Cancer Community Outreach

Mount Sinai and The Tisch Cancer Institute provide ongoing cancer educational and preventative programs to our surrounding communities, including East and Central Harlem and other locations throughout New York City. Programs focus on identifying gaps in care and work in consultation and partnership with community residents and local organizations.

Screenings & Educational Programs 2014

Cancer Community Outreach goals for 2014 are linked to the identified health care needs in the surrounding communities.  They focus on prevention, early intervention and follow-up care as well as access to clinical trials.

2014 goals included:

  • Develop lung cancer CT screening outreach program to address high rates of lung cancer within  East and Central Harlem populations
  • Promote and develop CRC programs and outreach
  • Expand genetic counseling program to meet growing demand for preventative interventions
  • Publication of quarterly community newsletter

Highlights in 2014:

  • Lung Cancer Screening Seminar provided onsite, in conjunction with the Lung Cancer Alliance, offered CT Lung Screening scans, smoking cessation intervention enrollment and secondhand smoke exposure study participation. Great American Smoke Out with American Cancer Society aims to educate about screening and health risk as it challenges people to stop smoking.
  • Total Attendees for Seminar : 154; Registered for CT scans : 12
  • 26% increase in total participation in CRC programming from 2013
  • Genetic Counseling tabling event in October offered information on genetic counseling services and referral.
  • The Tisch Advocates Group, a gathering of community leaders and passionate community members from East and Central Harlem has been established to meet with and advise the leadership of The Tisch Cancer Institute, to collaborate and deliver ideas on how to increase the reach and impact of TCI to our local communities.
  • Tisch community events in the last quarter were listed in the Community newsletter.  

2014 Overview

Breast Cancer

Breast Health Resource Center – offers free clinical breast cancer screenings and education onsite and in the surrounding community.  31 community sites were provided with outreach services this year, generating 38 Mount Sinai referrals, 8 to the breast clinic.

  • Total number of participants since January 2014: 1143
  • 693 individuals participated in educational programs
  • 405 individuals received clinical breast exams (clinical breast exams performed, referred for mammograms, referred for sonograms, referred to Mount Sinai Breast Clinic, referred to outside clinics, social programs)

Breast and Cervical Cancer

Witness Project of Harlem – offers breast and cervical community-based education and referrals for African Americans.

  • Total number of programs since January 2014: 27
  • Total number of participants since January 2014: 319

The Division of Cancer Prevention and Control plans to deliver at least 4 more programs in 2014.  

Esperanza Y Vida- provides culturally sensitive breast and cervical cancer education and referrals to the Latina population primarily in Spanish.

  • Total number of programs since January 2014: 51
  • Total number of participants since January 2014: 848

The Division of Cancer Prevention and Control plans to deliver at least 5 more programs into December 31, 2014.

Gynecologic Cancers

Woman to Woman – This program, offered as part of a collaboration between the division of Gynecologic Oncology and social work, offers emotional and financial support to help overcome barriers to care. The 16 survivor volunteers meet patients both inpatient and outpatient.  W2W sponsors biannual education conferences. The most recent conference included speakers from NYLAG on legal issues.

  • Total number of patient encounters since January 2014: 350
  • Total recipients of financial assistance: 21

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer Screening Program – The colorectal screening program of the Division of Gastroenterology and the Department of Oncological Sciences provides free colonoscopies for low-income insured New Yorkers. Funding is provided by the New York City Council and is administered by the American Cancer Society. Mount Sinai has an open-access service to screening colonoscopies and assists patients with their appointments, procedure preparation and transportation.  

  • Total Number for Free Screening (DOH Program):  12
  • Total Number of CRC educational programs since January 2014: 7
  • Total Number Reached at CRC educational programs: 169
  • Total Number of CRC Tabling In-House since January 2014: 4
  • Total Number Reached at CRC Tabling In-House: 133

Witness CARES (Community Awareness, Reach, and Empowerment for Screening) – In order to better understand factors influencing the decisions of African Americans to engage or not engage in colorectal cancer screening, this study will test the ability of two interventions to positively impact decisions concerning health seeking and screening behaviors.  This study aims to examine the efficacy of a narrative communication-style group intervention compared to a standard, fact-based didactic intervention to influence African Americans’ engagement in colorectal cancer screening.  Funded by the NIH, this study is being carried out by both the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control within the Icahn School of Medicine’s Department of Oncological Sciences, as well as by Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University of Buffalo.

  • Total Number of Programs since January 2014: 28
  • Total Number of Participants since January 2014: 365

The Division of Cancer Prevention and Control plans to deliver at least 9 more programs to December 31, 2014.

Liver Cancer

Hepatitis Outreach Network (HONE) is a viral hepatitis prevention, screening, and link to care study program focused on minority groups in New York, who are at high risk for chronic Hepatitis B (HBV) and chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV), diseases that have been linked to liver cancer.

Individuals screened for Hepatitis B & C since January 2014 : 901
Hepatitis B – Infected: 81; 58 were referred to gastroenterology or infectious disease clinics
Hepatitis C – Infected: 12; 5 were referred to HepCAP, 4 were referred to gastroenterology or infectious disease clinics, 2 were referred to PCP, and 1 refused care

H.E.A.L.S – is an outreach program, coordinated by medical centers Internal Medical Associates (IMA) primary care clinic, which provides free Hepatitis C testing and free Hepatitis C educational workshops for community based organizations, social services agencies and other community settings throughout New York City. This year, H.E.A.L.S. focused its screening events on high risk populations.

