Sheila Campbell, Art Teacher

Kiddo! Business Partners in Action

Dr. Ashley Smith
 

During  the dark days of COVID, Dr. Ashley Smith never conceived of being one of Kiddo!’s top business partners. Back then – when grocery store lines snaked around stores’ perimeters, when folks walking on hiking trails masked up outside and kept far, far berths from anyone whose path they crossed, when Smith herself just barely managed to wedge open her business’ door and creep down to the parking lot lot outside the Southern Marin Dermatology Building and examine a few brave patients’ skin lesions outdoors – even making it to the next fiscal quarter, seemed iffy at best.

“COVID was stressful, for sure,” says Dr. Smith, who just this year upped her annual donation to place Southern Marin Dermatology at the School Partner level. “But by mid-May, we welcomed patients indoors for select cosmetic treatments, namely Botox appointments. And no joke, it was our busiest Botox month to date. Patients were so eager to do something to help them feel better.”


That enthusiasm from her patients is exactly why Smith entered the field of dermatology. Originally thinking she’d specialize in obstetrics and gynecology, Smith took a left turn into the halls of the dermatology wing after a rotation there showed her how different treating skin was.

“It’s a ‘happy specialty,’” says Smith. “We get to help people look and feel better every day.”

And since COVID couldn’t quash vanity – or anything more serious like skin cancers – Smith says that with the epidemic finally fading somewhat in the rearview mirror, the survival of her all-woman enterprise during one of the most trying times in history means it’s time to give back.

That “happy specialty” of dermatology is now helping not only her patients, but it’s helping children throughout the Mill Valley School District. Her philanthropic contribution is instrumental in shaping the educational landscape for young minds, and will leave a lasting impact on the community.

Of course, there’s a reason Smith chose Kiddo!. She has seen first hand the value Kiddo! has in the lives of her own two sons, who are in 2nd and 4th grade at Old Mill School.
“My kids love all the Kiddo! activities: music, art, PE,” she says. “We are so appreciative of all the ‘fun stuff’ that Kiddo! does, and it makes sense to support the people who help make it all happen.” [Click here to read the rest of the story!]
Growing up in the vibrant coastal town of Laguna Beach, California, Smith’s  journey to becoming a dermatologist was a blend of passion and practicality. Her academic pursuits led her to UC Berkeley for her undergraduate studies, where she majored in Biology. Later, she attended Saint Louis University for medical school and completed her Dermatology residency at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, followed by a prestigious Cosmetic Surgery Fellowship.

Smith eventually settled in Mill Valley with her husband Colin, a high school teacher, and her two sons. Their daily ritual of walking to school together symbolizes not only family bonding, but also Smith’s deep-rooted commitment to community involvement.

“My first job after 8 years in the Midwest was in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg,” says Smith. “I loved being back in the Bay Area, and I decided to open a dermatology practice in Marin since that’s where I dreamed of living.”

As a leading dermatologist, Ashley's practice thrives in Marin, offering a comprehensive range of medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology services. Her clinic serves as a sanctuary for patients seeking both essential medical treatments and rejuvenating cosmetic procedures.

“I really enjoy the visual nature of dermatology,” she says. “I love that dermatology combines men and women patients, all ages, mostly very healthy patients.”
Through her exemplary leadership and unwavering support, Ashley Smith continues to be a driving force for positive change, leaving an indelible mark on both the field of dermatology and children's education.