Stephen A. Sands, PsyD
Neuropsychologist & Child Psychologist
Director, Pediatric Neuropsychology
Neuropsychological, Educational, Social-Emotional, Quality of Life, and Behavioral Assessments for Pediatric Oncology, Hematology, and Stem Cell Transplant Patients; Accommodations, Services, and Cognitive Interventions to Maximize Transition to Survivorship
New Patient Appointments
Scheduling a visit is easy. Click below or call us to get started.
Dr. Sands accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Aetna HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Aetna does not include us in any of the plans you can purchase through the insurance exchanges or through Medicare. Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral.
In New York State
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (Wellpoint) of New York HMO, EPO, PPO, and POS plans, with the following exceptions:
- Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering is not an in-network provider for Empire's Medicare Managed Care plan known as Mediblue).
- The Empire Indemnity Plan provides limited coverage for our services.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
In New Jersey
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey plans for individuals, families, and small businesses. For example, the PPO plan is in-network with our Manhattan locations.
Horizon Blue Cross HMO is only in-network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth locations. It does not allow access to our Manhattan facilities.
Horizon Blue Cross PPO is in network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen, Monmouth and Manhattan locations.
OMNIA Plans: Tier I EPO based plan policy is only in-network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth locations and does not allow access to our Manhattan sites. Tier II EPO is only in-network with our Manhattan sites if it is a blue-card plan (there would be a suitcase logo indicating PPO on the front of the card).
Other plans may only be in-network at our Basking Ridge, Bergen or Monmouth locations.
Outside New York State and New Jersey
Some, but not all, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans outside of New York and New Jersey include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Contact your insurance to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with CIGNA's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. CIGNA does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
- If you are a New York State resident: Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral.
- If you live outside of New York State: Please ask your insurance if you have in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with EmblemHealth’s PPO, EPO, POS, HMO plans and Medicare plans. Emblem Health does not include us in any of its Select Care network plans. EmblemHealth includes GHI, HIP, Vytra, and ConnecticCare (in NYS Only). You must bring a referral from your Emblem primary care doctor to your first appointment.
Formerly known as Health Plus Amerigroup, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plus is an in-network provider with Memorial Sloan Kettering. You will need a one-time referral from your primary care doctor.
We understand that there may be many complexities involved with insurance coverage purchased through the health exchange network of the Affordable Care Act. We're here to help. If you have questions about how your care will be covered by an insurance provider, or need help navigating a change in coverage, please call us at 646-227-3378; if you are not a resident of New York, you can call us at 866-248-1274. Our team is here to listen to your concerns and assist you in any way we can. We want our care to be as accessible and affordable for as many people as possible.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with HealthSmart’s Accel, HSPC, and HPO networks.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Humana.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Interlink Health Services.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Lifetrac.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for all MagnaCare health plans except those products you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
New York State Medicaid covers physician and hospital services at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Patients are responsible for co-payments.
We also have contractual relationships involving Medicaid Managed Care plans. MSK is an in-network provider with Medicaid NY Emblem Health (formerly known as HIP) and Medicaid NY Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus (formerly known as Amerigroup). You will need a one-time referral from your primary care doctor.
In New York: Memorial Sloan Kettering’s New York locations are in-network with the Emblem
In New Jersey: Memorial Sloan Kettering’s New Jersey locations in Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth are in-network with the Horizon Medicare Advantage Plan. This plan is not accepted for care provided at MSK’s New York locations.
If you are enrolled in any other Medicare Advantage plan, please contact your insurance carrier to determine your benefits and coverage at Memorial Sloan Kettering since your access may be limited.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Multiplan.
If you are covered by more than one insurance plan, you will want to determine your benefits from both plans. First, you need to determine which one is your primary insurance provider by contacting your employee benefits office or your insurance carriers. After you find out which is your primary insurance provider, you should then contact your insurance carrier to determine if you have access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some MVP plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for New York State employees who have enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services. If you have the Empire Plan, you should call Cancer Resources Services at 866-936-6002 to verify and enroll in this coverage.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is in-network with Oscar's Circle Plus Network, a part of its Small Group Broad line that is offered only to select small business groups. Oscar does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider for any of its individual plans. Please confirm eligibility with your insurance carrier.
We have agreements with several insurance companies that may provide additional coverage for cancer patients. These benefit programs include:
- AXA Assistance USA
- Beech Street
- Integrated Health Plans
- National Health Administrators
- National Preferred Provider Network
- UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services
- United Resource Network
- Veterans Choice Program
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Oxford’s Freedom and Liberty plans as well as the Metro Plan (which is only offered to small business groups and no longer offered as individual plans). Please confirm with your insurance if you need a one-time referral. Note: Oxford's Medicare Managed Care plan — Secure Horizon — does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Oxford does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with QualCare's PPO and HMO/POS network.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Specialty Care Management.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with UnitedHealthCare's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Please confirm with your insurance if a one-time referral is needed.
