April 29, 2005

General Inquiries:
WDS Offices

Media Inquiries:
Nancy FitzGerald
(760) 333-9296

Women’s Dermatologic Society to Launch National Sun Safety Program in 15 Cities thanks to $1,000,000 grant from 3M Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO – In response to the urgent need to curb the U.S. epidemic of skin cancer, the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) will launch a broad-based national campaign to promote sun safety in underserved communities, made possible by a 1 million dollar grant recently awarded by the 3M Foundation. "3M is pleased to partner with the Women's Dermatologic Society to increase awareness of the importance of sun safety and proper skin health care,” comments Dr. Alex Cirillo, Vice President, Community Affairs & Workforce Diversity and 3M Foundation.

The campaign, “Families Play Safe in the Sun” will provide skin health awareness and education to families and students in fifteen targeted U.S. cities, utilizing a volunteer cadre from 1,200 WDS dermatologists based in cities across the nation. This community service program will mobilize the national group’s dermatologist members to reach out into the communities in which they live in a concerted effort to help prevent skin cancer and promote sun safety in diverse populations.

According to Jean Bolognia, MD President of the Women’s Dermatologic Society, the WDS campaign will provide a wide range of educational and outreach programs, including free skin cancer screenings, coordinated with major community events and school programs in fifteen cities across the U.S. over the next three years. Uniquely designed to meet the needs and interests of each local community, “Families Play Safe in the Sun” will offer dynamic programs and activities to help spread the message of sun safety and proper skin health care. The effort will be led by participating WDS dermatologists.

The significance of the WDS “Families Play Safe in the Sun” campaign is demonstrated by the fact that the incidence of skin cancer is rising in the United States, with an estimated one million new cases of skin cancer expected to be diagnosed in 2005. Alarmingly, skin cancer is now the leading form of cancer for young women, ages 25-29. Overexposure to the sun is the primary and most preventable cause of skin cancer, underscoring the need for heightened awareness and the need to be proactive. Comments Dr. Bolognia, “With thanks to the vision and generosity of the 3M Foundation, the Women’s Dermatologic Society will be able to reach out to underserved communities to help educate, empower and encourage people of all ages to make sun safety a way of life.”

More information about the WDS “Families Play Safe in the Sun” national campaign and a full featured interactive website for all ages will be coming soon, so bookmark this page and check back in a few weeks.

For further information about Women’s Dermatologic Society, visit:

Contact (General Inquiries): WDS Offices at 1-877-WDS-ROSE (937-7673)
Contact (Media Inquiries): Nancy FitzGerald, Director of Communications at (760) 333-9296

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.