SUNucate Campaign Receives Profiles of Excellence Award for Advocacy

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) was presented with the Profiles of Excellence (PoE) Award for its advocacy initiative known as SUNucate at the American Association of Medical Society Executives’ (AAMSE) annual conference. SUNucate related measures have successfully passed 16 states with an additional 12 states considering legislation in 2018.

The PoE Awards recognize AAMSE member organizations for their advocacy, communications, education, membership and leadership efforts to advance organized medicine and improve the lives of physicians and their patients.

“ASDSA is pleased to accept this award and believes its SUNucate model legislation is an important part of raising awareness for skin cancer prevention in children and promoting sun-safe behavior at school and day camps,” said ASDSA President Lisa M. Donofrio, MD. “SUNucate continues to be a great proactive advocacy initiative for our members to discuss the importance of applying sunscreen regularly in order to avoid sunburns and prevent skin cancer.”

The SUNucate model legislation was launched in 2016 after receiving alerts from ASDSA members about students being required to bring a note or prescription from a physician in order to possess or use sunscreen, which is classified as an over-the-counter drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The model legislation addresses these concerns by ensuring statewide policies are in place to allow students to bring and apply sunscreen at school without a doctor’s note. Additionally, the bill contains a provision that calls for each school or camp to allow the use of sun-protective clothing, including hats, while outdoors. An optional clause is included which encourages schools to implement curricula that includes instruction on the basic facts about skin cancer and strategies to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.

Since launching the campaign, the SUNucate Coalition has grown to include 49 partners. In December 2017, the Council of State Governments (CSG) voted to include Utah’s sunscreen in school legislation in its 2019 Shared State Legislation (SSL) Volume. Utah was the first state in the nation to pass legislation based on ASDSA’s SUNucate model legislation. Bills included in the SSL are shared with state leaders as legislative ideas for their consideration. During the December meeting, 102 bills were considered and 26 bills were approved to be included in the 2019 SSL Volume.

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