Sun Protection Project

Sun Protection Project at the Hershey Gardens

Visitors to Hershey Gardens now have access to some extra shade thanks to Penn State Hershey Dermatology. The department’s Community Advisory Board recently presented 50 sun umbrellas to representatives of Hershey Gardens. The umbrellas have specially treated fabric that protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays, forming a virtually impenetrable barrier to the sun.

The donation of the umbrellas marks the latest initiative launched as part of the Sun Protection Project, overseen by the Department of Dermatology’s Community Advisory Board. The board is composed of dermatologists and members of the surrounding community.

“If you left your sunscreen at home, if you have sun sensitivity or if you’re just concerned about skin damage, using a sun umbrella can make all the difference,” said Michael Ioffreda, M.D., associate professor of dermatology and pathology, who also coordinates the Sun Protection Project.

The umbrellas were the idea of advisory board member Ginny Lutkewitte. “I found all sorts of pictures of Catherine Hershey with parasols,” Lutkewitte said. “I loved the idea of bringing back the parasol for Hershey Gardens, tapping into the history of Catherine Hershey and combining it with the Dermatology Advisory Board’s Sun Protection Project.”

The slogan that appears on the umbrella was a result of a contest within our department. Tammy Kline, a MOA in our clinic came up with the catchy phrase, " Healthy Skin Made in the Shade". Just another example how teamwork and communication come together!

Dr. Michael Ioffreda of Penn State Hershey Dermatology in conjunction with Derry Township and a generous gift from Mrs. Jeanne Arnold, recently provided our local community with a “Smart Sun Shade Structure” located at the end of the Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail, just off Middletown Road in Derry Township. A sizeable gazebo is now available for future generations to enjoy a family picnic or activity protected from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation..

To this end, Penn State Hershey Dermatology advocates Smart Fun in the Sun by:
    • generous use of broad-spectrum sunscreens
    • wearing protective clothing where possible
    • getting Vitamin D safely through a healthy
    • diet that may include vitamin supplements; protecting children from sun exposure by playing in the shade
    • by seeking shade, especially from the mid-day sun