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At the heart of the multi-faceted initiative is a compelling new educational video,

“Vitiligo: Truth, Hope, and Change” featuring a wide range of patients


(Washington, DC—March 3, 2016)—In a concerted effort to heighten the understanding of vitiligo and generate support amongst the dermatologic and greater medical communities, individuals with vitiligo and their loved ones, as well as the media and public at large, a group of dermatologists representing the Vitiligo Working Group (VWG) announce a multi-faceted public awareness campaign. This initiative rolls out at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) in Washington, DC from March 4-8, 2016.


The VWG public awareness initiative, called Step Up For Vitiligo, is built around a compelling educational video, “Vitiligo: Truth, Hope and Change”, featuring a wide range of vitiligo patients of many different races, ethnicities, skin types, and ages. The powerful and enlightening video, created in full length and short-form versions to meet the needs and interests of a variety of audiences, will be housed on the VWG website and YouTube, and promoted on Twitter and Facebook. In addition, interested dermatologists may obtain the videos for use in their practices and communities.


Vitiligo affects the immune system and manifests itself as a change in skin color presenting as white patches on the skin. There is no known cure, and there is very little research funding to better understand the disease and develop new treatments for vitiligo. Within this context, the VWG aims to improve the lives of people living with vitiligo and ultimately, find a cure for this life-altering disease.


“Vitiligo: Truth, Hope and Change” will be shown at a vitiligo symposium at the AAD Annual Meeting, led by Dr. John Harris, (Worcester, MA) and presented by Dr. Michelle Rodrigues (Victoria, Australia). Both of these physicians are dermatologists and vitiligo experts who are active members of the Vitiligo Working Group’s committees overseeing this initiative. Other vitiligo experts and VWG members who are spearheading this public awareness campaign include:  Drs. Iltefat Hamzavi, Pearl E. Grimes, Amit Pandya and Nada Elbuluk.


As part of the video premiere, the longer form of the video will also be shared with fellow dermatologists at the annual meetings of the VWG and the Skin of Color Society. 


Following the rollout of the videos to the dermatologic community, a multi-platform social media campaign will kick off on Twitter and Facebook, drawing attention to the videos as well sharing a series of important facts and truths about vitiligo to ignite interest in, and conversation about, this little-understood and life-altering disease.


Leading up to World Vitiligo Day on June 25, vitiligo experts from the VWG will engage with their communities and local media to help heighten awareness and understanding of a disease that affects nearly 70 million people across the world.


To view the video, visit:

For vitiligo expert interviews, contact:




The Vitiligo Working Group (VWG) is a physician-led organization, driven by the mission to improve the lives of people living with vitiligo.


The VWG was established in 2011 by Henry Ford Hospital physicians specializing in vitiligo, Drs. Iltefat Hamzavi and Henry W. Lim. Today, the VWG has members from over 15 countries.  The VWG is governed by an independent board of physicians and supporters who span a variety of institutions and backgrounds. 


To fulfill our mission, we bring together clinicians, researchers, support groups, industry, patients, patient advocacy groups and regulatory bodies to raise awareness about vitiligo, advance our understanding of the disease and its therapies, and ultimately, find a cure.


For more information about VWG, visit:

Contact: Nancy Balik FitzGerald Public Relations
Phone: 1+760.333.9296

Twitter: @StepUp4Vitiligo
On YouTube:  The Vitiligo Video Channel (VVC)