Officials from Northwell Health and the Town of North Hempstead announced today that free sunscreen will be available at town parks facilities this summer thanks to a partnership with North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park.
The SPF 30 sunscreen, which will be in dispensers at more than a dozen beaches, pools, playgrounds and sports facilities throughout the Town of North Hempstead, was donated by the two Northwell hospitals to help combat a rise in skin cancer diagnoses.
In addition to the sunscreen, the hospitals will hold six “Wellness Wednesday” events at various locations throughout the town to educate residents about key healthcare topics. The initiative is intended to provide Town residents and visitors with advanced access to resources and information to stay safe and healthy year-round.
“We’re so proud to partner with North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center throughout this summer at Town parks, pools, and facilities to protect the health and wellness of our residents from the dangers of prolonged exposure to the sun without the proper preventative measures,” North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena said. “Thank you to Northwell Health for making these important programs possible this summer, as we give our residents the opportunity to enjoy the summer weather while also focusing on their wellbeing through this free sunscreen and the additional educational events.”
One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The organization encourages individuals to utilize sunscreen (marked SPF 30 or higher that protects against UVA and UVB rays) properly by
applying it 30 minutes before exposure and reapplying every two hours. Additionally, sun-resistant clothing (marked UPF) can help minimize the risks of exposure to the sun.
Aside from offering free sunscreen at Town facilities, medical experts from the two Northwell hospitals will also hold a series of educational workshops and health screenings that will be open to the public at no cost.
The Wellness Wednesday series is a string of six events at North Hempstead town facilities, including skin cancer screenings, saving lives training (CPR, stop the bleed, Narcan), healthy eating, meditation and an informational session about when you should get screened for other types of cancer.
“Our fantastic Parks and Recreation department staff have been hard at work planning a great summer for our residents in 2023,” said North Hempstead Council Member Veronica Lurvey. “We couldn’t be happier to offer an opportunity to stay protected while having fun in the sun at our beautiful facilities,” she added.
Each event will be staffed by Northwell healthcare professionals and will be completely free and open to the public.
“North Shore University Hospital is committed to expanding access to healthcare resources for all, and we are thrilled to partner with the town to provide free sunscreen and free wellness events this summer,” said Jon Sendach, executive director, North Shore University Hospital. “While North Shore provides world-class, specialized services, we are still a community hospital at heart and are always striving to further connect with our neighbors. We are grateful to the Town of North Hempstead sharing in our mission of improving quality of life for residents and for having the drive to put this initiative into action.”
“Long Island Jewish Medical Center would like to thank the Town of North Hempstead for the opportunity to provide this important tool to combat skin cancer to park visitors,” said Dr. Michael Gitman, executive director, Long Island Jewish Medical Center. “Prevention is the No. 1 goal when it comes to treating diseases such as skin cancer. These dispensers will protect many individuals”
To learn more about where free sunscreen dispensers are located, or the schedule for the Wellness Wednesday series, please visit northhempsteadny.gov/sunscreen.