Sun & Skin News

1,845 Free Skin Cancer Screenings in 2023

By Victoria Kopec • October 16, 2023
Destination Healthy Skin RV

Our Destination Healthy Skin free skin cancer screening and education program has wrapped up another eventful season, with 1,845 free screenings in the books.

Each year, the program brings hope and progress in the fight against skin cancer, helping thousands of people along the way. Here are the final numbers for 2023: 

  • 9,800 miles traveled by our custom RV with two private exam rooms 
  • 42 events around the country 
  • 1,845 free skin cancer screenings provided by 66 volunteer dermatologists 
  • 788 potential skin cancers and precancers identified by our dermatologists, including 44 suspected melanomas 
  • 168 potential atypical moles identified. These moles are a risk factor for melanoma
  • 6,200+ people received free educational materials, skin care and sun protection products 

14 Years of Free Screenings and Skin Cancer Education 

We began this program in 2008 and have hosted 796 free screening and education events around the country. During this time: 

  • 29,124 people have had free skin exams performed by volunteer dermatologists 
  • 11,794 suspected cancers and precancers—including 529 suspected melanomas – have been identified 
  • 103,000+ people have attended the events

Closing Out the 2023 Season  

We stopped at three locations in Ohio – Cleveland, Bellefontaine and Dayton – before heading down to Louisville, KY and then Nashville, TN, where we held our final events of 2023.  

At all three Ohio events, we were grateful to have melanoma warrior Leah Alexis Adams come by to lend a hand.  “It was an awesome experience to help and share my story with melanoma with others while educating people in my state on the importance of skin checks and being your own best health advocate,” she told us.   

Our Bellefontaine event was a busy one, located outside a local hospital. Our volunteer dermatologist, Michael Conroy, MD, and his team screened a steady stream of participants. 

One participant told us that his best friend’s diagnosis of ocular melanoma motivated him to get screened. He was worried about a black mole on his leg. The doctor suspected that the mole was a melanoma and scheduled an appointment to get it biopsied.   

Saving Lives, One Mile at a Time 

We are passionate about this program, and each year, our final few stops are both busy and bittersweet. Our location near a YMCA in Louisville made for a bustling event, with 100 participants on the first day. Big thanks to Virginia Kartha, MD, for volunteering to screen and educate patients. At Centennial Park in Nashville, our volunteer dermatologist Nashay Clemetson, MD, provided the final screenings of the season in a beautiful setting. 

Even though we’ve just completed the 2023 season, planning for next year is already underway! We’re eager to get back on the road to provide more free screenings and education in communities around the country. Our ultimate goal is healthy skin for all!  

What People Are Saying 

Destination Healthy Skin is one of our most important educational programs — an opportunity to make a face-to-face connection with people all over the country and spread our lifesaving messages about skin cancer prevention and the importance of early detection. Here’s what some of our participants said about their experience:

“I’m so grateful all of this is free.” (Idaho Falls, ID) 

“I want to prevent skin cancer and learn new ways to better care for my skin, gaining knowledge I can impart to my daughter.” (New York, NY)   

“Today was an informative opportunity to assess my skin health and potential concerns, and also take preventative actions.” (Panama City Beach, FL) 

“Great for people who may not be able to afford regular visits with a dermatologist.” (Tempe, AZ) 

Powered by You 

Each year, this lifesaving program is powered by the generosity of our sponsors and people like you. We are grateful to our 2023 sponsors – EltaMD Skin Care; Bristol Myers Squibb; dsm-firmenich; Genentech, a Member of the Roche Group; Sun Bum; Merck & Co., Inc.; The Lynne Waxman Foundation; and The Sunshine Foundation – for all of their help to make Destination Healthy Skin possible. 

And to every single person who donated to support the program – THANK YOU for keeping this lifesaving program on the road.  

Support the 2024 journey  

We hope you enjoyed following us as we traveled around the country. Here’s a collection of images from the final stretch of our 2023 Destination Healthy Skin program. 


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