Artful Living “Do-Good Doctor”

Artful Living MagazineCrutchfield Dermatology is the premiere medical and cosmetic dermatology clinic in the Twin Cities. “I want all my patients to look good and feel great with beautiful skin,” says Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D. “When you com to Crutchfield Dermatology; the emphasis is on quality, in-depth skincare knowledge and service. That’s what really sets us apart.”

A long list of awards and honors serves as evidence that Crutchfield is good at what he does. What stands out even further is his generous community outreach and support. “I realize that no one gets to where they’re at without the help of many people. And I’, in a point in my career where I can give back.”

His support runs deep, especially for students, not only through scholarships and textbook donations, but also through mentorship.
Dr. Crutchifeld, a clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota’s Future Doctors of America where undergraduate students of color shadow Crutchfield during patient appointments. They learn the art of medicine and are introduced to a wide variety of opportunities. Crutchfield’s mentorships through Harlem’s Touro College of Medicine so impressed two medical student recipients that they relocated to the Twin Cities to practice. His medical students at the University of Minnesota Medical School have honored him three times as Teacher of the Year.

Crutchfield’s definition of community enthusiastically includes the Minnestoa Twins, and his love of baseball occasionally surfaces in his philanthropic work. During his residency, he learned that a hospice patient and fellow baseball fan dreamed of meeting Kirby Puckett. He arranged the meeting, and Mayo Clinic acknowledged his kindness with the Karis Humanitarian Award. When Twins player Bert Blyleven accepted a dare to eat night crawlers in exchange for a hundred dollar donation to Parkinson’s research, Crutchfield upped the ante to a thousand dollars, challenging other medical clinics to join him. His challenge raised almost $15,000 for the Parkinson’s Association of Minnesota. Crutchfield also donated to the Twins Community Fund to build ballparks for children in the inner city. “Sports five children focus and a sense of personal achievement,” he explains. “Many sports require a substantial investment, but baseball is financially accessible. You give a kid a glove, a ball, and a bat and they are good to go.”

Remembering school days when he struggled with dyslexia himself, Crutchfield serves as a Hero Benefactor for the Reading Center; stepping in when available scholarship funds aren’t sufficient to cover the number of hopeful students. For the High School for Recording Arts (HSRA.org), founded in Saint Paul to encourage at-risk youth to finish high school by linking lyric writing to English and marketing to mathematics, Crutchfield contributes funding and scholarships. Dr. Crutchfield routinely financially supports and encourages his staff to participate in breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s walks. He has also been given the “Patriotic Employer Award” from the Minnesota National Guard for his support of our troops. Dr. Crutchfield has also been awarded the “Gold Triangle Award” from the American Academy of Dermatology for promoting health-care awareness in under served areas. He also offered free skin and scar treatments for the survivors of the tragic Minneapolis 35W bridge collapse. Dr. Crutchfield was selected as the first “Physician Health Care Hero” by Medica, Twin Cities Business and KARE 11 for “Outstanding contributors tot he quality of healthcare in Minnesota.”

His philanthropy also extends to supporting Camp Discovery, a camp for children with skin diseases. For more than a decade, Crutchfield has been an active supporter and nominator, and dedicated all royalties from the dermatology textbook he co-authored to the program. Once a child is accepted into the camp, their entire experience is covered by donations. “As a child, I loved going to camp. But as a dermatologist, working with children with skin diseases, [I] see so many of them ashamed  to go because they are afraid to expose themselves and be teased. Camp Discovery is a place where kids can be kids again.”

Dr. Crutchfield’s efforts continue; he is working with the University of Minnesota to establish a lectureship honoring his mother, Susan Crutchfield MD, as the youngest (at the time) and first African-American female graduate of the medical school. He is also writing a children’s book for little leagues extolling the virtues of being sun-safe and sun protection.

For Dr. Crutchfield, giving back has become a way of life.

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