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Press Release

October 16, 2019

Kathleen Reichert
American Skin Association


October 16, 2019 - New York, NY – American Skin Association (ASA) announced its grant renewal for a second year of support for SPOTS (Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students), a public health outreach educational program taught by medical school students and aimed at middle and high school teens.

Led by a team of academic dermatologists committed to skin cancer education — Dr. Sofia Chaudhry of St. Louis University and Drs. Laurin Council, Carrie Coughlin and Lynn Cornelius, of Washington University, in St. Louis, Missouri — SPOTS aims to teach students about early detection of skin cancer and smart prevention measures in hopes that increasing their knowledge will positively impact their behaviors and attitudes about sun protection. SPOTS also works to educate medical/allied health students on best practices in sun protection, teaching strategies, and the basics of cutaneous malignancies to better prepare them for educating and treating current and future patients.

With ASA's support, the SPOTS program has increased its outreach to schools in the St. Louis area, created a seamless onboarding process for participants, and developed a new website. According to Dr. Cornelius, "We hope to use the new grant funds to increase the number of participating schools, foster further medical student engagement and implement a core curriculum to be used across sites in order to gather comparative data." The SPOTS program is designed to present the facts about skin cancer and sun protection to teens in an interesting and engaging way, improving their knowledge and helping them make informed choices about protecting themselves from the sun. The SPOTS program has the potential to reduce the incidence of skin cancer in the future, increase awareness within the community about the importance of sun protection, and educate the next generation of physicians in a subject that is often not a required clinical block in U.S. medical school curricula.

Over the past 20 years, there has been a notable increase in the incidence of melanoma in children, particularly in adolescents. ASA's mission includes championing youth skin health by educating children and parents on the importance of sun safety. "ASA is proud to partner with SPOTS, Dr. Cornelius and her team on this most important program. We are excited to continue our partnership and look forward to its continued growth," said ASA Chairman, Howard P. Milstein.


A unique collaboration of patients, families, advocates, physicians and scientists, ASA has evolved over thirty-two years as a leading force in efforts to defeat melanoma, skin cancer and other skin diseases. Established to serve the now more than 100 million Americans — one third of the U.S. population — afflicted with skin disorders, the organization's mission remains to: advance research, champion skin health particularly among children, and drive public awareness about skin disease. For more information,


SPOTS (Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students) is an educational outreach program in which medical, nursing, and masters in public health students teach adolescents about the early detection and prevention of skin cancer. For more information, visit