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Florida dermatologist recognized for treatment of Vietnam veteran

Helping America’s military heroes

Dr. Cyndi Yag-Howard receives national Patient Care Hero award

Rosemont, Ill. (Oct. 27, 2020) —The American Academy of Dermatology named board-certified dermatologist Cyndi Yag-Howard, MD, FAAD, a Patient Care Hero for her work treating veterans with serious service-related skin conditions.

Jack Cooper of Naples, Fla., served as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War, and since retiring from the U.S. Army, had developed several skin cancers and other medical problems. In recent years Cooper experienced incredible pain from blisters on his arms and rashes across his lower body, which resulted in him wearing long sleeves to cover the sores.

After the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) referred Cooper to Dr. Yag-Howard to treat and manage his skin conditions, he was diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Cooper’s skin conditions are now well-managed, and he is living symptom-free.

“It’s more than just being comfortable in my skin; Dr. Yag-Howard has also empowered me to do things I haven’t done in decades, like playing golf,” said Cooper. “Dr. Yag-Howard taught me how to avoid sun exposure and gave me confidence to go out and enjoy life without compromising my health.”

Thousands of the nearly 610,000 Vietnam War veterans report serious health problems, including many cancers and Parkinson’s Disease. “It’s important for our veterans to have access to dermatologists’ expertise because many of them have skin diseases as a result of their service,” said Dr. Yag-Howard, who is a volunteer dermatologist at the James A. Haley VA in Tampa, Fla. “Whether I see them at the VA or in my practice alongside my team, including John DeNigris, MD, and Traci Long, PA, we feel fortunate that we have the opportunity to get to know, care for, and give back to these remarkable and incredibly appreciative veterans who have given so much for our country.”

The AAD created the Patient Care Heroes program to recognize physicians who transform patients’ lives by utilizing their expertise and collaborating with other physicians to treat serious skin disease.

“Veterans often face a lifetime of difficult conditions once their service ends,” said board-certified dermatologist Bruce H. Thiers, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD. “Dr. Yag-Howard’s volunteer work is one important way dermatologists help veterans get the care they need.”

To learn more about the work of Dr. Yag-Howard, visit

About SkinSerious

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

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 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin) or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).

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