  • Individuals screened for Hepatitis C since January 2013: 382
  • 51 individuals had positive HCV antibody tests; 33 received PCR confirmatory testing at Mount Sinai (5% increase in percentage tested who were positive from 2013)
  • 85 confirmatory Hepatitis C viral load test (:PCR confirmatory testing +PCR only testing); 58 of whom were found to be chronically infected with HCV (17 were engaged in care at Mount Sinai, 38 either refused referrals to care or were lost to follow-up, and 3 returned to PCP); (4% increase in percentage tested who had confirmatory HepC viral load from 2013)

Oral Cancer

Head & Neck Cancer Center – In April, the center provided free oral exams onsite.

Prostate Cancer

Dean Prostate Health & Research Center –provided free educational material and information about oral care at Citi Field, AIG through seminar and webinar and onsite in August, June and November respectively. Due to the controversy over PSA results, no screenings took place this year.

  • Total attendance at Citi Field health fair estimated at 41,000
  • Total attendance at AIG event estimated at 300

Skin Cancer

Passion to Heal – Skin Screenings: Two free skin screening events provided by Mount Sinai Dermatology Department.

  • 65 individuals were screened at the Martha Stewart Center on May 3rd (biopsy recommended for 18 individuals).
  • 46 individuals were screened at Mount Sinai CAM building on May 8th (biopsy recommended for 8 individuals).
  • 208 individuals were screened at 92nd St Y on September 14th (biopsy recommended for 30 individuals).  

Aspen Ideas Festival – Skin Screenings:  The Department of Dermatology provided free melanoma screenings at the festival in Aspen, Colorado. They identified 9 possible melanomas, 190 precancerous lesions and 80 atypical moles, and up to 89 possible non-melanoma skin cancers

  • Total number of individuals screened: 713

Ongoing Community Programs

American Cancer Society: Look Good Feel Better: monthly program onsite; Cancer Resource Volunteer onsite

Artist in Residence: onsite/outpatient once a week

Musicians on Call: onsite/inpatient once a week

Light One Little Candle:  Free children’s books provided to patients undergoing treatment available inpatient and outpatient

Climb (Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) – a support program that helps children cope with cancer in their families, provided onsite on monthly basis

Gilda’s Club – provides weekly Spanish speaking support group outpatient and educational events several times a month on pertinent to topics such as acupressure and mindful eating

Cook For Your Life – quarterly sessions available outpatient, which collaborates with onsite nutritionist to provide practical knowledge, tools and inspiration to cook

Other Community Outreach Events

Disease Awareness Resource Tables – Held onsite in support of Gynecologic Cancer (September) with National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, The Witness Project and Esperanza Y Vida, Thyroid Cancer (September) and Lung Cancer with Lung Cancer Alliance (November’s Turquoise Takeover), these free events offered information on preventative services and programs.  In addition, the thyroid event offered simple thyroid exams.

  • Total Attendees for Gynecologic Cancer Awareness: 87
  • Total Participants for Thyroid Cancer Awareness: 94

Survivorship Day – Annual celebration for survivors offered onsite at Beth Israel.

  • Total Attendance: 250
  • Ruttenberg Treatment Center attendees: 30

The Cancer Outreach Committee will continue to meet monthly to ensure that provided prevention and early detection screening programs reflect defined needs and disease patterns in surrounding communities (by zip code).

2015 outreach goals include:

  • Continue to develop the Tisch Advocates Group to increase impact for communities in need
  • Implement quarterly newsletter for The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai outreach events
  • Increase outreach efforts to Spanish speaking community directed at prevention and early detection through publications such as El Diario and radio platforms (for example: La Mega, Amor and Radio WADO)
  • Continue to develop genetic counseling program to meet growing demand for preventative intervention

2014 Partners

H.E.A.L.S. works in partnership with the following organizations in 2014:

The Re-Entry Population

  • Bronx Community Solutions
  • Greenhope Services for Women

Active Drug-Users/Substance Use Rehabilitation

  • ABLE House
  • New York Harm Reduction Educators
  • St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction
  • Center Recovery at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center
  • Bridge Back to Life Center
  • St. Joseph’s Medical Center/St. Vincent’s of Westchester Hospital Division Methadone Maintenance Treatment Programs
  • Mount Sinai Beth Israel Methadone Maintenance Treatment Programs
  • Palladia, Inc. Comprehensive Treatment Program
  • Washington Heights Corner Project
  • The Addiction Institute of New York

Community Feeding Programs

  • Yorkville Common Pantry
  • Treat Me Right, Inc.

The Homeless

  • Volunteers of America – Regent Family Shelter and Harlem Veterans’ Residence
  • Department of Homeless Services-Ega, Gema and Columba Kavanagh Halls
  • CAMBA
  • Urban Pathways
  • Project Renewal
  • Lenox Hill Neighborhood House – Park Avenue Women’s Shelter and Casa Mutua
  • The Relief Bus
  • The Doe Fund
  • Geel Community Services