Be Well™ Baytown: Reducing Skin Cancer Risk


Be Well™ Baytown, an initiative of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Be Well Communities™, built its initiative using Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommendations. The Texas initiative reached 83% of the community with essential information and programming on sun safety. (Released 2024)

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Lessons Learned

  • Community engagement matters. Use a collaborative approach and lead based on the wants and needs of the community to drive participation and behavior change.
  • Prevention across the lifespan. Include all age groups in sun safety prevention and promotion activities.
  • Collaboration drives impact. Create effective partnerships between organizations to build a strong foundation for addressing health concerns.
  • Evidence-based approaches work. Use proven strategies ensures successful outcomes and measurable impacts.


Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and can affect anyone, regardless of skin tone. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. However, skin cancer also is one of the most preventable types of cancer. There are actions individuals can take today to reduce their risk.1

Launched in 2016, Be Well Baytown is an initiative of MD Anderson Cancer Center sponsored by ExxonMobil. The Be Well Baytown initiative has enhanced skin cancer prevention measures across schools, childcare centers, and outdoor recreation sites.

Be Well Baytown Community Action Plan for Sun Safety

Be Well Baytown created a community action plan to promote sun safety in the community of Baytown. The plan served as a guide for implementing CPSTF findings and evaluating the impact of these efforts with the help of community leaders. Four community-based organizations implemented three evidence-based interventions to target different aspects of sun safety. Their actions resulted in many notable achievements, including successfully reaching 83% of the community with essential information and programming on sun safety.

Primary, Middle, and High School-Based Interventions
  • Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (Goose Creek CISD). More than 23,000 K-12 students were reached with sun safety efforts. An impressive 92% of schools experienced a positive change in sun safety behaviors after implementing the district-wide sun safety plan in all Goose Creek CISD schools. Eleven schools were equipped with sunshade structures to shield individuals from direct sun exposure. Goose Creek CISD provided sun-protective clothing and successfully incorporated sun safety education into all grade levels. Students brought sunscreen on field trips.
Interventions in Outdoor Occupational Settings
  • City of Baytown. The city prioritized annual skin cancer prevention training for Parks and Recreation employees, who were provided with sun-protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats, ensuring their sun safety while working outdoors.
  • Goose Creek CISD. The district provided annual skin cancer prevention training for employees spending the majority of their time outdoors at work.
Child Care Center-Based Interventions
Interventions in Outdoor Recreational and Tourism Settings
  • City of Baytown. The City of Baytown Parks and Recreation Department planted 1,054 shade trees and strategically installed six sunshade structures and numerous sunscreen dispensers at parks across the city.
  • Lee College. More than 7,500 students and staff at Lee College were reached by sun safety education and other interventions. The college implemented two sunshade structures on campus and installed sunscreen dispensers. A campus-wide sun safety campaign raised awareness, with educational presentations and social media messages educating the college community about the risks of sun exposure and the importance of protective measures.

Sustainable Model of a Community-Led Evidence-Based Approach

Using Be Well Communities’ place-based strategies and drawing from CPSTF’s evidence-based recommendations, Be Well Baytown is an example of a sustainable and community-led approach to skin cancer prevention. By placing the wants and needs of the community at the forefront, this comprehensive program is paving the way for a brighter, sun-safe future that reduces skin cancer risks.