June 27, 2005

General Inquiries:
WDS Offices

Media Inquiries:
Nancy FitzGerald
(760) 333-9296


Campaign designed to educate, encourage and empower children and parents on sun safety

(June 27, 2005, Boston, Massachusetts--)
The Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) announces the national launch of “Families Play Safe in the Sun” in Boston on June 30, 2005, kicking off a fifteen-city, three-year sun safety educational outreach geared for students and families. This broad-based community service program, made possible by a $1,000,000 grant from the 3M Foundation, will feature WDS dermatologist volunteers drawn from a corps of 1,200 Society members nationwide.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will declare Thursday, June 30 as “Families Play Safe in the Sun” Day in recognition of the WDS efforts to raise awareness about sun safety among families and children through a series of public events in Boston and through the national campaign. Beginning with Children’s Day at the Boston Harborfest, from 10 am-3 pm, City Hall Plaza, WDS members will present an exhibition booth offering kid-friendly sun safety activities, educational materials, free sunscreen and opportunities to have photographs taken with a UV Reflectance camera, and assessment with a Dermascan machine. On Saturday, July 2, WDS dermatologic members from the Greater Boston area and the organization’s national leadership will offer educational activities, free to the public, at an exhibition booth at the New England Aquarium’s Harbor walkway, along the South Pier, from 10 am-4 pm.

About the program’s launch, WDS President Jean Bolognia, M.D., Professor of Dermatology, Yale University said, “We are proud to inaugurate our national campaign in Boston, where our members who are deeply committed to skin cancer prevention are eager to promote sun safety education in the community.” Suzanne Connolly, M.D., Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, who leads the WDS service effort, cites the program’s mission to “educate, encourage and empower” children and families regarding good skin health and sun safety. She comments, “It is our goal through Families Play Safe in the Sun to provide the tools, resources and ready volunteers who can support existing programs in the community and serve as catalysts for developing new opportunities to raise awareness about sun safety.”
The impetus for this program came from the continuing skin cancer statistics, which underscore the need for greater education among various populations, in light of these alarming facts:

  • Over one million new cases of skin cancer are projected this year;
  • One American dies every 68 minutes from melanoma;
  • Young women ages 25-29 have skin cancer as their leading form of cancer;
  • Five or more sunburns double the risk of developing melanoma;
  • Overexposure to the sun is the primary and most preventable cause of skin cancer;
  • Skin cancer can be highly treatable if caught early, but if left undetected, can be fatal.

In addition to generous funding from the 3M Foundation for the three-year “Families Play Safe in the Sun” campaign, product donations for the Boston event are provided by Del-Ray Dermatologicals and Schering-Plough, which also will make Dermascans available during the Boston community outreach. UV Reflectance camera provided courtesy of the Sun Protection Foundation.

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.