Sun & Skin News

Goal Met! 1,500+ Free Screenings this Spring and Summer

By Victoria Kopec • September 12, 2023

It’s been a smashing summer for the Destination Healthy Skin free skin cancer screening and education program. During July, we traveled up the west coast before heading back east in August where we ended the month by surpassing our 2023 goal of 1,500 free screenings. And we’re not done yet! 

From May 6 through August 25, our amazing volunteer dermatologists screened a total of 1,628 people. The doctors identified 687 potential skin cancers and precancers, including 42 suspected melanomas. They also spotted 163 atypical moles, a risk factor for melanoma. Participants with atypical moles were cautioned to keep a close eye on their skin. 

Providing this vital public health service has undoubtedly saved lives. During every event along our route, participants have told us that they wouldn’t have gotten screened this year if we weren’t in town. One young woman summed it up nicely by saying, “The peace of mind was worth the drive. 

Out West in July  

Amid scorching 110-degree heat in Tempe, Arizona, two volunteer dermatologists had a very cool brotherly competition to see who could screen the most people. Game on! 

On day one, Dathan Hamann, MD, screened 73 people and the next day, his brother, Carsten Hamann, MD, beat that total by screening 96 and emerged victorious. We also welcomed interns from our wonderful sponsor, EltaMD Skin Care, to help us provide educational materials and product samples to event participants.  

In Encinitas, California, we set up our RV in a busy area bustling with restaurants and shops, right next to the beautiful beach. At one point the wait time was nearly two hours! Many participants recognized volunteer dermatologist Melanie Palm, MD, from a news appearance she did earlier in the week promoting the event. Over the course of two days, the Encinitas physicians screened 85 participants and spotted 27 potential skin cancers and precancers. 

Meanwhile, a Friday morning news program generated a lot of interest for our Seattle events. The line outside the RV started three hours before we opened! Gail de Imus, MD, Margaret Mioduszewski, MD and Erin Moore, MD worked together to screen as many people as possible. On the second day, Steven Greene, MD, brought two volunteers to help out. In total, the Seattle team screened 116 participants, identifying 38 potential skin cancers and precancers. 

Heading Eastward in August

We were excited to hold our first-ever events in Idaho Falls, Idaho, with some enthusiastic new volunteer physicians. Day two was super busy, with a consistent line of about 20 people waiting to be screened all day. The doctors screened 104 people and discovered 65 potential skin cancers and precancers.

Afterwards, we moved on to the picturesque Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah, where we screened and educated a steady stream of resort employees and guests. A few people drove over an hour to participate. The busy Sundance event totals were remarkable: 103 people screened and 104 potential skin cancers and precancers identified! 

Into the Home Stretch 

August highlights included events at the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts Training Camp on August 16 and 17, marking the fourth year that our program has come to Grand Park. For two afternoons, our volunteer dermatologists, led by C. William Hanke, MD, screened a total of 70 people, identifying 23 potential skin cancers and precancers, including 1 suspected melanoma.  

“The Colts Training Camp is a high traffic venue and we can have a significant impact here,” explained Dr. Hanke. “We screen people who might otherwise never see a dermatologist and it’s a fact that we save lives.” 

In Rochester, New York, steady rain and wind did not stop people from coming to get screened. Excitement was in the air on the first morning, while Clayton Greene, MD, and Kathleen Mannava, MD, worked together to hit our goal for the 2023 season, with our 1,500th free screening. On the second day, Chris Richardson, MD, and Alice Pentland, MD, combined to screen 95 participants in a single day. 

From Rochester, we stopped in three locations in Ohio, before heading to our final events in Louisville and Nashville, where we will close out the season on September 9.  

Grateful for You

Every mile we travel makes a difference in the fight against skin cancer. We couldn’t do it without your help! Thank you for following us as we travel around the country, sharing our updates and supporting the program. Today and every day, we are grateful for you.  

Check our schedule | Read the FAQ | Share on social media | Support the journey  

Check out our favorite July photos so far: 

Make a Donation
Find a Dermatologist

Recommended Products