Mission and Vision


The main purpose of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is to serve and support the mission of Memorial Sloan Kettering, which is: “To lead in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of cancer through programs of excellence in research, education, outreach, and cost-effective patient care.”

The mission of our Department is therefore to provide care throughout the pursuit of diagnosis, prevention, survivorship, and cure of cancer; and to achieve this through excellence in psycho-oncology programs aimed at cancer prevention, screening, survivorship, clinical care, research, education, and community outreach.

For four decades our Department has been the national and international leader in all phases of the discipline of psycho-oncology. The vision of the Department is to not only maintain this position of leadership, but to transform and grow our Department so that it is at the forefront of all major new developments in clinical care, research, training, and outreach, and raises our field to new levels and frontiers that keep pace with the revolution of personalized therapies, new genomic and immune-based therapies, epigenetics, behavioral change, and decision making in cancer care.

Our vision includes:

  • The enhancement of clinical care programs;
  • The expansion of and innovation in research initiatives;
  • A broader and more comprehensive view of the training and education mission of our Department; and
  • An ambitious community outreach and dissemination component of our Department’s activities.

The guiding principles for enacting each component of this vision are: integration, innovation, translation, and dissemination.