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Summerside Sun Safety Initiative
Medical students team up with the City of Summerside to spread message of sun safety
Posted on 01/25/2022

SUMMERSIDE, PE (January 25, 2022) – With sun-induced disorders on the rise and sun safety something that can often be overlooked, The City of Summerside is putting an emphasis on this prevalent issue with the Summerside Sun Safety Initiative.

In collaboration with three[LM1]  Summerside residents; Samuel Farag, Karen Farag and Georgie McKenna, the city will install automatic and touchless dispensers[LM2]  filled with Health Canada approved SPF 30 sunscreen for residents and visitors free of charge.

“We’re proud to have this resource available for local residents and visitors in various areas of the city that see a large-volume of foot traffic and outdoor recreation,” commented Mayor Basil Stewart. “The City commends the efforts of Samuel and his sister for raising awareness of these preventable diseases and for the initiation of the preventative program in Summerside – a City where a lot of residents enjoy many outdoor activities.”

The sunscreen dispensers will be located at three locations throughout the city in areas that tend to see a significant amount of outdoor activity.

Samuel Farag, a second-year medical student at Université de Sherbrooke, said that the application of sunscreen has a drastic effect on reducing the prevalence of sun-induced disorders.

Recently, Samuel has presented his project initiative at a university wide conference at Université de Sherbrooke, which hosted all surgeons and anesthesiologists of his university. His project was given the “Public Prize”, an award given to the project which the public judged to be the best.

Farag, along with his sister Karen, a third-year medical student at Université de Sherbrooke; and Georgie McKenna, fourth-year kinesiology student at UPEI, have collaborated on this project with the City. Farag proposed the initiative to city staff after learning about skin cancer in university and became interested in advocating for prevention initiatives.

Not only will the dispensers help the public by giving them access to readily available sunscreen, but the project will also have an educational aspect to it, since to each dispenser will be attached tips on effective ways to protect against sun-induced disorders,” said Farag.

Residents can expect to see them readily available in the summer of 2022 at the Eric Johnson Turf Field, Summerside Baywalk and Leger Park, along with a fourth portable dispenser. This pilot project is the first of its kind in the Maritimes.

“The areas selected tend to see a significant amount of usage in the summer months by seniors, adults and youth,” mentioned JP Desrosiers, Director of Community Services. “The portable sunscreen dispenser will provide the flexibility to move it around and offer it at events and festivals, not to mention the Queen Elizabeth Ballpark.”

Facts on skin cancer:

  • PEI melanoma rates were the highest in Canada in 2021
  • Melanoma is increasing year-by-year in prevalence
  • Melanoma is the 4thmost common cancer for youth aged 15-29
  • 5 or more sunburns in childhood and adolescence doubles the risk of melanoma
  • Protecting your skin in the sun is the best way to prevent skin cancer

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For media inquiries:
JP Desrosiers
Director of Community Services
City of Summerside
p. 902-432-1234
e. [email protected]

OR

Mitch Shea
Marketing and Promotions Coordinator
City of Summerside – Credit Union Place
p. 902-432-1234
e. [email protected]

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