Lucinda Kohn, MD, MHS
Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus
2020 AARS Research Grant Recipient
Expanding Acne Care for Native Americans
Acne and acne scarring are prevalent among Native American adolescents and adults and may be more prevalent than among other underserved minority populations, such as African Americans and Hispanics. Compounding acne prevalence is the limited access to dermatologists available to the Native American population. Native Americans who reside on Indian reservations are in rural, resource-limited settings with few, if any, dermatologists nearby. Even if there are nearby dermatologists who accept Indian Health Service patients (the Indian Health Service is the Federal health program for American Indians and Alaska Natives), transportation means, time, and co-payments are additional barriers to care. Increased access to knowledgeable, convenient, and cost-effective dermatologic care within patient-centered medical facilities is desperately needed to improve acne outcomes in the Native American population.
This project will educate primary care providers at the Gallup Indian Medical Center about the administration and management of isotretinoin to improve access to dermatologist-level acne care for Native American patients. The Gallup Indian Medical Center is an Indian Health Service facility that serves primarily Native Americans. Its primary care physicians— pediatrics, internal medicine, and family medicine providers— have identified a strong need for better management of severe acne for their patients. Currently, no provider at Gallup Indian Medical Center has expertise in prescribing or managing isotretinoin, which is considered standard, first-line therapy for severe, scarring, or recalcitrant acne.
This project hypothesizes that the implementation of an education-based program will improve the quality of life of the Native Americans served by Gallup Indian Medical Center, because it gives them access to specialty-level, best-practice acne care.