Many of us love spending time outdoors, walking, running, gardening, hitting the beach or watching our kids on the myriad of sports fields they’re playing on this time of year.

That means we’re in the sun. A lot.

So here’s a question: When was the last time you were checked for melanoma?

If you can’t remember, then it might be a good idea to check out the free skin cancer screening that’s happening next week at the E. Blair Warner Family Medicine Center.

That’s right, it’s free.

The screening is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, at the downtown clinic, which is located at 714 N. Michigan St., South Bend. The event will be staffed by the family medicine residents, faculty and local dermatologists.

And the kicker? It is open to anyone in the community and no pre-registration is required, says Vickie Alber, Practice Manager. Please help us spread the word by letting your family, friends and neighbors know. Keep in mind that when melanoma is caught early, it’s highly treatable.

If you have any questions or need more information, please email Vickie.

In other news…

Let’s celebrate some retirements, shall we?

Forrest Collins, an Elkhart General Hospital maintenance mechanic, will be honored for 16 years of service, says Dave Furlong, Director of Facilities Management. Forrest’s celebration will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. tomorrow — June 15, in the Elkhart General private dining room.

And Jeanne Van Putten is retiring after an amazing 44 years of service to the health system and to some of the most disadvantaged in our community, says Shelby Morse. We’ll gather to celebrate her accomplishments and to wish her well with a Retirement Tea between noon and 2 p.m. in the Patel Family Auditorium B at Elkhart General Hospital.

Congratulations, Jeanne and Forrest!

And we are going to leave you today with some thoughts from Donnie Johnson, Staff Chaplain at Elkhart General.

“For three years, I had been waiting for the ‘right time’ to visit my son in Portland, Oregon and finally realized that the right time was not going to present itself. … I left work, boarded a plane and hiked seven miles into the volcanic blow down zone of Mount St. Helens, climbed ravines and inched dangerously close to the edge of towering waterfalls, barked back at sea lions sunning themselves on docks at Astoria, took a picture of my son and his girlfriend sharing a moment on Seaside Beach as the sun set over the Pacific,” he says.

In other words, he gave himself a break, focusing solely on his well-being.

“I was tempted, but I did not check my email, view my schedule, worry about things not done at work. … And I found the place had done just fine without me. Physically tired but feeling emotionally and spiritually renewed, I re-engaged realizing that my spirit really needed that adventure. Here’s hoping that you make time for your own adventure soon!”