“As a patient and trustee, I’ve been amazed by the depth and breadth of the Brigham’s excellence. Heidi and I want this gift to help retain the best faculty, recruit the best young talent, and continue to expand the Brigham’s extraordinary impact on medicine, science, and human health.”
At age 21, Scott Schuster needed an organ transplant. His brother, Mark, stepped forward to donate a kidney, and Scott underwent transplant surgery at the Brigham in 1978. During the years since, daily medications maintain his transplant and Brigham specialists help him navigate side effects.
Scott points to the importance of the Department of Dermatology in maintaining his health. He and his wife, Heidi, receive care from dermatologist Ruth Ann Vleugels, MD, MPH, MBA. Vleugels leads three of the department’s 23 specialty programs, which range from autoimmune skin diseases to pediatric dermatology.
“Our skin, the body’s largest organ, is deeply integrated with our immune system,” says Scott. “That’s why Heidi and I believe it’s so important to advance physician-scientists in dermatology and immunology.”
Heidi notes, “Ruth Ann Vleugels is a special person and physician who takes the time to think through each person’s care and treatment. Great physicians like her who develop new scientific ideas are important to the future of medicine.”
To honor and support Vleugels, the Schusters committed a $1 million gift, which, together with department funding, established the Heidi and Scott C. Schuster Distinguished Chair in Dermatology.
“The Schusters are incredible ambassadors of our team,” says Vleugels, the department’s vice chair for academic affairs. “This chair provides tremendous resources for our work while strengthening our standing as one of the country’s premier academic dermatology departments.”
The Schusters’ gift adds to their decades of support. Heidi has served on the Women’s Health Advisory Board, and Scott has been a member of the Board of Trustees. For nearly 20 years, Scott served alongside Department of Dermatology Chair Tom Kupper, MD, on the Brigham and Women’s Physician’s Organization board. Scott and Heidi’s gift also builds on the philanthropic legacy of Scott’s parents, the late Elaine and Gerald Schuster.
“For over 40 years, my team of specialists has kept me healthy and enabled me to lead my life as I choose,” Scott says. “As a patient and trustee, I’ve been amazed by the depth and breadth of the Brigham’s excellence. Heidi and I want this gift to help retain the best faculty, recruit the best young talent, and continue to expand the Brigham’s extraordinary impact on medicine, science, and human health.”