Immigrant Health & Cancer Disparities Service: Reducing Health Risk in Immigrants & Minorities

Limited health information and barriers to healthcare access place many immigrants and medically underserved people at risk for cancer and other diseases.

Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities (IHCD) Service has programs to assess an individual’s health risk, provide information about affordable healthcare, and address barriers to cancer screening and treatment.

HPV Vaccine Practices

We are studying ways to increase use of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in minorities. One study is looking at the extent to which physicians give the HPV vaccine to patients who are at high risk of HPV infection, while examining physicians’ attitudes toward recommending the vaccine. Another study is exploring Latino parents' attitudes toward the giving the HPV vaccine to their children.

Our studies include:

  • “Uptake of HPV Vaccine among Latino Boys and Girls: Bridging Parental Barriers,” which is looking at knowledge and attitudes among Latino immigrant parents regarding childhood HPV vaccination and the effect of barriers to the use of the HPV vaccine in this population
  • “Building a Network of Community Primary Care Providers to Implement and Disseminate Cancer Prevention Interventions for Latino Populations,” which is providing baseline data to help develop a community-based primary care program that will serve HPV-related cancer needs of Latino patients

For more information about HPV vaccine practices, please contact Abraham Aragones at aragonea@mskcc.org.

Health Fairs

Health fairs offer an important gateway to the healthcare system for many people. Health fairs sponsored by the IHCD Service provide thousands of immigrants with counseling about how to prevent and manage cancer and chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and dental disease.

Our health fairs also offer free referrals to affordable and culturally appropriate healthcare providers and services. We implement a robust follow-up protocol for all participants in need of further counseling.

Each year, the IHCD Service partners with numerous community organizations to bring health fairs to their constituents. Recent health fairs have served New York City’s Indian Punjabi, Nepalese, West African Fulani-speaking, Arab American, Bangladeshi, and Mexican populations.

If your organization is interested in holding a health fair, please contact Lakshmi Prasad at prasadl@mskcc.org or Sehrish Bari at baris@mskcc.org.

The Taxi Network

The IHCD Service has received a three-year grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to improve the health of New York City taxi drivers. The IHCD Service and its partner, the South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS), will work closely with an advisory board of taxi drivers, the Taxi Network, key community partners, and an external advisory committee to assess drivers’ health priorities, identify barriers to healthcare, and find ways to reduce health disparities in this community.

Findings from this assessment will inform the development of a comprehensive driver-centric health intervention, which will be piloted in the second phase of the study.

For more information about Taxi Network activities, please contact Lakshmi Prasad at prasadl@mskcc.org.