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Dermatology Academy Awards Shade Structure Grants
New York Ag Connection - 03/17/2017

Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. The American Academy of Dermatology has awarded shade structure grants to 26 schools and non-profit organizations across the country in order to protect children and adolescents from the sun's harmful rays.

Since its launch in 2000, the AAD's Shade Structure Grant Program has awarded 350 shade structure grants, which provide shade for more than 600,000 individuals each day.

"Skin cancer is highly preventable as we know overexposure to the sun is one of the primary causes and seeking shade is a simple way to reduce your risk of skin cancer," said board-certified dermatologist Henry W. Lim, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD. "The AAD is proud to recognize these organizations and their commitment to providing more opportunities for young people to enjoy the outdoors while being protected from the sun's dangerous UV rays."

To reduce the risk of skin cancer, the AAD recommends seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and applying a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher when outdoors.

The AAD awarded its 2017 AAD Shade Structure grants were made in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. In New York, awards were made to Bnos Leah Prospect Park, Brooklyn, sponsored by Sara Leah Tarsis, MD, FAAD; and The Friends of the Salamanca Youth Center, Inc., Salamanca, sponsored by Michael Nazareth, MD, PhD, 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 non-profit 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, eating areas and other locations.

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 qualifies for the sun safety awareness program when in place for a year prior to application for a shade structure grant.

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.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, 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 18,000 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.

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