VBF proudly hosted our 18th Annual Vascular Birthmarks Conference and Clinic in New York City on October 6, 2018.
Over 325 people attended the conference, making this the largest & farthest-reaching conference in VBF’s 24-year history.
The conference served families with all types of vascular birthmarks and anomalies, including Hemangioma, Port-Wine Stains, Vascular Malformations, Arteriovenous Malformations, Lymphatic Malformations, and those with associated syndromes, including Sturge-Weber Syndrome, Cutis Marmorata Telangiectatica Congenita (CMTC), Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome (KTS), and PHACE Syndrome.
These two met during free laser treament with Dr. G on Friday, and left after the Clinic on Saturday as best friends.
Here’s what VBF was able to accomplish, thanks to our team of physicians, volunteers, and sponsors:
Over 100 families registered, and no one was turned away.
At least 80 families attended the conference, which included families from Australia, Sweden, Lebanon, Mexico, the Caymen Islands, and Canada.
VBF provided over 65 free hotel rooms, as well as breakfast, lunch & daycare for all attendees.
VBF scheduled over 175 individual clinical appointments for patients and their families to meet with VBF Expert Physicians.
Over 25 VBF Expert Physicians donated their time to attend the conference, including international experts from Greece & Italy.
Dr. Fenn provided at least 8 free orthodontic exams during the clinic.
Insurance experts, Sabrina and Carla, provided at least 14 insurance support sessions.
Nancy Roberts and her team with Smart Cover Cosmetics provided over a dozen free make-up sessions.
Leslie Graff counseled at least 50 families in the Support Group sessions.
Dr. Darrow & his partners at Columbia University provided at least 12 free dental exams, and he advised countless other patients during Saturday’s clinic.
Drs Geronemus, Belkin, & Berenstein, and the team at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of NY, provided nearly 40 free laser treatments, the largest offering in our history.
Dr. Linda Welcomes Attendees to VBF Vascular Birthmarks Conference
The conference began in the morning, after a continental breakfast, followed by a welcome address from VBF President & Founder Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD.
VBF Honors Dr. O as Physician of the Year
Dr. Linda presented the VBF Physician of the Year Award to Dr. Teresa O of the Vascular Birthmarks Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital and a former patient of Dr.O’s traveled in for the conference to recount an emotional tribute to Dr. O for changing the course of treatment for her family. Countless others honored Dr. O with messages of gratitude in our Program. VBF is proud to join others in honoring Dr. O for her dedication and tireless work treating families affected by a vascular birthmark.
Congratulations Dr. O!
Birthmark Babies Bond in Daycare
During the morning session, the kids played with our volunteers in daycare, and even got a visit from Blackberry and Twitter, the therapy dogs. For many children, this experience marked the first time they were able to interact with others who looked just like them, some with matching laser dots from the day before’s free laser treatments which resulted in “post treatment dots.” Life-long friendships were formed, and all our hearts were warmed.
Expert Physicians Lecture on Latest in Research & Treatment of Vascular Birthmarks
While the kids had fun in daycare, the morning session continued with lectures from VBF’s world-renowned experts from around the world, including Drs. Jeffrey Bergen, Francine Blei, Giacomo Colletti, Anne Come, Kahlil D’Souza, David Darrow, Kamiab Delfanian, Ana Duarte, Aaron Fay, Roy Geronemus, Leslie Graff, Anton Hasso, Steven Kane, Gregory Levitin, J. Stuart Nelson, Teresa O, John Pappas, Anna Pinto, Ricardo Restrepo, Robert Rosen, Deborah Shatzkes, Stavros Tombris, Milton Waner & Carrol Fenn.
Vascular Anomalies Specialists See Patients in Clincs
After breaking for lunch, the afternoon session began with concurrent & individually scheduled clinical appointments for all families, as well as our special sessions that included insurance, support groups, and make-up sessions. Those will all types of vascular anomalies and birthmarks were seen, including those with hemangioma, port-wine stains, vascular malformations, and associated syndromes, including Sturge-Weber Syndrome, KTS, and others. Altogether, over 250 clinic and special sessions appointments were made to ensure that each and every patient saw the experts they needed.
Thank you to our Sponsors
The VBF Conference would not have been possible without Dr. Robert Rosen and the Lenox Hill Hospital, our hosts for the VBF NY conference, and to the other Physician Sponsors such as Dr. Milton Waner, Dr. Francine Blei, & Dr. Roy Geronemus. Thank you also to the other physician contributors, including Dr. David Darrow, Dr. Anton Hasso, Dr. Gergory Levitin, and Dr. Ricardo Restrepo.
We are extremely grateful to our sponsors for making this annual event possible, including: Syneron Candela, Cynosure, Pierre Fabre, Cutera, SmartCover Costmetics, Venthera, Columbia University School of Dental Medicine, & Dr. Paula and Dr. Bay Miltenberger. Simply put, the conference would not be possible without their sponsorship.
A special thank you to Candela Syneron for providing the lasers, equipment, and technicians, which allowed 40 people to get free laser therapy. Words cannot express our gratitude to Dr. Roy Geronemus and his team who shut down operations so that patients from the VBF network could receive free laser treatments. The total was 40 !!!
Thank you also to our representatives from Venthera and Pierre Fabre for attending.
Thank you to our Birthmark Families
Most importantly, the families who attended the conference left with hope and knowledge. Nearly 95% of survey respondents reported that the conference advanced their knowledge of birthmarks and countless others reached out with personal stories of how their lives and treatment plans were altered dramatically as a result of what they learned.
VBF Conference Educates Physicians & Families
Nearly 100% of physician survey respondents said that the conference met their identified needs and professional practice gaps, and all said that the materials validated their current practice or changed the way they will practice in the future.
Our annual conference continues to be the core focus for both family and physician education, and VBF is proud to be the only non-profit in the world to provide such a comprehensive slate of free services to birthmark families. #VBFGivesHope
Sponsor a Birthmark Family to Attend a VBF Conference
Please consider donating to our SPONSOR A FAMILY FUND so that we can continue to provide these free services to families. $500 will sponsor a family to attend a conference, but any donation makes a difference.
Attend a Future VBF Vascular Birthmarks Conference
You are cordially invited to attend any of our upcoming VBF conferences. Mark your calendars and check our website for registration updates.
- VBF Miami Conference
May 3-4, 2019
(free laser and free clinic)
- VBF iTEAM in Athens, Greece
June 7-8, 2019
- VBF Annual Conference & Clinic in Irvine, California
October 12, 2019
(October 11th for free laser)
Thank You to our Birthmark Community!
Once again, we thank each and every family who attended, our physicians, sponsors, volunteers and other members of our team for joining us to MAKE A DIFFERENCE and GIVE HOPE.
Dr. Linda, PHD
Linda Rozell-Shannon, PHDPresident & Founder, Vascular Birthmarks Foundation