An innovative Wellmont Health System program that is helping area students understand the dangers of skin cancer has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Save Our Skin! – or SOS – teaches local sixth graders the importance of proper skin care and sun safety through in-classroom presentations. The program has been selected by the CDC for inclusion in its Chronic Disease Prevention database, a resource for health professionals responsible for supporting, planning, developing, implementing and evaluating chronic disease prevention and risk reduction efforts.
SOS was created by Teresa Bailey, Wellmont’s education and research coordinator, and Wendy Vogel, oncology nurse practitioner. To date, 2,500 local children have participated in the program.
Statistics indicate one out of every 90 children born in 2000 will develop melanoma. As part of the SOS program, children are taught about sun safety, risk factors for skin cancer and melanoma and the correct use of sunscreen.