July 20, 2005

General Inquiries:
WDS Offices

Media Inquiries:
Nancy FitzGerald
(760) 333-9296


100 combined hours of volunteer service reaching out to families at public events

WDS launched the "Families Play Safe in the Sun" Educational Outreach Program in Boston June 30-July 2. Spearheading the effort is Dr. Suzanne Connolly, chair of the WDS Service Committee, shown here applying sunscreen and sharing the importance of sun safety.

(Boston--July 18, 2005)— In two days of community service that marked the national launch of a fifteen-city, three-year Sun Safety tour, a dedicated corps of members of the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) recently volunteered a combined total of 100 hours in Boston, interacting with an estimated 10,000 people in public events at the Boston Harborfest and the New England Aquarium.

Fueled by their mission to “educate, encourage and empower” young families and children about sun safety and promote good skin health, WDS members provided large quantities of resource materials, free sunscreen, UV reflectance camera photographs, Dermascan assessments and various sun safety activities for children. This community service effort, called “Families Play Safe in the Sun” is made possible through a $1,000,000 grant from the 3M Foundation.

Highlights from the Boston campaign launch include:

  • 10,000 packets of sunscreen were distributed
  • 1,000 individuals underwent skin assessments using the Dermascan and/or UV reflectance camera
  • 250 school-aged children participated in the Families Play Safe in the Sun safety quiz and national coloring contest
  • 1,000 Sun Safety resource brochures were given to interested exhibition visitors
  • A combined total of 100 volunteer hours by Women’s Dermatologic Society members
  • In this community outreach, collaborations were formed with the Sun Protection Foundation, Massachusetts Melanoma Foundation, and Greater Boston Dermatology Nurses Association
  • Community, civic and local/national dermatologic leaders convened to brainstorm about future efforts in the Boston area to further heighten awareness about sun safety for families and school children

The Families Play Safe in the Sun in Boston volunteer team included: Suzanne Connolly, M.D., Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, who leads the WDS national community service effort; WDS President Jean Bolognia, M.D., Professor of Dermatology, Yale University, and WDS Foundation President Janet Hickman, M.D., a private practice dermatologist in Lynchburg, VA. The following Greater Boston-area WDS members supported the local outreach activities: Marie-France Demierre, M.D, and Suzanne Olbricht, M.D., who co-hosted the Boston effort; Sonia Batra, M.D., M.P.H.; Eva Balash, M.D.; Lynne Goldberg, M.D.; Alexandra Kimball, M.D., M.P.H.; Karen McKoy, M.D.; Suzanne Mosher, M.D.; Karen Rothman, M.D.; Sandy Tsao, M.D., and Winona Wong, M.D., PhD.

Additional volunteer support was offered by Maryellen Maguire-Eisen, RN, Founder of the Sun Protection Foundation, who provided the UV reflectance camera and assistance during Harborfest, and Deb Girard, Executive Director, Massachusetts Melanoma Foundation. Also helping the WDS dermatologists were Dermatology Nurses Association members Maura Flynn, R.N., and Cynthia Louko, R.N., along with Jenny Berger, B.S., M.A., Karla Nicole Munoz, B.S.; and Michelle Bush, M.D.. Joan Faulkner, of 3M Pharmaceuticals helped with the outreach effort as well.

By all measurements, the inaugural outreach of Families Play Safe in the Sun was a great success, according to WDS Service Committee Chair Dr. Connolly, not only in view of the “vast numbers of people served through this sun safety education service, but also taking into consideration the quality of many meaningful interactions with young children and people who genuinely needed to learn more about sun safety.” In her words, “We are delighted with the Boston community service experience, and very grateful to the many professionals who volunteered their time and energies to help us achieve our goals for this first local effort in our 3-year campaign.”

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 events were provided by Del-Ray Dermatologicals, La Roche-Posay, Procter & Gamble, and Schering-Plough, which also furnished a Dermascan during the Boston community outreach, and Sun Precautions. The UV Reflectance camera was 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.