AmSpa Releases New Guidelines, To Host Educational Program image

The AmSpa Aesthetic Safety Council (AASC), designed to help the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa) further its goal of promoting compliance, safety, and profitability throughout the medical aesthetic industry has launched.

Even in the midst of the international COVID-19 pandemic, medical aesthetics remains one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. Compliance and education must be a strong and consistent focus for industry endeavors to ensure medical aesthetics stays safe and profitable. The time has come for the industry to come together and work toward this common goal, AmSpa says.

The AASC consists of medical aesthetic industry professionals from different practice levels—including physicians, APRNs/NPs, RNs, PAs and owners—who will review and provide feedback on AmSpa’s recently released practice guidelines, as well as guide AmSpa to ensure that it is helping to make the medical aesthetic industry more compliant, more profitable and, ultimately, safer for patients. The AASC will also provide insight, feedback and “in the field” leadership for AmSpa.

AmSpa is also collaborating with the International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses (ISPAN), as well as the Plastic Surgical Nurses Certification Board (PSNCB), who will be represented by three professionals on the AASC.

The overarching goals of the AASC are:

  • Promoting compliance, safety and proper training; 
  • Promoting cooperation and community over competition; and
  • Providing feedback for and helping finalize AmSpa's practice guidelines. 

The AASC is critical for the future safety, compliance and community of the medical aesthetic industry. Along with AmSpa Founder and CEO, Alex R. Thiersch, JD, and AmSpa COO, Cathy Christensen, the following individuals are the founding members of the AASC.

George Baxter-Holder, ARNP, DNP, CANS

George Baxter-Holder, ARNP, DNP, CANS, is a board-certified aesthetic nurse practitioner and doctor of nursing practice, and he helps patients reverse the signs of aging at SkinSpirit Medical Spa in Austin, Texas. Additionally, he is the most utilized trainer with Galderma Aesthetics and is one of three faculty at the Academy for Injection Anatomy, along with Chris Surek, MD, and Hermine Warren, DNP, CANS. He holds a doctorate from Duke University and a master’s from the University of Washington. 

Nicole Chiaramonte

Known for her business philosophies of “profits with integrity” and “profit optimization through collaboration,” Nicole Chiaramonte is CEO of TWG Consulting Corp., founder of Synergy MedAesthetics, co-founder of Aesthetic Investments, LLC, and a private investor in more than a dozen medical spas. She has 25 years of experience in startup management, with 15 years of management services organization (MSO) ownership in the legal and medical industries, now specializing in non-surgical medical aesthetic practices. Chiaramonte has partnered with numerous respected facial plastic surgeons, as well as family practice physicians and independent advanced practice providers (APPs), by providing start-up capital, guidance and comprehensive oversight of their entry into the medical spa space.

Leslie E. Harmon, BSN, RN, CANS, CPSN, PSNCB Board Member

Leslie E. Harmon, BSN, RN, CANS, CPSN, PSNCB board member, is a certified plastic surgery nurse, is a certified aesthetic nurse specialist and serves on the Plastic Surgery Nurse Certification Board (PSNCB). Harmon is an active member of the International Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses and has vast knowledge and experience in plastic and cosmetic surgery care.

Erin Hennessey, ARNP, DNP

Erin Hennessey, ARNP, DNP, completed her advanced education with a doctorate in nursing practice with a specialized fellowship in dermatology from Case Western University. She is certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. A national trainer for MedAesthetics and a luminary for Sciton, Hennessey shares her expertise and techniques all over the United States. She is an active member of the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, AmSpa, Sigma Theta Tau, and the Dermatology Nurses Association.

Joshua Davis, RN, BSN

Joshua Davis, aka “Tox” Josh, received his bachelor of science in nursing from Belmont University and a bachelor of musical arts degree from Vanderbilt University. His past experiences include multi-specialty critical care, trauma intensive care, cardiac critical care, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and aesthetics/cosmetic dentistry. In addition to an impressive educational and medical background, Davis has an artistic eye for aesthetics and takes pride in providing the best services to his clients. He describes himself as an artist, an educator and a perfectionist. 

Lynn Heublein

Lynn Heublein is the CEO and co-founder of SkinSpirit Holdings, LLC. Heublein launched SkinSpirit in 2003 with Dr. M Dean Vistnes, MD—a Stanford-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon—as the first of its kind to offer comprehensive medical aesthetic services. Today, SkinSpirit is the top provider of Botox and dermal fillers in the United States, with locations in California, Texas, Utah and Washington. Heublein is also the chairwoman of Foxeye Robotics, a company focused on automation within the beauty category. Prior to SkinSpirit, she served as president and COO of Hearme.com, EVP of business development and co-founder of Catapult Entertainment, VP of marketing at THQ and brand manager at Procter and Gamble. Heublein received a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Washington and an MBA from Stanford University.

