Anita Saluja, MD, FAAD will receive the Kenneth J. Shouldice Professional Achievement Award at the annual Alumni Awards Reception during Great Lake State Weekend on Saturday, October 14. The Shouldice Award, established in 1994, honors individuals whose personal and professional successes serve as outstanding examples to LSSU graduates. Dr. Shouldice is, in many ways, the founding father of today’s Lake Superior State University. As the first chancellor and president (1965-1982), he guided the campus from a two-year branch of Michigan Technological University to an autonomous four-year college. Saluja is married to Raj Gutta, an emergency medicine physician, and they have two children, son Sajan (22), daughter Priya (19).
Saluja is the daughter of long-time LSSU professor emeritus, Madan Saluja and his wife Karuna Saluja, who is a retired school teacher. Her family ran a summer gift shop and at an early age she would compute the customers’ bills in her head. Her parents realized she needed math classes that were more advanced. She started as a student at LSSU when she was just 10 years old, and graduated in 1992 summa cum laude with a BS in Mathematics at the age of 15.
“The time I spent at LSSU was the best time of my life,” commented Saluja. “There was a sense of community. The professors were hands on, the classes were small, and my fellow students were friendly and focused. It was a supportive learning environment.” It would only seem fitting that Anita is this year’s recipient of the Shouldice Award, as she went on to said, “I loved my study sessions in the Shouldice library, often staying there until close. Also, the Norris Center recreation sessions could not be beat! The best part is that I left LSSU fully prepared.”
Following her graduation from LSSU, she transitioned from studying numbers to studying medicine. Saluja earned her medical degree at the age of 20 from The University of Michigan, where she was a member of the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. After her internship, Saluja received three years of dermatology specialty training at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, helping her become an expert dedicated to skin. Additionally, she is board-certified in dermatology by the American Board of Dermatology since 2001, and is also an Assistant Volunteer Professor at the University of Central Florida School of Medicine.
Saluja moved to Melbourne, Florida in 2001, where she was fortunate to be part of physician owned multi-specialty group MIMA (Melbourne Internal Medicine Associates) for 11 years. After MIMA was acquired by Health First healthcare system, she continued for another 4 years. In March 2017, she founded her modern, synergistic dermatology practice, Dermatology + Plastic Surgery in Melbourne, FL, alongside her partner and fellow LSSU grad, plastic surgeon Rebecca (Johnson) Novo, MD ‘04. They are two specialist physicians with one shared mission — to help patients achieve their best selves through prevention, treatment and maintenance.
Saluja has been the number one volume and experienced Botox, filler, and Sculptra injector in central Florida and in the top 100 in the United States for years. The practice serves 23,000 patients and has grown to a team of 50. Three years ago, the practice joined Forefront Dermatology, a leading dermatology group practice with 225+ locations and 250+ dermatologists in 26 states.
Additionally, Saluja enjoys being involved in her Brevard County, FL community, especially with charities benefiting women and children. She is a long-time supporter of Candlelighters of Brevard, a nonprofit offering assistance to children with cancer and their families. Recently, this year, Dermatology + Plastic Surgery was the presenting sponsor for Wine, Women, and Shoes Space Coast benefiting weVenture Women’s Business Center, a nonprofit helping women entrepreneurs.