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Mercy Hospital Launches Sunscreen Program in RVC on Melanoma Monday

May 3, 2021
Village of RVC and Mercy Hospital at Sunscreen reveal event

Today kicked off Melanoma Awareness Month and the Village of Rockville Centre Mayor Francis X. Murray, the Village Board and sponsor Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital unveiled a new initiative to provide free sunscreen at 12 touch-free dispensers throughout the Village fields and parks to aid in the prevention of skin cancer. In the current climate, spending time outside at local parks has become a favorite pass time; however, spending time outside also increases the level of UV rays one consumes --- even on a cloudy day. This innovative public health initiative is designed to protect our local community from the dangers associated with sun exposure that can lead to skin cancer/melanoma in a safe and contactless way.

“We thank Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital for sponsoring this important initiative of sun protection for our Village residents and visitors,” commented Mayor Francis X. Murray. “This free program will safeguard our residents’ health, as well as provide an opportunity to educate people about the critical importance of protecting ourselves from the sun’s damaging rays.”

Each dispenser contains about a quart of SPF 30 sunscreen and will be available throughout the summer. All 12 dispensers will be installed by Memorial Day and located at various locations throughout the Village including the John A Anderson Recreation Center, Lister Park, RVC Sports Complex and more.  The sunscreen sponsorship program comes to the Village at no cost to taxpayers.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Village of Rockville Centre on this important program that will be available to the residents of Rockville Centre but also those who visit our parks and fields. The ultimate goal is to have a happier and healthier summer and these contactless sunscreen dispensers will make it easy for everyone to do that safely,” said Peter Scaminaci, president of Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital.

A 2017 survey of New York State residents found that 53 percent of those who don’t wear sunscreen fail to do so because they simply forget and up to 85 percent of respondents will use free public sunscreen if it is available. 

Skin cancer is the most common cause of cancer and it's the most preventable; however, we know that our residents (and beyond) just simply forget to apply sunscreen which is critical even on a cloudy or cold sunny day,” said Dr.  Mohammad Ali, oncologist at the Catholic Health Cancer Center at Mercy. “I’m excited for these sunscreen dispensers because they are providing access to our community which we anticipate will support the prevention of future skin cancers.” 

Most skin cancer is caused by damage from the sun's UV rays. Each year, more than 96,400 people will be diagnosed with melanoma—the most dangerous type of skin cancer—and about 7,200 will die of the disease.