(October 18, 2006Austin, TX) Under a bright Texan sun, among bustling crowds of 250,000 Texas students, families and individuals, sun safety awareness reached record heights at the recent Old Pecan St. Fall Arts Festival in Austin, presented by local volunteer members of the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS). Through its national campaign, Families Play Safe in the Sun, the acclaimed WDS educational outreach provided free skin cancer screenings, dermatologic assessments, sun safety educational materials, sunscreen and children’s activities to thousands during the busy two-day event. Geared for families with a message of sun protection on a year-round basis for people of all ages and skin types, this local effort reached many people who were “first-timers” in the use of regular skin protective measures and skin cancer screenings.
Austin served as the ninth stop of a highly successful 15-city, three-year tour of the Women’s Dermatologic Society’s national sun safety educational campaign, which is made possible through a $1,000,000 grant from the 3M Foundation. This family and youth-oriented community outreach recently won the prestigious Gold Triangle award from the American Academy of Dermatology. The Austin event was co-hosted by WDS members and Board-certified private practice dermatologists Toni Funicella, MD, (Austin) and Lisa Garner, MD (Garland).
To help reinforce the importance of sun safety practices in the sun-drenched state Capital, Austin Mayor Will Wynn declared September 30, 2006 as “Families Play Safe in the Sun Day" throughout the city. Highlights from the active Austin event include:
- Volunteers conducted 214 cancer screenings, with 32% of individuals referred for further diagnosis/biopsy.
- Festival visitors received a two-day record of 17,000 free sunscreen samples.
- Volunteers provided a record-breaking 1052 dermatologic assessments utilizing Dermascan machines.
- 29 parents and teachers signed up for the WDS “Adopt-a-School” program, providing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Sun-Wise Kit to educators, which can be paired with a local WDS dermatologist who may volunteer in the schools and after-school programs.
The following WDS members volunteered their time to present this local event: Toni Funicella, MD (Co-Chair); Lisa Garner, MD (Co-Chair); Suzanne Connolly, WDS Service Committee Chair; Dayna Diven, MD; Susan Dozier, MD; Janet Dubois, MD; Robert Jackson, MD; Steven Rasmussen, MD; Jason Reichenberg, MD; and Renee Snyder, MD.
Additional support was provided by: Linda Rutsch, representing the Environmental Protection Agency; Shirien Coover, PA-C; Jennifer Jordan, PA-C; Kelly Webb, PA-C; and Annette West, PA-C. Corporate representatives Sandy Bruskewitz (3M Corporation) and Galderma representatives Matthew Moncada and Barbara Richardson also gave hands-on help with the outreach. Both of the co-hosts’ daughters, Carter Craig and Katy Garner, worked many hours at the busy tent.
In addition to generous funding from the 3M Foundation, product donations were provided by Coolibar; Del-Ray Dermatologicals; Dermatologic Cosmetic Laboratories; Ortho Neutrogena; Procter & Gamble; Schering-Plough; Skyrad; and Starberry, Ltd. DermaScans were furnished by Schering-Plough.
The WDS campaign draws from its 1,200 members nationally to provide volunteer support in local communities to reach out to diverse populations to heighten sun safety awareness and healthy skin practices among families. “Families Play Safe in the Sun Day" will announce its 2007 USA Tour schedule soon. For further information, please visit: www.playsafeinthesun.org or www.womensderm.org.
| | For further information about Women’s Dermatologic Society, visit:
Contact Kerry Parker, Executive Director, at 1-877-WDS-ROSE
The Women's Dermatologic Society supports the careers and professional development of women dermatologists. The mission of the Women’s Dermatologic Society is to help women in dermatology achieve their greatest personal and professional potential by striving to: foster, promote, and support women’s issues in dermatology; identify, train, and recognize women leaders in dermatology; and provide a forum for developing relationships.