Newswise — SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (April 23, 2014) — In an effort to provide children and adolescents more opportunities to play outside while being protected from the sun’s dangerous rays, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) has awarded 22 organizations with Shade Structure Grants. Since its founding in 2000, the Academy’s Shade Structure Grant Program has awarded more than 300 shade structure grants to organizations across the country. These structures provide shade for more than half a million individuals each day.

“Since unprotected sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, seeking shade is a simple way to reduce your risk of skin cancer,” said board-certified dermatologist Brett M. Coldiron, MD, FAAD, president of the Academy. “The Academy is proud to work with these organizations and encourage the public to protect their skin when outdoors – which includes seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen.”

Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, 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 2014 AAD Shade Structure grants to the following organizations:

• Boys & Girls Clubs of Cypress, Cypress, CaliforniaSponsored by: Elisa Yoo, MD, FAAD

• Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, Sarasota, FloridaSponsored by: Heidi Anderson, MD, FAAD

• Bridlewood Bridlewaves Swim Team, Gainesville, VirginiaSponsored by: Cuong Ha, MD, FAAD

• City View Elementary School, Wichita Falls, TexasSponsored by: Linda Reinhardt, MD, FAAD

• Courtney’s SandCastle Universal Access Playground, San Clemente, CaliforniaSponsored by: Maryam Moinfar, MD, FAAD

• Del Dayo Elementary School PTO, Carmichael, California Sponsored by: Peter J. Lynch, MD, FAAD

• First Steps at Monarch Montessori of Denver, Denver, ColoradoSponsored by: Arun Pathy, MD, FAAD

• Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, Baltimore, MarylandSponsored by: Barbara Honig, MD, FAAD

• Kasson School Parent-Teacher Organization, Moatsville, West VirginiaSponsored by: Charles Franz, MD, FAAD

• Lake Wylie Elementary, Charlotte, North CarolinaSponsored by: Meredith Dasher, MD, FAAD

• Little Dixie Community Action Agency, Inc., Idabel, OklahomaSponsored by: Phillip Bandel, MD, FAAD

• London Community Organization/London Municipal Pool, London, OhioSponsored by: Angela Shen, MD, FAAD

• Millard Hawk Primary School, Central Square, New YorkSponsored by: Ibrahim Tangoren, MD, FAAD

• Morgan Elementary School, Clemmons, North CarolinaSponsored by: Wesley Hawfield, MD, FAAD

• North Topsail Elementary School PTA, Hampstead, North CarolinaSponsored by: James Appel, MD, FAAD

• Oak Grove Elementary School, Lexington, South CarolinaSponsored by: Jim Chow, MD, FAAD

• Olde Providence Elementary School, Charlotte, North CarolinaSponsored by: David Schulman, MD, FAAD

• RSU 18 Atwood Primary School, Oakland, MaineSponsored by: Peter H. Bouman, MD, FAAD

• Sandstone Elementary PTA, Billings, MontanaSponsored by: Roberta Hawk, MD, FAAD

• Tice Elementary, Houston, TexasSponsored by: Paula Leis, MD, FAAD

• Wayne Township Preschool, Indianapolis, IndianaSponsored by: Robert McCallister, MD, FAAD

• YMCA of Broward County-Weston YMCA Family Center, Weston, FloridaSponsored by: Quang Le, MD, FAAD

“All 22 of these organizations have demonstrated their commitment to sun safety,” said Dr. Coldiron. “Younger individuals are especially vulnerable to the sun’s damaging rays because of the amount of time they spend outdoors. Combined, these shade structures will provide shade for more than 8,200 individuals every day.”

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 the Academy and its members’ contributions. This program is part of the Academy’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 (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 Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology) or Twitter (@AADskin).