About SunSmart Athletes

SunSmart Athletes, founded in 2015, is made up of University of Southern California (USC) researchers, physicians, resident physicians, medical students, student athletes, graduate and undergraduate students, and other interested "Ambassadors" with the goal of educating the Trojan community on the dangers of ultraviolet (UV) exposure including pre-mature aging, photo damage, and skin cancer.  

 

Dr. Ashley Wysong, Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology and the Director of Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery teamed up with Dr. Myles Cockburn, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and founder of SunSmart to form SunSmart Athletes -- a team approach to reducing overall sun exposure for NCAA athletes, coaches, and fans.   

 

As a former NCAA and collegiate athlete turned board certified dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon, Dr. Wysong is passionate about promoting sun safe behavior.  Based on research by Dr. Wysong and others, in 2013, the National Collegiate Athletics Association published the first Sports Sun Safety Guidelines for the NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook.  These guidelines have brought national attention for the need of UV protection and safe sun practices while engaging in outdoor sporting activities.

Link to Research Study on Sun Safety in Athletes

Dr. Cockburn and his team, including Dr. Kimberly Miller have revolutionized sun safety in school aged children with the SunSmart program and are national experts in skin cancer prevention, particularly in melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.



AVOID UV in PEAK HOURS

10:00am to 4:00pm

Even on cloudy days! (UV rays can penetrate clouds!)

SPF

Broad-spectrum and >SPF 30 and reapply every 2 hours

Seek shade 

Wear protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and seek shade when out in the sun

Despite 96% of NCAA athletes agreeing that sunscreen helps prevent cancer, over 50% never use sunscreen and 75% use sunscreen < 3 days per week." (Wysong et al. 2012)

 

SunSmart Athlete Ambassadors


SunSmart Athletes, founded in 2015, is made up of University of Southern California (USC) researchers, physicians, resident physicians, medical students, student athletes, graduate and undergraduate students, and other interested "Ambassadors" with the goal of educating the Trojan community on the dangers of ultraviolet (UV) exposure including pre-mature aging, photo damage, and skin cancer. 

 

Name: Azadeh Nazemi

Hometown: Newport Beach, CA

Current Position: Medical Student

Why are you passionate about sun safety?

I was born and raised in sunny Southern California spending my days out in the sun playing soccer and tennis, swimming, and relaxing at the beach. From a young age I was taught the importance of using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing, and have seen the negative impact of neglecting to be sun smart. Sun safety is so easy to implement, all it takes is the knowledge and motivation!

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Name: Olivia Panchal

Hometown: Edmond, Oklahoma

Current Position: Pre-Med Senior at USC

Why are you passionate about sun safety?

As a former student-athlete at USC, sun safety is something that affected me directly everyday at practice. After talking to Dr. Wysong and my teammates, I realized remembering to wear sunscreen or hats isn't something we always think about despite its importance. Therefore, as a SunSmart Ambassador, I hope to raise awareness of sun safety, not only for athletes, but for everyone!

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Name: David Kim

Hometown: Toronto, Canada

Current Position: First year Dermatology resident 

Why are you passionate about sun safety?

Because a little bit of sunscreen, awareness, and education goes a long way! 

Name: Cameron Trodello

Hometown: Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Current Position: Medical Student

Why are you passionate about sun safety? 

I've seen the direct impact of years of tanning and sunbathing on many members of my family, and I want to do what I can now to protect my skin from aging so quickly. In addition, due to a strong history of skin cancer in my family, I know I am already predisposed to skin damage and I would like to prevent myself from getting skin cancer as much as possible.

 

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Name: Taylor Ogden

Hometown: Carmel, California

Current Positino: USC Undergraduate, Environmental Science and Health BS

Why are you passionate about sun safety?

With a family history of skin cancer and a life spent outdoors, I never expected to avoid this disease myself. However, working with Doctor Wysong has shown me the extent of skin cancer in our community, its impact on individuals, but most importantly the power of prevention. Personal risk of skin cancer can be seriously affected by our behaviors, and that's an idea worth spreading. 

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Name: Shauna Higgins

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Current Position: Skin Cancer Research Fellow

Why are you passionate about sun safety?

Skin cancer is more common and more serious than we think in people of all skin tones. There are, however, small steps we can take to decrease our risk of being afflicted with this largely preventable disease. The key is to spread education and awareness.

Name: Omeed Ahadiat

Hometown: Orange County, CA

Current Position: Medical student at Chicago Medical School/research fellow at Keck Medicine at USC

Why are you passionate about sun safety?

Being raised in Southern California, I’ve spent a substantial amount of time out in the sun. Given my recent passion for dermatology, I only recently grasped the idea of how much damage the sun causes to our skin. I wish someone would have explained to me when I was growing up what I know now on this topic. I hope I can be that influence on children and adolescents of today who spend time outdoors in the sun as I did and educate them and/or their parents on the topic.

 

Name: Joe Thorpe

Hometown: Laguna Beach, CA

Current position: Medical student

Why are you passionate about sun safety?

Having grown up in a beach community, I have seen the devastating effects of chronic sun exposure, and I hope to improve the sun safety habits of at-risk populations. 

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Name: Guy Talmor 

Hometown: Tel Aviv

Current Position: Medical Student

Why are you passionate about sun safety?

Skin cancer runs in my family, and many of my relatives wish they could have received proper sun safety education as children in order to limit their UV exposure.

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Name: Adam Sutton

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Current Position: Dermatology Resident

Why are you passionate about sun safety?

Sun and sports are two passions of mine. Practicing sun safety is imperative to enjoying the outdoors and ensuring that we can continue to do it for decades to come.

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Name: Christina Vu

Hometown: Milpitas, CA

Current Position: Medical Student

Why are you passionate about sun safety? 

For me, the fact that so many chronic diseases could have been prevented had patients been successfully counseled is such a seemingly simple problem that is, in fact, extremely complex.  Sun safety is relevant to everyone, and yet not many people are aware of its importance, nor are they motivated to change.  I therefore am really interested and excited to learn about and enact interventions that can change sun safety behavior and education for the better.

   

   

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Name: Alex Ly

Hometown: Rosmead, CA

Current Position: RN Coordinator for Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery

Why are you passionate about sun safety? 

Growing up, sun safety and the consequences of over exposure were never emphasized. The amount of damage accumulated on my face was a wakeup call. It wasn't until I started working with Dr. Wysong that I realized how detrimental UV damage can be and how relatively easy it is to protect against it.

 

 

 

 

Name: Shera Feinstein

Hometown: Agoura Hills, CA

Current Position: Medical Student at Keck School of Medicine / Research Fellow at Keck Medicine of USC

Why are you passionate about sun safety?

I grew up playing tennis and spending a lot of time outdoors but like any child, pre-teen and teenager, I used minimal to no protection and spent zero time thinking about the long-term effects of these choices. Very recently, my dad has developed what feels like a never-ending accumulation of pre-cancerous lesions after spending a lifetime in the sun. Needless to say, I have come to realize just how important sun safety is and am excited to help educate those in my community!


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SunSmart Events

Upcoming Events

 

8/31/17 - 9/2/17 Disneyland half marathon weekend

9/9/17 ncAAF: USC TROJANS VS STANFORD

9/16/17 NCAAF: USC TROJANS VS texas

10/7/17 NCAAF: USC TROJANS VS Oregon state

10/14/17 NCAAF: USC TROJANS VS utah

11/4/17 NCAAF: usc Trojans vs Arizona

11/18/17 ncAAF: usc Trojans vs ucla

 

Previous Events

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