Outreach and Education
An important focus of the Barbara and Maurice Deane Prostate Health and Research Center is the extension of our expertise and services into the community surrounding The Mount Sinai Health System in upper Manhattan in New York City to enhance the understanding and treatment of prostatic diseases.
A grassroots effort along these lines is needed for two important reasons. First, men in the community adjacent to the Medical Center do not regularly seek health care and particularly neglect men’s health and preventative care issues. Second, prostate cancer disproportionately affects African American and Latino men who represent a large component of our community. African Americans have the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world, are twice as likely to present with advanced disease and are more likely to die from it. Latinos have a lower incidence of prostate cancer than non-Hispanic whites, according to the American Cancer Society. However, they are but are more likely to die from it than non-Hispanic whites.
In collaboration with the Cancer Prevention and Control Program of the Department of Oncological Sciences and The East Harlem Health Partnership and the Department of Community Relations, the Deane Center has embarked on a program of health education and free screening. Education focuses on the message of early detection and disease intervention, dispelling the perception that the diagnosis of prostate disease will necessarily result in urinary problems (incontinence) and sexual dysfunction (impotence).
Free screenings are coordinated through affiliated community health centers such as Settlement Health to ensure opportunities for access to complete health care and enhance health networks between the community and the Medical Center. Furthermore, a process has been established through Community Relations and the Resource, Entitlement and Advocacy Program (REAP) office to maximize health benefit coverage for those without insurance. Thus, all of our patients are eligible for diagnosis and treatment, if needed, offered through the Deane Center, without influence by cost.
Issues that are of special concern to the community surrounding Mount Sinai are being addressed through the resources of the Center. An important program concerns attitudes toward disease screenings in an effort to increase awareness and informed decision-making. This collaborative effort between the Cancer Center, Emergency Room and the Deane Center entails a communication exchange between prostate cancer survivors and unscreened into understand perceptions of prostate cancer in the community better and therefore to tailor educational outreach better.