Physician assistant Michelle Roy, of Dermatology and Skin Health, in Dover, N.H., says she was looking at skin cancer statistics in her state in 2014, when she saw the statistic that would motivate her to make change.
âForty people a year die from melanoma in New Hampshire,â Ms. Roy says.
Oddly, New England has some of the highest skin cancer rates in the United States. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention data from 2012, New Hampshire ranks in the top 10 U.S. states for melanoma incidence, with 24.8 cases per 100,000 population.
âI sat back and thought this is something we need to change,â Roy says.
Roy and late dermatologist James L. Campbell, M.D., launched the N.H.-based nonprofit Make Big Change later that year. The aim, according to Ms. Roy, is skin cancer (primarily melanoma) prevention. Make Big Change helps municipalities, schools and more get access to sunscreen dispensers that are put up in public places for use by anyone, for free, who wants to protect their skin from the sun. The dispensers come with infographics that communicate the dangers of sun exposure and benefits of prevention.
What started as a local grassroots organization at the dermatology practice has gone national.