The leaves have dropped and so has the CHSF’s Fall 2023 update!

We have just returned from the annual Symposium on Hidradenitis Suppurativa Advances conference in Phoenix, AZ (October 13-15th). It was an amazing conference filled with new and exciting advances in understanding and managing HS!

Dr. Hannah Stirton and Dr. Leah Johnston were the two recipients of the CHSF’s SHSA 2023 Travel Grant Award. Dr. Stirton was selected for on oral presentation on “Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in Hidradenitis Suppurativa Patients with Suboptimal Treatment Response to Adalimumab” and Dr. Johnston presented on “Understanding Hurley Stage III Hidradenitis Suppurativa Patients’ Experiences with Pain: A Cross-Sectional Analysis” and “Hidradenitis Suppurativa Patient Referrals to a Canadian Community Dermatology Practice: A Retrospective Chart Review.”

Check out their SHSA posters below:

HS Pain Study Poster SHSA
HS Referral Letter Study Poster SHSA

Representatives from the Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation at SHSA 2023 in Phoenix, AZ.

Left to right: Dr. Hermenio Limo, Dr. Leah Johnston, Dr. Susan Poelman, Dr. Elizabeth OBrien, Dr. Helene Veillette, Dr. Simon Wong, and Dr. Ralph George.

Dr. Poelman and Dr. Johnston were selected to comment in a MedPage Today article on a recent research study on pain in HS patients. Their own study on pain in Hurley stage III HS patients, which was presented at SHSA 2023, was also published in the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery!

See the MedPage Today article at the following link: HS Patients Detracts Quality Life

While we were in Phoenix at the SHSA, some of our Canadian dermatology colleagues, including Dr. Lauren Lam, were attending the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology in Berlin, where late-breaking research in HS was also presented. In Berlin, leading Canadian dermatologists from across the country concluded that the focus of upcoming HS studies needs to be on combination treatment, with biologic treatment AND deroofing. As a result, the CHSF is working on a national certificate program for dermatologists & nurses to achieve "Higher Standards for HS" & gain exposure to deroofing. These are envisioned to be the first part of a two-part series, the latter half being a one-on-one preceptorship with one of the designated deroofing surgeons.

Dr. Lam, as well as Dr. Marni Wiseman and Dr. Simon Wong also attended the World Congress of Dermatology in Singapore’s Joint Meeting of the HS Societies. The Global HS Meeting was a great opportunity for global HS leaders from Europe, Canada, the US, South America & Asia to discuss the Europeans' experience with secukinumab, data for upcoming biologics currently being studied for HS, and how industry partners can help continue to shape the landscape of HS treatment in the years to come globally. The hope is for future studies to incorporate measures that reflect disease activity more accurately, such as the IHS4 & HiSQoL, in addition to elucidating biomarkers to clarify phenotype, treatment of choice, comorbidities, and disease course.
Representatives from the Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation at World Congress 2023 in Singapore.
Left to right: Dr. Lauren Lam, Dr. Simon Wong, and Dr. Marni Wiseman.

In other news, Beacon Dermatology, a Centre of Excellence in HS in Calgary, AB, just hosted their first annual staff HS retreat in Canmore, AB! It was a wonderful weekend of learning and discussions among MOAs, nurses, laser technicians and physicians about how we can improve the care that we provide to our HS patients! Activities included presentations from Dr. Poelman, Dr. Lam, and Dr. Johnston on important updates on HS management from the EADV and SHSA 2023, discussion regarding wound/skin care in HS and staff training on our upcoming research projects in HS! Many ideas came out of our group brainstorming sessions, so stay tuned for the launch of new initiatives in 2024!

In 2024, we are launching a CHSF-sponsored Travel Grant Award for the Canadian Dermatology Association’s 2024 meeting in Ottawa, ON (June 26-29th, 2024). We will provide 2 travel grant awards, valued at $2500 each, to Canadian resident physicians who have submitted abstracts of HS-related research projects to the CDA conference. Award application details can be found here.

We wish you and your families all the best with the upcoming winter holidays and were looking forward to a new year that is filled with hope and innovation for our HS patients!


Dr. Susan Poelman (MSc, MD, FRCPC, CHSF President), Dr. Lauren Lam (MD, FRCPC, CHSF Board Member) and Dr. Leah Johnston (MD, CHSF Public Awareness Campaign Subcommittee Chair)
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