Our Destination Healthy Skin RV is resting for the winter after spending five months on the road. From May to September 2022, the odometer clocked 12,000 miles. Thanks to the help of 51 volunteer dermatologists in 24 cities, The Skin Cancer Foundation provided 1,414 free skin cancer screenings. Here are some highlights from our final events of the season in August and September.
Heart of America (August 6-7)
Kansas City saw some determined participants who traveled up to three hours to get a screening! Among the 80 attendees, we had some visitors who happened upon the RV on their way to pick up prescriptions at CVS, while other folks had marked their calendar months beforehand and showed up early. Our volunteer dermatologists Nahid Shahrooz, MD, and James Griffith, MD, performed 24 screenings, identifying two suspected melanomas, eight suspected precancers and a suspected basal cell carcinoma.
Chicago’s Countryside (August 13-14)
In the suburb of Glencoe, Illinois, we welcomed 180 attendees to the RV. Participants heard about us during their travel to the beach and even as they visited their dentist’s office! A woman drove 27 miles from Elmhurst just to get her skin checked, while several local Glencoe Park employees also arrived for a screening. The event led to the discovery of three suspected precancers and a suspected melanoma among the 21 skin exams performed by our dermatologist Morayo Adisa, MD.
Meet Blue (August 17-18)
One of our most popular locations for screenings was the Indianapolis Colts Training Camp in Indiana.
“Each year, we at the Colts commit ourselves to the battle against all types of cancer, so we’re excited to partner with The Skin Cancer Foundation for Destination Healthy Skin at Colts Training Camp this summer,” said Ashley Powell, Colts Director of Community Relations. Powell urged fans take a moment to stop by and “learn the warning signs of skin cancer, where to get treatment and ways to reduce their risk.”
The fans listened—the screening events drew in hundreds of participants. Thanks to Skin Cancer Foundation Senior Vice President C. William Hanke, MD, who helped organize volunteers, four dermatologists performed 71 exams over two days: Chris I. Obeime, MD, Annette M. Dinneen, MD, Mina Swofford, MD, and Mike Crider, MD. They identified nine suspected basal cell carcinomas, four suspected squamous cell carcinomas, 20 suspected pre-cancers and one suspected melanoma!
It’s Only Fair (August 25-26)
It was a packed two days at the Minnesota State Fair with over 1,000 passersby at the RV. Thanks to an alert on the Minnesota State Fair website, we had a constant flow of participants eager to receive a free skin exam! Some of our 2021 participants arrived bright and early to be among the first screened. One shared their skin cancer history with us and stressed the importance of regular skin checks and sun protection.
A young girl expressed her gratitude for the free exam; she didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford a dermatologist visit. Our physicians Michelle A. Bussman, MD, Mohiba Tareen, MD, Julie S. Cronk, MD, Joe J. Shaffer, MD, and Mimi Cho, MD, performed 229 skin exams and found 74 suspected pre-cancers, nine suspected melanomas, 24 suspected basal cell carcinomas and 28 suspected squamous cell carcinomas bringing the total to 135 suspected precancers and cancers in Minneapolis alone!
Buckeye State (August 31 – September 1)
In London and Bellefontaine, Ohio, we welcomed guests who drove for up to two hours to get a skin cancer screening! Several participants learned about our arrival through Facebook events while others saw our “Free Skin Cancer Screening” flags while they were out running errands. The local hospital announced the events on social media and a dental office put up flyers for their patients to see. The local radio station and newspaper also promoted the events.
Michael P. Conroy, MD, screened 91 people and identified 12 suspected pre-cancers, 10 suspected basal cell carcinomas, two suspected squamous cell carcinomas and three suspected melanomas.
The City of Music (September 6)
News 2 Live Nashville announced our arrival, prompting several participants to come by our event at a local CVS pharmacy. One viewer sent her husband to get a concerning spot checked out, and a potential basal cell carcinoma was detected on his wrist! Physicians Aleta Simmons, MD, and Natalie Curcio, performed 18 skin exams, and identified three suspected precancers, three suspected basal cell carcinomas and two suspected squamous cell carcinomas.
Stopping for Some Tex-Mex (September 10-11)
Channel 13 News Houston, along with some local Facebook groups, spread the word about the final Destination Healthy Skin event of 2022. Among those who received screenings were CVS shoppers, joggers and flu shot patients. Dermatologists Helena Jenkinson, MD, and Farah K. Shah, MD, identified 25 suspected precancers and cancers, including seven basal cell carcinomas, 15 suspected pre-cancers, a suspected squamous cell carcinoma and two suspected melanomas!
We asked some of our final participants of the year, “What does a skin cancer screening mean to you?” Here’s what they had to say:
- “Very convenient! A skin screening is something I have put off doing.”
- “Always great to be screened! Thank you!”
- “So grateful, I am self-employed without standard insurance but value screening so much.”
- “Peace of mind, or addressing a problem early.”
- “Great service for people without health insurance! Thank you!”
- “Thank you! very thorough and very professional. Explained everything very clearly.”
- “One more way to ensure my long-term health.”
- “To be better informed and gain additional knowledge about keeping my skin healthy as I age.”
- “Extremely important to be screened. Health is everything.”
- “Thankful it’s an option!”
The 2022 Destination Healthy Skin program was made possible by generous support from CVS Pharmacy; EltaMD; DSM; Coolibar; EMD Serono and Pfizer; Genentech, a member of the Roche Group; an independent grant from Merck & Co., Inc.; and The Lynne Waxman Foundation.
The planning for next year is already underway! We’re eager to get back on the road to provide more free screenings and hope you’ll join us again by supporting our 2023 journey to the ultimate destination: healthy skin for all!