14 Mar SKINCARE LEGEND’S WORK LIVES ON AT UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
Dr. Fredric Brandt was a pioneering dermatologist who battled depression later in life. After his tragic death, Dr. Brandt’s colleagues established the Dr. Brandt Foundation with us to raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health. The foundation recently announced the first Fredric Brandt, M.D. Endowed Professorship at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Stephane Colleu, president and CEO of Dr. Brandt Skincare, caught us up on the foundation’s efforts, plans for the future and ways to support their work.
How does the Dr. Brandt Foundation impact the local community?
Stephane: Our work is dedicated to preventing suicide through research, awareness and education. We hope to positively affect the community while honoring the memory of a truly visionary leader in skin treatment. For us to have an impact, we need to reach people around the country, but our focus remains right here in the Greater Miami community. The Miami Foundation helps to give us access to those who really need our help.
What inspired you to start this project?
Stephane: After losing our founder and a personal friend, I was shocked by the statistics around depression and suicide. I saw it as a personal responsibility to not only commemorate his legacy but also to help others that may be suffering due to depression or losing a loved one to suicide. I strongly believe that through educating the community about the facts and funding research in mental health, we can begin to reverse the numbers and encourage others to help.
Why did the foundation create the Fredric Brandt, M.D. Endowed Professorship?
Stephane: It was a way to further Dr. Brandt’s legacy in teaching, skin care innovation and anti-aging research. The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine was Dr. Brandt’s alma mater—he completed his residency there and taught. Our foundation will donate $1 million to the school’s Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery to support research and education in the field.
Why did the foundation start the #oneloveoneheart campaign?
Stephane: In order for us to raise awareness and fight the stigma of suicide and depression, we all have to work together. #oneloveoneheart encompasses that entire message; it means we share the love together to save one heart at time. When we launched the campaign to mark National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month last September, our goal was to help raise funds and awareness for Greater Miami nonprofits and national organizations taking action on the issue. More than 1,000 people joined in by posting an image of a heart on Instagram. For each picture posted, the foundation will donate $1 to the projects they support. With the funds we’ve already raised, we hope to expand our outreach program in the South Florida community by continuing to sponsor events around suicide awareness and prevention like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ‘Out of the Darkness Walk’ at Florida International University. Reaching and engaging the community on this issue is a top priority for us in 2017.
Learn more about the Dr. Brandt Skincare Foundation at http://www.drbrandtskincare.com/drbrandtfoundation and explore other local organizations addressing mental health issues at Nonprofit Central.
Ana Mantica is editorial officer at The Miami Foundation