Local resident steps in to support community smart sun habits

Each month, the Community Service team at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, learns about a different community service activity being performed faculty, staff and students at the Penn State Hershey campus. At a recent monthly meeting, information was shared about the donation of the Smart Sun Shade Structure.

A generous gift from Jeanne Arnold recently provided the community with a Smart Sun Shade Structure located at the end of the Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail, just off Middletown Road in Derry Township. The project was facilitated by Michael Ioffreda, staff physician in Penn State Hershey Dermatology, in conjunction with Derry Township and as inspired by the American Academy of Dermatology’s Shade Structure Program. A sizeable gazebo is now available for generations to enjoy a family picnic or activity protected from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., and one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in his or her lifetime. An estimated 9,000 Americans died of melanoma-type skin cancer in 2009; this is roughly one person per hour. Ultraviolet radiation has been shown to be the highest risk factor for skin cancer, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently designated UV radiation from the sun (as well as artificial sources) as a known carcinogen (cancer-causing substance).

To this end, Penn State Hershey Dermatology advocates Smart Fun in the Sun by:

  • generous use of broad-spectrum sunscreens;
  • wearing protective clothing when possible;
  • getting vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements;
  • protecting children from sun exposure by playing in the shade; and
  • seeking shade, especially from the mid-day sun.
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Last Updated March 21, 2011