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Mercy Hospital, Rockville Centre team up to provide sunscreen

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On May 3, the village of Rockville Centre and Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital introduced Melanoma Awareness Month by installing the first of 12 complimentary sunscreen dispensers at the Rockville Centre Recreation Center.

“We can’t thank Mercy Hospital more for doing this for us,” Mayor Fran Murray said. “It’s a wonderful gesture and it will save lives and help us understand more about melanoma.”

All of the dispensers will be installed by Memorial Day at hubs of outdoor activities in the village, like Lister Park and the RVC Sports Complex. With summer approaching and vaccinations increasing, local fields are expected to be filled in the near future.

A 2017 New York survey found that 53 percent of those who do not wear sunscreen say it is because they forget about it. So, representatives from the village and Catholic Health said they hope that this project, which is done through Parr Ventures, will cut down on melanoma cases.

“Melanoma is a very deadly disease unless you find it early,” said Dr. Mohammed Ali, an oncologist at the Catholic Health Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital. “It is very, very important to prevent sunburn.”

Ali and Murray urged residents to use sunscreen to protect their friends and loved ones when getting out and enjoying the village’s assortment of fields, parks and playgrounds.