Maegen Kennedy, PA-C 

Maegen Kennedy, PA, has more than 11 years of experience in integrative family medicine and medical and aesthetic dermatology. Her approach to aesthetics focuses on “facial micro-optimization,” where minor changes are made to improve one’s overall appearance in a subliminal way. She was hand-selected to be a national trainer for Galderma. In 2019, she went to Galderma’s manufacturing warehouse in Uppsala, Sweden, to sit on its elite advisory board. Through advisory boards, on-stage lectures and peer-to-peer trainings, she is helping shape the future of the aesthetic industry. Her training takes her around the country to collaborate with top plastic surgeons, integrative family physicians, dermatologists and like-minded aesthetic providers. She is passionate about the patient experience and results, along with teaching other health care professionals the art, education, and safety of aesthetic and wellness medicine.

Grace Mclaurin, PA-C 

Grace Mclaurin, PA-C, has 23 years of experience as a physician assistant, and has extensive experience in internal medicine, women’s health, bio-identical hormone replacement, thyroid disorders, and non-surgical aesthetics. She founded Vitality Anti-Aging Center in 2006 because she felt a more integrative approach to health and wellness was her passion. She has special advanced skills in non-surgical aesthetics. She has extensive experience with multiple laser devices, neurotoxins, dermal fillers, skin care, vein therapy, PRP, Novathreads and more. She is a certified instructor for Allergan—the makers of Botox, Juvederm, Kybella, and SkinMedica. She has trained more than 3,000 providers in laser, injectables, hormones, thread lifts, vaginal rejuvenation, PRP and more. She is licensed to practice in North Carolina and maintains her certification through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. She is an active member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, ACAPA and North Carolina Medical Society. She is also a partner in Vitality Surgical Center and V-Infusion Hydration Center.

Gerrie M. Obi, MSN, ARNP, AGPCNP-BC, CPSN, ISPAN-F

Gerrie M. Obi, MSN, ARNP, AGPCNP-BC, CPSN, ISPAN-F, brings more than three decades of plastic and aesthetic experience. She earned a master’s degree in nursing with a specialty in adult and geriatric primary care. Obi is a master level injector and has held positions in several of the major aesthetic corporations serving as an educator and physician liaison, providing clinical and scientific support for various products. Obi is also an international trainer; she trains the trainers as well as other master injectors, both nationally and internationally. She was the first Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse (CPSN) in Northeast Florida and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses (ISPAN). Obi has trained thousands of aesthetic providers globally over the past decades, as well as provided innovative aesthetic care in our area for countless patients.

Stanley Okoro, MD, FACS

Internationally renowned double board-certified Atlanta-based plastic surgeon Stanley Okoro, MD, FACS, graduated from Meharry Medical College, completed surgical training at Emory University, and then completed an additional three-year training in plastic and reconstructive Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He served in the U.S. Navy, achieving the rank of commander, and was the chief of plastic surgery. He is the medical director of Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Abuja Plastics, Amachi Medspa and Asuch Surgery Center. Dr. Okoro is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. He is a member of many prestigious and exclusive organizations in plastic surgery.

Chris C. Surek, DO

Chris C. Surek, DO, is a board-certified plastic surgeon and internationally recognized facial anatomist. He is an assistant professor of anatomy at Kansas City University and clinical assistant professor of plastic surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Surek is the founder and director of the Academy for Injection Anatomy, a comprehensive CME-accredited hands-on cadaver injection anatomy course. He specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face, breast and body, as well as non-invasive facial rejuvenation procedures. He has co-authored several book chapters and published original research in facial cosmetic surgery, facial anatomy and filler injection. Dr. Surek is also the co-author of Facial Volumization: An Anatomic Approach, an anatomy-based textbook for filler injections. He serves as a key opinion leader for several companies within the aesthetic industry and teaches cadaver-based facial anatomy courses nationally and internationally.

Hermine Warren, ARNP, DNP, CANS

Hermine Warren, ARNP, DNP, CANS, has been in nursing since 1974, with an advanced practice degree since 1980. She is an educational/clinical trainer both internationally and nationally, is a GenNOW and PALETTE faculty member, and has maintained a clinical practice in the non-surgical cosmetic subspecialty field since 2004. Also, she is co-faculty for Academy for Injection Anatomy with Dr. Chris Surek and George Baxter-Holder, ARNP, DNP, CANS. Warren graduated with her Master of Science in nursing from the University of Colorado in 1979 and her doctor of nursing practice from Walden University in 2014. She has been a member of Sigma Theta Tau since 1979 and a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society since 2013. She is also a published author within the aesthetic arena.