Implementation of Project Students Are Sun Safe (SASS) in Rural High Schools Along the Arizona-Mexico Border

Lois J. Loescher, Sarah Rawdin, Tashina Machain, Gail Emrick, Alice Pasvogel, Denise Spartonos, Riley E. Johnson, David Campas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The incidence of skin cancer is raising in Hispanics/Latinos, which is a concern for Hispanics/Latinos living in Arizona, a state with a high amount of ultraviolet radiation exposure. There is a dearth of research on skin cancer prevention education for Hispanic/Latino adolescents in high school. Using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework, academic and community partners conducted a project to adapt an existing efficacious skin cancer prevention program, Project Students are Sun Safe (SASS) and the current SASS online training model, for dissemination to predominantly Hispanic/Latino students attending high schools in rural southeastern Arizona, located along the Arizona-Mexico border. We assessed the feasibility of training some of these students as peer educators (n = 16) to implement the “Border SASS” lesson to their peers in high school classrooms (n = 198). Border SASS training and the classroom lesson were feasible for, and highly acceptable to, peer educators and classroom students. These students significantly improved skin cancer prevention knowledge scores and self-reported skin cancer prevention behaviors over a 3- to 4-month period post training and the intervention implementation. Here we report on the following: (1) academic-community partnership and adaptation of the SASS training model for rural Hispanic high school students, (2) training of the high school peer educators, (3) administration of the SASS lesson by the trained peer educators to high school students, and (4) further evaluation of peer educator training and classroom student outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-268
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019


  • Adolescents
  • Border health
  • CBPR
  • Skin cancer prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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