20 April 2012

Making the outdoors safer: American Academy of Dermatology awards shade structure grants

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (April 23, 2012) —In an effort to encourage communities across the country to protect themselves from the sun and prevent skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) today announced that it has awarded grants for the purchase of shade structures to 18 organizations. This announcement coincides with the National Program for Playground Safety’s “Playground Safety Week,” which promotes safe playground areas, including the importance of shade. Since 2000, the Academy has awarded more than 264 shade structure grants to organizations across the country. These shade structures provide shade for more than 563,955 individuals each day.

“As a type of cancer that has a known cause — overexposure to ultraviolet radiation — skin cancer is a highly preventable disease,” said dermatologist Daniel M. Siegel, MD, FAAD, president of the Academy. “Seeking shade is a simple way to reduce your risk of skin cancer, along with applying sunscreen and wearing sun-protective clothing.”

More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed annually. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Incidence rates for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have been increasing for at least 30 years. Melanoma is now the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old, and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.

The Academy awarded its 2012 AAD Shade Structure Program grants to the following organizations:

  • Arrowhead Elementary, Glendale, Ariz. 
    Sponsored by:  Keith Haar, MD, FAAD
  • Ascension Lutheran Day School, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
    Sponsored by: Dr. Lisa Woolf, MD, FAAD
  • C. W. Cline Elementary, Friendswood, Texas
    Sponsored by: Denise Metry, MD, FAAD
  • City of Cloquet Park Commission, Cloquet, Minn.
    Sponsored by: Michael Bayer, MD, FAAD
  • Cornerstone Elementary PTA, Sugar Land, Texas
    Sponsored by: Cecelio Enrique Batres, MD, FAAD
  • Discovery Time Child Care, Tempe, Ariz.
    Sponsored by: Melissa Linton, MD, FAAD
  • Easter Seals Blake Foundation (Children's Achievement Center), Tucson, Ariz.
    Sponsored by: James Schwartz, DO, FAAD
  • Florida Disabled Outdoors Association, Tallahassee, Fla.
    Sponsored by: Bhavik Soni, MD, FAAD
  • Helen Ball Elementary School, El Paso, Texas
    Sponsored by:  Hector Franco, MD, FAAD
  • John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Billerica, Mass.
    Sponsored by: A. David Simkin, MD, FAAD
  • Lake Country Lions Club, British Columbia, Canada
    Sponsored by: Carmel Anderson, MD, FAAD
  • Mission Children's Hospital/Mission Healthcare Foundation, Asheville, N.C.
    Sponsored by: Lisa May, MD, FAAD
  • Nevada Children's Center, Las Vegas, Nev.
    Sponsored by: Dr. Gary Stevens Markewich, MD, FAAD
  • Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office, Nevada City, Calif.
    Sponsored by: Haines Ely, MD, FAAD
  • Twin Lakes Sports Park, Bloomington, Ind.
    Sponsored by: Carrie Davis, MD, FAAD
  • Unlimited Play in partnership with St. Charles City Parks and Rec. Department, St. Charles, Mo.
    Sponsored by: Elaine Siegfried, MD, FAAD
  • William Penn Elementary School, Bethlehem, Pa.
    Sponsored by: David Vasily, MD, FAAD
  • Young Mariners Foundation, Stamford, Conn.
    Sponsored by: Severine Chavel, MD, FAAD
“The Academy is proud to recognize these organizations, which have demonstrated a commitment to sun safety,” said Dr. Siegel. “Combined, these shade structures will be used by more than 5,455 individuals every day. The Academy is proud to work with these organizations to reinforce the importance of protecting the skin when outdoors.”

The Academy’s Shade Structure Program was founded in 2000. Academy members 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 non-profit organizations that serve children and teens under the age of 18 and incorporate sun safety into their activities. Grants are available for permanent shade structures over outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun, such as playgrounds, pools, eating areas and other locations. The Academy’s Shade Structure Grant Program is financially supported by member contributions.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy 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 Academy at 1 (888) 462-DERM (3376) or visit Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology) or Twitter (@AADskin).