October 20, 22, and 24, 2020

By: Miyahra Haniko P. Lopez, MD-MBA

Despite the leaps in its diagnosis and treatment, psoriasis remains a disease with a profound impact on patients’ lives. Thus, in celebration of psoriasis month, the Rizal Medical Center Department of Dermatology decided to put together a web conference entitled, “EXPAND: EXpanding Psoriasis cAre by Networking and Developing Capacities.”  EXPAND was a 3-day event that tackled various topics from setting up a service delivery network, creating a locally adaptable clinical pathways to addressing psoriasis on a multidisciplinary approach. Local and international psoriasis experts where invited to share their knowledge on the different aspects of psoriasis.

The first webinar, held on October 20, focused on the foundations of psoriasis care. Dr. Czarina Chavez started the webinar by exploring the considerations of psoriasis care and relaying the experience of the department in establishing a psoriasis referral center. This was then followed by a discussion led by Dr. Lily Lyralin Tumalad on a stepwise approach to psoriasis management adapted to the local setting. Prof. Giuseppe Micali then ended the webinar by generously sharing his thorough review and updates on the cornerstone of psoriasis treatment, topical medications. This first session was moderated by Dr. Cecilia Rosete.


The second webinar, held on October 22, focused on the management of moderate to severe psoriasis and its comorbidities.  Renowned psoriasis expert, Dr. Colin Theng, shared his experience on managing moderate to severe psoriasis cases during the pandemic and advised on what treatments could be provided for such cases. Afterward, Dr. Andrew Francisco gave an extensive discourse on the cardiovascular effects of psoriasis. This was followed by a panel discussion on the myriad of other systemic effects by a multidisciplinary panel of experts: joining cardiologist Dr. Francisco were endocrinologist Dr. Michelle Co, dermatologist-rheumatologist Dr. Rogelio Balagat, and dermatologist-psychiatrist Dr. Antonio Sison. This second session was moderated by Dr. Patricia Tinio.


The third webinar, held on October 24, focused on adjustment to remote medicine. Dr. Jacqueline Melendres relayed the framework and growth of the teledermatology system at Rizal Medical Center and was followed by Dr. Alma Amado who shared her experience of treating psoriasis patients during the pandemic through telemedicine. The webinar was concluded with a discussion conducted by Dr. Patricia Tinio on the importance of targeting the anti-inflammatory cytokines. This final session was moderated by Dr. Martha Bruan-Tapales.


Throughout the series, attendance averaged 400 physicians from various specialties, a testament to the shared interest in advancing the quality of care for psoriasis patients. This webinar series will continue in November with the Psoriasis Health Agenda Forum which will focus on the service delivery network of Rizal Medical Center.

-Photos courtesy of Arbie Sofia P. Merilleno, MD