Bristol-Myers Squibb donates $4.3 million and melanoma program to AAD

                Dr Rigel 

By Darrell Rigel, MD, FAAD

In 1985, I helped launch the Academy’s free skin cancer screening program. Since its inception, AAD members have provided more than 2 million screenings and have saved many lives. The program has been such a stunning success and now we have the opportunity to extend our reach even further thanks to a generous donation from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

I’m delighted to announce that Bristol-Myers Squibb has donated its Melanoma Exposed™ program to the Academy. The donation, made through a charitable grant, will be used to increase public awareness of skin cancer--including melanoma--and expand the number of free skin cancer screenings across the country through the Academy’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ initiative. Bristol-Myers Squibb’s donation of Melanoma Exposed™, a public awareness campaign designed to raise awareness of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, will include a five-year contribution to the Academy totaling more than $4 million. This program will strengthen the Academy’s current skin cancer screening efforts, which have detected more than 238,000 suspicious lesions and 26,618 potential melanomas since 1985.

Click on the infographic above to download a PDF version.

Melanoma Exposed™ is perhaps best known for its partnership with professional football teams across the country. Dermatologists working with the program have provided free skin cancer screenings at pre-season and regular season football games in several cities. Coaches and players have also shown their support for the campaign by appearing in videos and other materials about the program, lending their celebrity to inform the public about the dangers of melanoma and the importance of early detection.

The Academy will integrate the Melanoma Exposed™ program into its national skin cancer screening program and re-brand all screenings as SPOTme™, a part of the Academy’s larger SPOT Skin Cancer™ initiative. 

The Academy’s experience with its Play Sun Smart™ program, a successful partnership with Major League Baseball and the MLB Player’s Association, should provide a valuable framework for expanding the program. In addition, programs like this show the world how involved dermatologists are in volunteerism.

The Academy will launch the SPOT me™ program this summer with a series of public screenings at NFL events:

Atlanta Falcons, Training Camp
Flowery Branch Training Camp Facility, Atlanta, Ga.
Friday, July 25 – Sunday, July 27
2:30 – 6:00 p.m. 

Chicago Bears Family Fest
Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.
Saturday, Aug. 2
– 9:00 p.m.

Dallas Cowboys, Home Opener & Rally Day
AT&T Stadium, Dallas, Texas
Sunday, Sept. 7
11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 8
10:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m.

As the program expands, we will encourage members to volunteer at SPOT me™ events. In addition, the Academy offers a wealth of free resources to help members conduct their own free screenings throughout the year. By ordering materials through the AAD website, the information about your free screening will automatically be advertised on the Academy’s website and toll-free hotline. You also can contribute to the program by making a donation through the Academy’s Support website.

Dr. Rigel is a clinical professor in the department of dermatology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York.

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“The Academy’s community involvement programs can help enrich our lives both professionally and personally. I am supporting the Academy’s SPOT Skin Cancer initiative by raising money to fund a shade structure at the Smithsonian National Zoo.

Protecting children’s skin while they play is important to me. With the Academy’s help, I am able to give back in ways that are meaningful to me and will make a lasting impact.”

– Suzanne Olbricht, MD, FAAD
Burlington, Mass.