On April 17, Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Office of Diversity Programs in Clinical Care, Research, and Training joined with the Breast Examination Center of Harlem, the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention, and the Partnership Community Outreach Program — a collaboration between The City College of New York and Memorial Sloan Kettering — to present a cancer health and wellness seminar for residents of Harlem and the surrounding communities.
Held at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Harlem State Office Building, the seminar, Moving from Awareness to Action, attracted more than 100 attendees. Several speakers from Memorial Sloan Kettering were featured: physician-scientist Joseph R. Osborne; radiologist Barbara Raphael; clinical health psychologist Jack E. Burkhalter; and medical oncologist Gina Villani, who is also Chief Executive Officer of the Ralph Lauren Center.
Drs. Osborne, Raphael, Burkhalter, and Villani addressed a range of topics, including myths surrounding cancer treatment and prevention, an overview of cancer screening tests, and challenges to improving health behaviors and practical strategies to overcome such challenges.
“I have had a career-long interest in the socioeconomic causes for the uneven burden of cancer-related mortality,” says Dr. Osborne. “At events such as these my colleagues and I have an important opportunity to interact and partner with a population that has been historically medically underserved. Our aim is to help people empower themselves, their families, and their neighbors to achieve optimal health and advocate for their needs. As a Harlem native and an African-American male, it is a personal mission to let my community know that Memorial Sloan Kettering will play an important role in reducing — and eventually eliminating — cancer health disparities.”
Following the seminar, audience members were invited to schedule appointments for cancer screenings and to receive information on clinical trials, cancer support services, and community resources.