For many immigrants and other medically underserved populations, coping with a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment can be overwhelming. Obstacles to quality cancer care include lack of access to health information, barriers around health insurance, limited English proficiency, limited psychosocial support, and a variety of social and economic factors that make it difficult for patients to obtain all the resources they need to successfully complete their cancer treatment. These obstacles to quality care have been shown to have a disproportionately negative impact on treatment outcomes and quality of life for the medically underserved. (1)
The Integrated Cancer Care Access Network (ICCAN) connects immigrants and other medically underserved individuals with resources and services that address disparities in accessing and completing cancer care. We connect our patients with resources that can help ease the enormous financial and psychosocial burden of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
ICCAN currently provides case management services for hundreds of cancer patients across 14 treatment sites in New York City and Long Island. ICCAN’s case managers help patients secure health insurance, assistance with transportation to and from medical appointment, healthy food, psychosocial support, childcare, legal aid, financial assistance, and other resources.
A core aim of ICCAN is to reduce cultural and linguistic obstacles to completing cancer treatment. Our bilingual case managers provide culturally competent care and give patients and caregivers the tools they need to be their own advocates in the healthcare setting.
ICCAN’s extensive network of community workers, social workers, and patient navigators help patients access services from more than 300 community-based organizations. We also train hospital staff to help immigrants and other medically underserved patients overcome treatment obstacles.
Data collected from ICCAN patients will help us to increase the number of patients who complete their cancer treatment, improve the quality of life for low-income and immigrant patients, and champion efforts and programs that address inequalities in cancer care.
For more information about ICCAN program activities, please contact Claudia Ayash at [email protected].
For more information about ICCAN research, please contact Bharat Narang at [email protected].