“As a refugee, I was a child without a country… a child without a home,” says Dr. Vinh Chung, a Colorado Springs dermatologist and Mohs surgeon who at age three fled post-war Vietnam in a treacherous family boat journey that eventually landed him in the United States.
Dr. Chung knows that his childhood – riddled with challenges and barriers – is comparable to what is faced by the foster children CASA serves. But as a refugee child growing up in Arkansas, he was met with the kindness and compassion needed for him to reach his full potential.
Now with a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, a Master of Theology from the University of Edinburgh, and countless other accolades under his belt including his time as a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Chung has made it his mission and passion to help others reach their full potential.
“I grew up in a place where I did not have a culture to belong to or a culture who understood who I was. When I think about the US, the most comparable population are the kids in foster care. They do not have a permanent home. They do not live with people who understand who they are. They are the most vulnerable population.”
This is why his dermatology practice, Vanguard Skin Specialists, is a proud business partner of CASA of the Pikes Peak Region. The financial support provided by Vanguard enables CASA volunteers to advocate for children right here in the Pikes Peak Region who need and deserve a home to belong to. And it’s a cause supported by all 80 employees of Vanguard.
Dr. Chung’s wife, Leisle Chung, is Vanguard’s Executive Director. She met Vinh as a teen in Arkansas before graduating from both Yale College and Harvard Business School. She proudly recites Vanguard’s mission which is “to make a positive impact on our patients, our community, and our world.”
In addition to CASA, Vanguard partners with eight other local and international organizations that work to protect and serve vulnerable children the world over. From distributing school supplies to running races for clean water, and from providing free medical care to sending teams to Haiti, Vanguard truly does walk the walk when it comes to their mission. Read more about the causes Vanguard supports here.
Perhaps it’s because of the company’s commitment to bettering the world around them that the 14 medical providers at Vanguard stand out as top-notch dermatology and plastic surgery practitioners.
“Because we live the mission out, we attract a certain type of people to work here… people who see this job as a calling,” Ms. Chung explained. “They take care of patients like they’re family. Just last week I read a comment from a patient who said every time he comes he feels like he’s everyone’s favorite grandpa.”
In addition to providing premium care for patients, Vanguard Skin Specialists ensures that all people can have access to their care – including Medicaid patients. It’s why they offered a free drive through skin check last month. It’s also the reason they have five locations in North Colorado Springs, Pueblo, South Colorado Springs, Canon City, and Woodland Park – so that finding a high quality dermatologist or plastic surgeon in southern Colorado is easy, no matter where you live.
“I faced challenges,” said Dr. Chung. “I also found the kindest people. The Sunday school teachers, the neighbors who donated clothes to my family, the parents of classmates who drove me to football practices and school events. These individuals recognized a need and they responded to it. Without their help, I would not be able to serve patients as a skin cancer surgeon today.”
The Chung family and the doctors and staff at Vanguard Skin Specialists are a testament to the good that can come in the world when caring people decide to stand up and take action.
To learn more about Vanguard Skin Specialists, visit their website here. You can also read a first-hand account of the Chung family’s journey in Dr. Chung’s book, Where the Wind Leads, available on Amazon.