WORCESTER, Mass. - According to national nonprofit organization Impact Melanoma, one person will die from melanoma every hour.

That statistic is the reason behind why city councilor at-large Kate Toomey is pushing to get Worcester involved in protecting residents and their skin. 

"Skin cancer kills people," Toomey said. "If there is something we can do to help prevent people from getting skin cancer, then we are ahead of the game." 

What You Need To Know

  • City councilor Kate Toomey is asking the city to help educate and protect residents from skin cancer
  • Per Toomey's request, the city would work closely with a UMass Chan Medical School student to implement the Practice Safe Skin program
  • The campaign focuses on educating residents about sun safety and installing sunscreen dispensers around the city
  • Toomey is also asking for help from the Worcester schools, Worcester Red Sox, local colleges and golf courses to help promote the program

Toomey is asking the city to work with UMass Chan Medical School student Christopher Fay on a program called Practice Safe Skin and launch a campaign city wide. The campaign would educate residents about the dangers of sun exposure, including placing sunscreen dispensers at locations where people tend to be outside for long periods of time.

"I would love to see it with the Red Sox. That would be great," Toomey said. "People are out for several hours in the sun watching the game. It'd be great to see the collaboration."

Toomey said protecting your skin is a year-round job and educating residents, especially the younger generation, will help protect them in the future.

"I'm pretty confident everyone knows someone with melanoma," Toomey said. "Especially for the younger kids. The sun is much stronger than it used to be."

T​oomey is also asking City Manager Ed Augustus to include the Worcester schools, city colleges, baseball teams and local golf courses in promoting the program throughout the city.