evenings in early January to vaccinate school nurses from eight local school districts including Grafton, Marlborough, and Waltham, who returned weeks later for their second doses.
“School nurses found it difficult to receive the COVID-19 vaccines needed to do our critical work safely,” said Julia McCoskery, RN, a nurse for Westborough Public Schools who received her vaccination at Dr. Kuchnir’s vaccination site. “I am grateful to Dr. Kuchnir for donating his time, clinic, and extra vaccines to ensure school nurses can continue keeping our communities healthy.”
The AAD created the Patient Care Heroes program to recognize physicians who transform patients’ lives by utilizing their expertise and collaborating with other physicians.
“Dermatologists care deeply about the health and well-being of their communities,” said board-certified dermatologist Ken Tomecki, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD. “Our profession has risen to the challenges of this pandemic in so many ways, including efforts like this to protect all who are involved in caring for our communities.”
To learn more about the work of Dr. Kuchnir, visit www.aad.org/skinserious/stories-derick-kuchnir.
SkinSerious is a campaign by the American Academy of Dermatology that highlights dermatologists’ role as partners in the health care system, providing expert care for serious conditions. To learn more, visit SkinSerious.org.
About the AAD
Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 20,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the AAD at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), Instagram (@AADskin1), or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).