HS advocate Jasmine ‘Ivanna’ Espy’s AHSID Organization Hosts Its First In-Person Summit

HS advocate Jasmine “Ivanna” Espy knows the fastest way to end the stigma about something is to educate others. To that end, the Association of Hidradenitis Suppurativa and InflammatoryDiseases (AHSID), her community-based not-for-profit organization, will host its first in-person/online hybrid summit this week at College of Creative Studies Taubman Center in Detroit, Michigan.

This year’s “I Reclaim__ Summit,” the fifth annual HS Summit, will offer a safe space for patients, caregivers and supporters to explore current medical research and engage with the emotional, psychological and social aspects of living with Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). Taking place June 6 to 8, 2024, during HS Awareness Week, the summit aims to bridge connections with online support communities and feature popular HS influencers to lead sessions.

Founded by the Detroit native and thought leader, AHSID challenges those affected by HS to own their stories and be seen for who they are, not what they have. Jasmine, an HS patient herself, created the summit during the pandemic after seeing an influx of misinformation circulating online about the disease.

HS is a chronic skin condition that blocks hair follicles, causing recurring abscesses, cysts, and nodules. It disproportionately affects people of color, especially Black and biracial individuals. Often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed, patients with the disease may wait up to seven years for proper treatment.

“This summit was created out of necessity. It was a space dedicated to making information and resources about HS more accessible for those living with the disease to those who know nothing about it,” says Espy.

Since 2020, AHSID has hosted the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Awareness Week Virtual Summit (now the I Reclaim__ HS Summit) to provide a space for education, empowerment and connection. Sessions are led by industry, medical and wellness professionals who provide insights into treatment, wound care, advocacy, mental health, alternative medicine and more. The opening ceremony for in-person attendees is on Thursday, June 6, at 6:30 p.m. ET. Streaming online will begin on June 7, 2024.

Updated: June 4, 2024 — 12:01 pm