Publicis Health Champions “Protect and Detect” for Healthy Skin

We asked our Destination: Healthy Skin Partners to share why they are supporting our traveling skin cancer education program. Here’s what our friends at Publicis Health told us:

While many of us know to be mindful of our skin, Publicis Health and its agencies Digitas Health and Razorfish Health have extensive experience helping oncology brands connect with patients and healthcare professionals to improve people’s health and well-being. The network established a partnership with The Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) because their agencies’ employees understand how widespread the impact of skin cancer is, and that it touches all ages, races and genders and its incidence is rising, claiming the spot of the most common cancer.

To help elevate the importance of preventing skin cancer, Publicis Health along with its agencies Digitas Health and Razorfish Health partnered to raise money, educate, and remind Americans about the importance of healthy skin year-round, starting this summer with the Destination: Healthy Skin RV tour that brought skin cancer education and free skin cancer screenings to cities around the U.S. For Publicis Health and its agencies, it was vitally important to support an activation that helped people have a better understanding of their own personal health and wellness.

A living, breathing spirit of understanding one’s health is Digitas Health’s Sue Manber, a survivor of the rarest skin cancer, Merkel cell carcinoma, who has become the face of the Publicis Health campaign to call attention to the SCF partnership. When the Destination: Healthy Skin RV stopped in Philadelphia outside Digitas Health, Sue got to speak to reporters, sharing her personal journey from being diagnosed with the disease. Sue’s story conveyed an important lesson about paying attention to sun exposure and skin health, as her accidental diagnosis led to treatment involving seven surgeries. The experience has changed her outlook on her health marketing work, as today she takes her personal experience to advocate for better patient-doctor dialogue and human-centric patient experiences into her work life every day. Moreover, a thankful Philadelphia resident who saw Sue’s story has been connected with Sue to talk through her own battle with Merkel cell.

Sue Manber shares her personal experience with Merkel cell carcinoma at an event in Philadelphia.

With a sun in its logo, it’s natural that Publicis Health and its agencies would take the lead educating people on steps they can take to enjoy their fun in the sun, while preventing and spotting potential skin cancers at an early stage—when the disease can be preventable.

Meet Our Drivers!

Over the past six weeks, our Destination: Healthy Skin RV  has traveled over three thousand miles, making stops in 14 cities around the United States. As we kick off the west coast leg of the program, we had the opportunity to chat with Christie and Jeff, faithful stewards of the RV and on-site event managers. Together, they reflected on their time on the road and some valuable lessons they’ve learned along the way.

Q: You both drive the RV, but we know you do so much more. Tell us a little bit more about what you do at our Destination: Healthy Skin events.

Christie: During skin cancer screening events*, I tend to manage the inside of the RV and the process of getting people in to see the dermatologist.  Jeff enjoys the outside aspect of the operation which includes greeting visitors, sharing educational materials and distributing sunscreen samples.

When we don’t have a dermatologist on board to perform screenings, we have more time to talk to visitors about sun protection and listen as they share some of their own skin cancer experiences, which I find to be one of the most rewarding parts of this job.

Q: What prompted you to get involved with this program?

Jeff: I absolutely love the community service aspect of this operation and the fact that we are providing people with sun protection information and life-saving skin cancer screenings…all for free. The doctors who volunteer and help us accomplish these goals are all extremely generous with their time. I’ve been involved in many nationwide tours, and this is one that definitely leaves me with a feeling of satisfaction at the end of a long work day.

Q: Christie, as someone who has worked with us on similar program in past years, what do you find most interesting about this work?

Christie: I love cause-related projects. Being involved with a program that has meaning and is doing good in the communities we visit is what I enjoy and find rewarding.  I am a firm believer in the old saying,  “if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life.”

Christie and Jeff hand out educational material at an event in Los Angeles.

Q: What is the most common question that you get from visitors to the RV?

Jeff: “Do you sleep on the RV?!” The answer is no, although I have been known to take some intense naps while Christie is driving. Otherwise, people are very curious about where we have been and where we’re going next.

Q: What is your own sun protection regimen?

Christie: In all honesty, before working with the SCF, sun protection was never something I thought about. But thanks to my involvement with this program, I have learned a lot and now I think about it all the time. I use a daily SPF 30 moisturizer on my body and use makeup with SPF protection.  If I’m out in the sun for long, I try to keep my face covered with a hat and I’ve learned that reapplying your sunscreen is key!

Q: What is something that you’ve learned about skin cancers that you didn’t know before?

Jeff: I learned that Bob Marley died of skin cancer. His story typically comes as surprise to RV visitors and it helps to drive home the point that everyone is at risk, regardless of skin tone or ethnicity.

Q: What’s the hardest part of driving the RV?

Christie: Trying to talk to one another because it has a loud engine. I have to yell so Jeff hears me and then he says, “Stop yelling at me!” So we don’t talk much while we’re driving.

Check out the Destination: Healthy Skin schedule to see where Christie and Jeff are headed with our RV next!

*Screenings are not available at all Destination: Healthy Skin events. Please check the complete schedule before events to see when screenings are available.

Making Our Way Down 95

If you traveled on I-95 in the past week, you may have seen our colorful Destination: Healthy Skin RV on the road. We recently visited Philadelphia, Washington DC and spent the first day of summer at Six Flags White Water in Marietta, Georgia!

Below you’ll find some photos and coverage from these great events:

Destination: Healthy Skin RV in Philly

Agnes Ju Chang, MD, provided free skin cancer screenings at our Washington DC event.
It was a rainy day at Six Flags White Water, but that didn’t slow us down. A few park visitors take a break from the rides to learn more about skin cancer and sun protection in our RV.

And We’re Off!

It has been a busy week for Destination: Healthy Skin! We held our first events in Boston and NYC where we spent four days providing sun protection information and free skin cancer screenings. Next up: Philadelphia, PA and Washington, DC!

The Destination: Healthy Skin RV spent the day in Union Square, NYC, offering free skin cancer screenings and sun protection information.

Destination: Healthy Skin RV Visits TODAY

Matt Lauer discussed the importance of skin exams with the Foundation’s Senior Vice President Dr. Elizabeth Hale on the Today Show. The host even stepped inside the RV for a quick check of the back of his head and ears, areas of the body where skin cancers often go undetected.

Watch the video here.