UnitedHealthCare's Medicare Managed Care plan does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider.
United does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by UnitedHealthcare.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with the World Trade Center Health Program.
Contact and Location
Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offers many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.
PsyD, New York University
St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Medical Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
I am a neuropsychologist and child psychologist on the MSK Kids team. I help children, teens, and young adults with cancer, as well as their caregivers. For example, I work with young patients during and after treatment to help them express their thoughts and feelings, communicate more openly with their family and friends, and develop plans for their life after treatment. I also support parents as they grapple with the many transitions and range of emotions related to their child’s diagnosis and treatment.
When patients come to see me after finishing cancer treatment, they are often concerned about going back to school or work. First, I listen to all their concerns and answer any questions. Next, we identify their cognitive (thinking), academic, social and emotional, and behavioral strengths. These tools can help ease their transition. We also discuss difficult areas and find ways to address them. I actively involve patients, parents, and teachers to smooth the transition to life after cancer and to increase areas of academic and personal strength.
In my research, I am trying to identify children, teens, and young adults who are at an increased risk of reduced neuropsychological functioning due to their medical diagnosis and treatment. We are developing studies to learn which steps can reduce or avoid these problems.
I collaborate closely with many Memorial Sloan Kettering doctors to study and document the late effects of treatments for a wide range of diagnoses. These include pediatric brain tumors, leukemia, neuroblastoma, sarcoma, and others. Specifically, I study the potential impact of proton beam cranial irradiation. This form of radiation therapy to the head and other novel treatments are designed to cure cancer while reducing the risk of side effects later in life. My colleagues in MSK’s survivorship programs and I use this information to improve outcomes for our patients.
It is my goal for children, teens, young adults, and families affected by cancer to have a clear understanding of the possible effects of medical treatments. I also help them learn about their individual strengths and the challenges that often come up. I am honored to provide support, guidance, and empathy for young patients and their families. I am continually inspired by their resilience, strength, courage, and adaptability.
I am honored to provide support, guidance, and empathy for young patients and their families.
Awards and Honors
- Best Clinical Research, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Research Symposium, Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (2004)
- Pediatric Oncology Service Award, the Valerie Fund (2014)
- Excellence in Quality of Care Award, Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation (2016)
Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.
- Clinical Trials Co-Investigated by Dr. Sands
- A Study Assessing a Game-Based Physical Activity in Childhood Cancer Survivors
- Effect of Treatment on Quality of Life in Survivors of Retinoblastoma in One Eye
Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.
You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.
Research and Publications
Sands SA. Helping Survivors of Medulloblastoma Learn From What We Learn. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2013 Oct 1;31(28):3480-2.
Oberg, JA, Dave AN, Bruce JN and Sands SA. Neurocognitive functioning and quality of life in patients with recurrent malignant gliomas treated on a phase Ib trial evaluating topotecan by convection-enhanced delivery. Neuro-Oncology Practice 2014 Sep;1(3):94-100.
Bhatia M, Kolva E, Cimini L, Jin Z, Satwani P, Savone M, George D, Garvin J, Paz ML, Briamonte C, Cruz-Arrieta E, and Sands SA. Health-Related Quality of Life after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Sickle Cell Disease. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2015 Apr;21(4):666-672.
Olson K and Sands SA. Cognitive training programs for childhood cancer patients and survivors: A critical review and future directions. Child Neuropsychology 2016;22(5):509-36.
Sands SA. Proton Beam Radiation Therapy: The Future May Prove Brighter for Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2016 Apr;34(10):1024-1026.
Sands SA, Mee L, Bartell A, Manne S, Devine KA, Savone M and Kashy DA. Group-Based Trajectory Modeling of Distress and Well-Being Among Caregivers of Children Undergoing Hematopoetic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT). Journal of Pediatric Psychology 2016 Aug.
Sands SA, Harel BT, Savone M, Kelly K, Vijayanathan V, Welch JG, Vrooman LM, Silverman LB and Cole P. Feasibility of Baseline Neurocognitive Assessment using Cogstate During the First Month of Therapy for Childhood Leukemia. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2016 Oct.
Sands SA, Ladas EJ, Kelly KM, Dave A, Weiner M, Lin M, Hughes Ndao D, Vahdat LT and Glade-Bender J. Glutamine for the Treatment of Vincristine-Induced Neuropathy in Children and Adolescents with Cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer 2017.
Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Sands’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.