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2023 Alumni Awards

Distinguished Service Award

Ida Orengo, M.D. ’87, Res. ’91

Ida Orengo, M.D. ’87, Res. ’91, is professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine. She has been a practicing Mohs surgeon for over 31 years. Dr. Orengo established the first Mohs unit within a Veterans Affairs medical center in the country. Dr. Orengo was the medical director for Dermatology for over 10 years. During her career, she has received numerous awards, including being named as the Top Doctor in Cancer, the Women of Excellence Award (Baylor) and she also received the Director’s Award for Professional Leadership from the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC). Expanding the educational reach of Baylor, Dr. Orengo implemented the dermatologic surgery fellowship and obtained permanent funding support from the MEDVAMC. She has trained over fifteen surgical fellows who now work all over the United States as Mohs surgeons. For many years, Dr. Orengo was the course director for the Baylor medical student core dermatology program and the primary surgical educator for the Mohs fellowship and dermatology residency programs. For the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), Dr. Orengo was the course director for the following courses: (1) AAD Surgical Pearls and (2) AAD Basic Surgery Course. Dr. Orengo has published over 100 scientific papers and given over 300 international, national and local lectures. She has also participated in several key research studies, including a National Institutes of Health research grant on skin cancer and a VA Merit Review grant to study melanoma. Dr. Orengo describes her newest job as the chair of Dermatology as just the beginning of an amazing adventure. Her primary goal as chair will be to provide the leadership and focus to ensure that Baylor Dermatology will become one of the premiere dermatology departments in the country. To support this goal, Dr. Orengo would like to implement clinical and basic science research, enhance patient care, expand educational opportunities and increase the scope and efficiency of the department through innovation and collaboration. She has organized the dermatology department to continually improve educational, research and clinical goals, while still providing mentorship to faculty and staff, so that they can all achieve their professional goals and work in a harmonious, cohesive environment. Dr. Orengo graduated from Bellaire High School where she was named a Jesse Jones Scholar. As an undergraduate, she attended Rice University and graduated cum laude in Biochemistry. While at Rice, she worked with Dr. Fred Rudolph to characterize adenosine deaminase as her senior research project. She then attended Baylor College of Medicine and was inducted into the AOA Honor Society. During her medical school years, she focused on photobiology research with her mentor, Dr. Homer Black, and explored various interventions, which included diet modification, as well as the addition of Cox-2 inhibitors, to prevent skin cancer. Dr. Orengo completed her internship year in internal medicine at St. Luke’s Internal Medicine program in 1988. She then matched in Dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine, where she continued photobiology research with Dr. Black. During this time, Dr. Orengo decided to sub-specialize in Dermatologic surgery (Mohs) and was accepted to the Harvard Medical School Dermatology Surgery fellowship in 1991. Dr. Orengo is board certified in both dermatology and dermatologic surgery. Community service and giving back to the community is a compelling desire of Dr. Orengo. For many years, she has conducted skin cancer screenings in collaboration with many Houston organizations, including SEARCH Homeless and the VA Stand Down. Likewise, she has provided education to numerous elementary and middle school students on sun protection. She has also provided education and skin cancer screening to many businesses and sports organizations, including the Houston Astros and Aramco Oil. Dr. Orengo also regularly teaches and volunteers for her church. On a personal note, Dr. Orengo has been married to Ed Hanel for over 30 years and together they have four amazing children. Family is extremely important to Dr. Orengo. Dr. Orengo is from a family committed to medicine and public service. Of her six siblings, four are doctors including her twin sister, Silvia Orengo-Nania, M.D., who is also a faculty member at Baylor in the Department of Ophthalmology and her brother, James Orengo, M.D., Ph.D., who is also a faculty member at Baylor in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Orengo is proud to be an alumnus of Baylor College of Medicine. Baylor was her first choice for medical school, and she has always been grateful for the opportunity to attend Baylor. Dr. Orengo credits her experiences at Baylor as helping to shape her as the physician and leader that she has become today. As a part of the Baylor family, she plans to continue mentoring and training future students, residents and fellows, and well as new faculty, for many years to come. 

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