SunSmart 5K Run/Walk Helps Save Lives Through Prevention, Screening and Education

As the sun ascended over Key Biscayne streaming wisps of pink and orange across the sky, Miller School students, faculty and staff geared up for this year’s SunSmart 5K Run/Walk to promote sun safety and raise funds for melanoma research.

Led by James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D., professor of dermatology and cutaneous surgery and Chief of the Division of Melanocytic Tumors, more than 400 runners participated in the April 13 early morning run/walk, which is now in its fourth year.

Among the runners was Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth, who finished first in his age group in 22:53 minutes.

“I know firsthand the importance of regular screenings,” said Dean Goldschmidt, whose father died of melanoma. “Melanoma kills one American every hour. By increasing awareness in the community about early detection, we are fulfilling our mission to save lives.”

After the race, Grichnik and dermatology residents and fellows offered participants free skin cancer screenings. Samples of sunscreen also were provided as runners enjoyed a light breakfast, music and an awards ceremony.

“This is a wonderful event to increase skin cancer awareness, conduct skin cancer screenings, interface with our community and raise research funds,” Grichnik said. “It is an enormous amount of effort, but the students and fellows organized an awesome event. Together, we will conquer melanoma through prevention, early detection, and research to improve diagnosis and therapy. I am very proud of this team!”

Sponsored by the Miller School’s dermatological organization SunSmart, the 3.1-mile run/walk raised more than $5,000 to support melanoma research in the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery and the city of Miami’s Public Access Defibrillation Program.

To learn more about the event, please visit

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