MSK's Tobacco Treatment Team


Our tobacco treatment team includes clinical health psychologists, nurses, tobacco treatment specialists, and a health educator with decades of experience in helping people stop using tobacco products.


 Jamie S. Ostroff, PHD.

Jamie S. Ostroff, PhD
Director, Tobacco Treatment Program

I am a clinical health psychologist with expertise in tobacco dependence treatment.  I provide motivational counseling and behavioral support to individuals, couples, and families struggling with tobacco dependence. I specialize in working with cancer patients and others with medical conditions.

Lisa Carter-Harris, PhD, APRN, ANP-C, FAAN

Lisa Carter-Harris
Director, Tobacco Cessation Research Program

I am a behavioral scientist and adult nurse practitioner with expertise in helping patients and their healthcare providers have better discussions — with the goal of improving patient decision-making. I have a passion for working with patients who have been diagnosed with, or are at high risk for the development of, tobacco-related cancers. In addition focusing on communication and decision-making, my research also works to decrease the stigma associated with tobacco-related cancers. I am the Director of the Tobacco Cessation Research Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. I work with a team of colleagues dedicated to promoting smoking cessation, improving patient-provider communication in complex cancer screening decisions, decreasing stigma, and decreasing health disparities among cancer patients and individuals at risk for tobacco-related cancers.

I also co-lead the Health Behavior Change and Cancer Risk Reduction Laboratory, examining psychological and behavioral factors in cancer prevention and early detection. My research focuses on the development of innovative methods for improving decision-making and supporting both patients and providers to engage in more meaningful discussions that ultimately have the potential to improve patient outcomes. I serve on many academic and national committees aimed at improving cancer prevention, early detection, and decreasing inequities in care.

Chris Kotsen

Chris Kotsen, PsyD

I am a licensed clinical psychologist and certified tobacco treatment specialist with a National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice.

I am a passionate and committed clinician with expertise in evidence-based tobacco dependence treatments. These typically involve combining counseling with medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for quitting tobacco use. I am working with the Tobacco Treatment Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to expand telemedicine counseling for tobacco dependence to MSK’s regional sites.

I have a broad range of experience in behavioral health, addiction, cancer care, and lung cancer screening. One of my specialties is providing group tobacco treatment counseling in healthcare and workplace settings. My research interests involve using group counseling to help people quit tobacco products and making tobacco treatment services part of lung cancer screenings.

I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence, and as Co-Chair of its Business Practices Committee.

Tobacco Treatment Specialists

 Suhana de Leon-Sanchez, RN, NP

Suhana de Leon-Sanchez, RN, NP
I am a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner with a primary focus in treating nicotine dependence in cancer patients. I work collaboratively with the clinical team to formulate individualized quit strategies based on each person’s goals. I use an evidence-based practice model that includes education, motivational counseling, and FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications.

Maureen O’Brien, RN, MS

 Maureen O’Brien, RN, MS

As a clinical nurse specialist, I address the specific needs of cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their families who want to improve their health through treatment for tobacco dependence. I work collaboratively with the healthcare team to develop individualized quit strategies that incorporate both motivational counseling and evidence-based, FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications. As a CNS, I am an active consultant, advocate, and liaison between MSK, patients, and their families regarding tobacco treatment. I am also responsible for the development and implementation of patient and staff education related to tobacco treatment at MSK.

C. Will Whitlock, RN, NP

 C. Will Wikle, NP, RN

As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, I specialize in treating nicotine dependence in the cancer care setting and work with our patients to develop individualized quit strategies that incorporate both motivational counseling and FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications.

MSKQuits Tobacco Cessation Educator

Ivy Opoku-Nti, MPH
Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist

 Ivy Opoku-Nti, MPH

I work with employees and dependents in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Employee Health and Wellness program. I assist employees and their dependents by establishing a personalized quitting plan that includes behavioral modifications, motivational counseling, as well as FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications.

Clinic Coordinator

Dionne Birbeck, MPH

 Dionne Birbeck, MPH

As the clinic coordinator, I work closely with our psychologists and nurses to ensure that our clinic operates smoothly. I’m responsible for the coordination of patient schedules, database maintenance, patient smoking status, and report management on monthly referrals across Disease Management Teams (DMTs).