were shattered on Saturday, October 8th, as the 2016 VBF Conference
and Clinic brought together more than 300 patients, family members, faculty and
volunteers for the largest conference in VBF’s 22-year history!
The annual event was held in New York City at Lenox Hill Hospital, a part of the
Northwell Health system.
Nearly 100 patients and their families met with 20 world-renowned vascular
birthmarks clinicians for 140 clinical appointments, 25 laser treatments (by
Dr. Roy Geronemus, an expert at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York),
a dozen dental exams (by Dr. David Darrow at the NYU School of Dentistry), 20 orthodontal
exams (by expert Dr. Carroll Fenn), and 20 makeup training sessions (by Nancy
Roberts, co-creator of Smart Cover Cosmetics, and her team of makeup artists).
Experts assisted with information regarding insurance coverage for the
treatment of a vascular birthmark and families gathered for support group sessions.
in the past, all activities were completely free for those who indicate they
have a financial hardship.
The conference kicked off on a high note with presentation of the 2016 VBF
Awards. Dr. Ana Duarte of Miami Children’s Hospital was honored as Physician
of the Year, and Jody Lee, founder and organizer of the first annual Purple
Polka Dot Race–proceeds which benefited the VBF, was honored with the “Coco”
Award for Outstanding Fundraising.
2016 Service Award recipients included Michele Wilson of The AVM Center of New
York at Lenox Hill; Yelena Bernstein and Danielle Bleeker of the Vascular
Birthmark Institute; and Megan Allen, Tamara Ammon, Christina Battiliana,
Catherine Ferro, and Kaitlin Winters of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of
her opening remarks, conference host Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, VBF’s President
and Founder, expressed her appreciation to the Conference Co-Directors: Dr.
Robert Rosen, Dr. Milton Waner, and Dr. Francine Blei of The AVM Center of New
York at Lenox Hill, along with Dr. Roy Geronemus of the Laser and Skin Surgery
Center of New York. She also thanked Lenox Hill Hospital, the venue host, for generously
providing the facilities, breakfast and lunch for conference participants.
with the conference co-directors, Dr. Linda gratefully acknowledged the 16
additional doctors who donated their time and expertise as speakers and/or
clinicians: Dr. Steven Fishman, Dr. Stuart Nelson, Dr. John Pappas, Dr. Ana
Duarte, Dr. Teresa O, Dr. Gregory Levitin, Dr. Deborah Shatzkes, Dr. Anton
Hasso, Dr. David Darrow, Dr. Kamiab Delfanian, Dr. Chad Perlyn, Dr. Maria
Gnarra, Dr. Anne Comi, Dr. Anna Pinto, Dr. Steven Kane, Dr. Carrol Fenn, Dr.
Wenbin Tan (for Dr. Martin Mihm), and Leslie Graff, MS, CCLS.
Through the generous financial support of the host organizations and sponsors (Cutera,
Cynosure, Syneron-Candela, Dr. Paula & Mr. Bay Miltenberger, and Pierre
Fabre), all attendees received complimentary admission to the faculty lectures,
clinical appointments, special sessions/support groups – as well as free meals
and one night’s free lodging. VBF remains the only organization known to
provide such a comprehensive slate of free services to patients with vascular
“We would not have had such a successful event this year had it not been for
the outstanding faculty, sponsors and our amazing event team,” said Dr. Linda.
Burbank, VBF Executive Assistant, did a superior job as Conference Coordinator
while Stacy Leistner was the amazing Event Manager. Members of the VBF staff
and more than 20 volunteers help to ensure that all on-site operations were
smooth and that all participants had an outstanding experience. Dr. Linda oversaw
all aspects of the event, leading program development and coordination with
faculty and sponsors.
“We thank EVERYONE for the role they played in making our 2016 conference such
a great event,” added Dr. Linda. “Planning is already underway for next year!”
Details for the 2017 Vascular Birthmarks Conference & Clinic will be
announced in February. The event will be hosted by Dr. Stuart Nelson and the
Beckman Laser Institute at UC Irvine, California.
VBF continues to have a positive impact of the lives of families, from all over
the world, affected by a vascular birthmark. Together we are making a
Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon opens the VBF 2016 Conference and Clinic in New York City!
VBF's Executive Assistant Kathy Burbank and VBF Board Member Sharon Israel are ready to help.
Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon presents the 2016 Physician of the Year Award to Dr. Ana Duarte.
VBF presented the first "Coco" Award for Outstanding Fundraising to Jody Lee.
Dr. David Darrow presents at the Conference.
VBF's Sturge-Weber Syndrome Expert, Dr. Anne Comi, speaks to conference attendees.
Dr. Linda in the daycare room.
Dr. Teresa O presents on vascular malformations and the risk of facial nerve injury.
Dr. Robert Rosen, Dr. Milton Waner, Dr. Francine Blei, Dr. Stuart Nelson, and Dr. Roy Geronemus participate in the Question and Answer portion of the conference.
Dr Kamiab Delfanian gives a talk on Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome.
Free clinic with Dr. Waner, Dr. Darrow and Dr. Linda
Dr. Blei, Dr. Rosen, Dr. Waner, Dr. Geronemous, and Dr. Nelson during clinic appointments
Photos by Marek Marcinkowski