When UConn Health’s dermatology practice formally opens its laser center next year, it will feature some of the latest technology, and the state didn’t have to purchase it.
That’s because one of the dermatologists who is using the machines did.
Dr. Maritza Perez had a private practice in Fairfield County when she joined the UConn Health faculty in 2019. She had been splitting her time until December 2021, when she closed her private practice.
She estimates she invested $1 million in the laser machines she’d been using downstate. Rather than try to sell them, she decided to bring them with her to Farmington as a donation to UConn Health.
“I live in the state, I’m training the residents, and this is going to be a legacy for the future,” Perez says. “We can definitely improve not only the training but also the options for treatment of patients here.”
While depreciated, the technology still has years of useful life left and is an opportunity for UConn Health to upgrade its capabilities for both patient care and training. It includes:
- A PICO Genesis laser, which uses two wavelengths to treat pigmentation issues and revitalize skin with minimal downtime
- An XEO laser platform, which has seven lasers for multiple applications, including rejuvenation, vascular treatment, and hair removal.
- A vascular laser, for treating pigmentation and vascular issues.
- A truSculpt body contouring tool for targeted fat reduction using radiofrequency.
“This remarkable gift of equipment from Dr. Perez considerably enhances the quality of our resident education and patient care,” says Peter Lamothe, the UConn Foundation’s associate vice president for development at UConn Health. “It exemplifies her commitment to improving the lives of others and will have a lasting impact.”
Perez, who has expertise in treating a wide range skin conditions, also donated equipment that doesn’t involve lasers:
- A dermabrasion machine, which addresses pox marks, acne scars, and other scars.
- A microdermabrasion machine, a less aggressive treatment better suited for dull skin, brown spots and age spots.
- Electrodessication equipment, which uses electrical current to remove certain types of skin lesions.
- A full set of cannulas for liposuction and fat transplantation.
“We are tremendously grateful to Dr. Perez for this extraordinary gift of high-end lasers and other essential equipment,” says Dr. Philip Kerr, Department of Dermatology chair. “Adding these devices to our already-strong roster of lasers means we can offer our patients the most cutting edge technology of perhaps any laser center in the state. This is wonderful not only for our patients, but also for our students and trainees.”
UConn Health Dermatology expects to have its new laser center formally open in the spring.
“Apart from the contribution to the medical school and Department of Dermatology, I am a minority giving back to the community in expanding services delivered to them,” Perez says. “This is something that is looking to the future of dermatology in Connecticut.”
Anne Horbatuck, chief operating officer of University Medical Group and vice president for ambulatory services, says, “Dr. Perez’s generous gift to UConn Health and specifically to our Dermatology Department is fantastic. This donation will assist in helping us create and move forward a new cutting-edge laser center – so many thanks to her for this gift.”