Stephenson Cancer Center Launches #SunSmartOKC with the City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Zoo

The Stephenson Cancer Center is partnering with the City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Zoo to make Oklahoma City a Sun Smart City (#SunSmartOKC). To kick-off the project, the Stephenson has donated 20 free-to-the-public sunscreen dispensers that were recently installed at Oklahoma City parks, golf courses, trails, and the Oklahoma City Zoo.

“One in five Oklahomans will receive a skin cancer diagnosis in their lifetime and not having access to sunscreen shouldn't be a cause,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. “The dispensers will allow our residents and guests to enjoy Oklahoma City’s many beautiful parks and recreation areas while practicing sun safety.”

These automatic sunscreen dispensers will be supplied with broad spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

“Getting just one sunburn in your life, even during childhood, can more than double your risk of developing melanoma” said Ashley Watts, community outreach liaison for the Stephenson Cancer Center. “These dispensers will be located in popular outdoor areas around the city, making it easier for everyone to access sunblock and reduce their chances of skin cancer.”

Of the 20 sunscreen dispensers, five were installed at the Oklahoma City Zoo, where more than one million annual visitors can benefit from these dispensers.

“We are extremely grateful to the Stephenson Cancer Center and Miles Against Melanoma Oklahoma for their generous donation of five new sunscreen dispensers to the OKC Zoo,” said Candice Rennels, the OKC Zoo’s director of public relations. “Through this partnership, we hope to raise awareness about sun protection while encouraging our guests, staff and volunteers to take steps to protect their skin while enjoying time outside at the Zoo.”

The complete list of #SunSmartOKC sunscreen dispenser locations is:

  • Hefner Golf Course Clubhouse
  • Earlywine Golf Course Clubhouse
  • Trosper Golf Course Clubhouse
  • James Stewart Golf Course Clubhouse
  • Lincoln Park Golf Course Clubhouse
  • Memorial Park playground/sprayground
  • Earlywine Park playground
  • Wiley Post Park playground/sprayground
  • Stars and Stripes Park playground
  • Wheeler Park playground
  • Douglass Park playground/sprayground
  • Edwards Park playground
  • Southlakes Park playground
  • Southern Oaks Park playground
  • Woodson Park/ Whisenhunt Sports Complex playground
  • Oklahoma City Zoo

“Skin cancer is one of the most easily preventable types of cancer,” said Watts. “Unfortunately, statistics reflect that over 850 Oklahomans will be diagnosed with melanoma and around 120 will lose their battle to it in 2018.”

There are several types of skin cancer, with basal cell and squamous cell being the most common types. Melanoma, although less common than basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, is more dangerous due to its ability to spread quickly through the body if not detected early.

The American Cancer Society states that melanoma cases have been on the rise for the last 30 years, estimating 91,270 new melanoma diagnoses will occur in 2018.

The SunSmartOKC project, including the donation of 20 sunscreen pumps, is made possible through generous donations to the Stephenson Cancer Center from the Miles Against Melanoma Oklahoma organization. This Oklahoma City Zoo project was also made possible through in-kind media support from KJ103, including the popular radio hosts from the TJ, Janet and J-Rod Morning Show.

If you are interested in requesting a sunscreen pump, as part of the SunSmartOKC project, or making a donation to the initiative, please contact