19 April 2018

American Academy of Dermatology awards 26 shade structure grants to protect America’s youth

ROSEMONT, Ill. (April 19, 2018) — Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and it only takes one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence to nearly double a person’s chance of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, later in life. To help protect children and adolescents from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, the American Academy of Dermatology has awarded Shade Structure grants to 26 schools and nonprofit organizations across the country.

Since its launch in 2000, the AAD’s Shade Structure Grant Program has awarded 368 shade structure grants. The structures supported by the program provide shade for more than 880,000 individuals each day.

“Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, and shade is such a simple way to reduce that risk starting at an early age,” says board-certified dermatologist Suzanne M. Olbricht, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD. “The AAD is proud to help these organizations provide permanent shade structures that allow children to play outdoors while staying safe from the sun’s harmful UV rays.”

In addition to seeking shade, the AAD recommends that everyone protect themselves from the sun by wearing protective clothing and applying a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

The AAD awarded its 2018 AAD Shade Structure grants to the following organizations:


  • Buhl Elementary School, Buhl, Ala.
    Sponsored by Karen Walker, MD, FAAD
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama Inc., Brookside, Ala.
    Sponsored by Robert Henderson Jr., MD, FAAD


  • Vistancia Elementary School, Peoria, Ariz.
    Sponsored by James Pehoushek, MD, FAAD
  •  Fremont Junior High School, Mesa, Ariz.
    Sponsored by James Young, MD, FAAD
  • Carson Junior High School, Mesa, Ariz.
    Sponsored by Howard Donsky, MD, FAAD
  •  Mountain View Preparatory School, Cottonwood, Ariz.
    Sponsored by Carin Cain, MD, FAAD


  • CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts, Van Nuys, Calif.
    Sponsored by Michael Lin, MD, FAAD
  • Del Rey Elementary School, Orinda, Calif.
     Sponsored by Maryam Asgari, MD, FAAD
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica, Santa Monica, Calif.
    Sponsored by Nita Patel, MD, FAAD
  • Cuyamaca College Child Development Center, El Cajon, Calif.
    Sponsored by Michael Thoene, MD, FAAD


  • Montrose Botanical Society, Montrose, Colo.
    Sponsored by Renata Raziano, MD, FAAD
  •  John McConnell Math and Science Center, Grand Junction, Colo.
    Sponsored by Amy Paul, MD, FAAD
  • Corpus Christi Catholic School, Colorado Springs, Colo.
    Sponsored by Christopher Sartori, MD, FAAD
  • Warren Tech High School, Lakewood, Colo.
    Sponsored by Harvey Arbuckle, MD, FAAD

District of Columbia

  • Robert Brent Elemenatary PTA, Washington, D.C.
    Sponsored by Scott Norton, MD, FAAD


  • Marco Island Academy, Marco Island, Fla.
    Sponsored by Daniel Wasserman, MD, FAAD
  • J.R. Arnold High School, Panama City Beach, Fla.
    Sponsored by Robert Siragusa, MD, FAAD


  • Island Pacific Academy, Kapolei, Hawaii
    Sponsored by Alex Carcamo, MD, FAAD


  • Gus and Flora Kerasotes YMCA, Springfield, Ill.
    Sponsored by Stephen Stone, MD, FAAD


  • Hannibal Regional Hospital, Hannibal, Mo.
    Sponsored by Linda Cooke, MD, FAAD

New Jersey

  • Seth Boyden Elementary Demonstration School, Maplewood, N.J.
    Sponsored by Michael Ehrenreich, MD, FAAD


  • City of Bethlehem Health Bureau, Bethlehem, Pa.
    Sponsored by David Vasily, MD, FAAD


  • Wilma Fisher Elementary Parent Teacher Association, Frisco, Texas
    Sponsored by Lucy Li, MD, FAAD
  • Oak Hill Elementary PTA, Austin, Texas
    Sponsored by Mary Ann Martinez, MD, FAAD
  • Holy Cross Christian Academy, Burleson, Texas
    Sponsored by Angela Shedd, MD, FAAD
  • Armed Services YMCA El Paso, El Paso, Texas
    Sponsored by Brett Ozanich, MD, FAAD

AAD member dermatologists play an integral role in the program by encouraging local organizations to apply for the grants and by writing letters of support, a requirement for consideration of applications. The program is open to nonprofit organizations that serve children and teens under the age of 18 and have incorporated a sun safety program into their activities for at least one year. Grants are available for permanent shade structures over outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun, such as playgrounds, pools and eating areas.

For organizations interested in offering a sun safety program, the AAD has developed a curriculum for 8- to 13-year-olds to promote healthy self-esteem through education about skin, hair and nails. The Good Skin Knowledge lesson plans and accompanying activities include sun safety education, which meets the Shade Structure Grant Program’s sun safety requirement when in place for one year prior to application.

The AAD’s Shade Structure Grant Program is financially supported by the AAD and its members’ contributions. This program is part of the AAD’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ campaign to create a world without skin cancer through public awareness, community outreach programs and services, and advocacy that promote the prevention, detection and care of skin cancer.

About the AAD
Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 19,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the AAD at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin) or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).

About SPOT Skin Cancer™
For more information on skin cancer prevention and detection, visit the AAD website There, you can also find instructions on how to perform a skin self-exam, download a body mole map for tracking changes in your skin, and find free SPOTme® skin cancer screenings in your area. SPOT Skin Cancer™ is the AAD’s campaign to create a world without skin cancer through public awareness, community outreach programs and services, and advocacy that promote the prevention, detection and care of skin cancer.