SPOTS

Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students (SPOTS)

Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students (SPOTS) represent the first educational community outreach program designed to teach teens and school-aged children about the importance of early detection and prevention of skin cancer. Volunteer medical students visit local schools to instruct students about sun safe habits, avoiding artificial tanning beds as well as skin cancer detection and prevention.

1 in 5 Americans will have skin cancer in their lifetime, and early intervention is key. The SPOTS program focuses on adolescents, a high-risk group and is a free educational, interactive and comprehensive yet concise 1 hour presentation focusing on the prevention of skin cancer.

The program makes the importance of sun protection resonate with teenagers. Understanding that adolescents are highly motivated by their physical appearance, SPOTS uses both health-based and appearance-based motivators to encourage teens to use sun protection and avoid tanning beds. Since teens are strongly influenced by peers, the program incorporates a video of two teenagers describing their personal journey with melanoma and uses young medical students as SPOTS instructors. Medical students are young enough to be relatable but have the credibility to be impactful.

SPOTS started as a collaboration between Saint Louis University and Washington University Medical Schools in Saint Louis, Missouri, but has expanded to programs across the country. The University of Nebraska School of Medicine is excited to offer this program in our community. 

If you are a medical student and would like to become a SPOTS program volunteer or if you would like more information on sponsoring SPOTS for your school please contact: Aubree Ford, SPOTS Program Lead Coordinator -- aubree.ford@unmc.edu

Or visit our UNMC Dermatology Interest Group On Engage

National SPOTS website:  https://spotseducation.org/

Plan for 2021-22 at UNMC

  • Participate in the virtual student activity fair in collaboration with the Dermatology Interest Group
  • Recruit medical and other health-professional students to become student educators
  • Host a training session in September led by current M4s
  • Create SPOTS tool kits to deliver to schools, which will include sunscreen, UV bracelets, and sun safety hand-outs using a generous grant from the UNMC College of Medicine Alumni Council
  • Reach many classes in at least 8-10 schools through virtual teaching sessions

Current SPOTS Leadership

2021-2022:

Aubree Ford -- SPOTS Program Lead Coordinator

Sophie Gart -- SPOTS Program Committee Member

Kim Nguyen -- SPOTS Program Committee Member

Camilla Reimer -- SPOTS Program Committee Member

Previous SPOTS Leadership

2020-2021:

Marissa Lobl -- Medical Student Lead

Heidi Vieira -- Scheduling Coordinator

Rachel Samuelson -- Equipment Coordinator

Taylor Uhlir -- Equipment Coordinator II

Kathryn Rentfro -- Training Coordinator

Madison Grinnell -- Rural Outreach Coordinator