MSK Receives Grant to Help Increase Cancer Outcomes Equity in New York Region

Francesca Gany

Francesca Gany, MD, MS, Chief of MSK’s Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service, began the Integrated Cancer Care Access Network more than a decade ago.

The Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service (IHCD) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) has received a five-year grant that will help advance health equity in New York and beyond.

The grant, from the Merck Foundation as part of its Alliance for Equity in Cancer Care, will support MSK’s Integrated Cancer Care Access Network (ICCAN) Equity Platform. ICCAN helps health systems eliminate barriers to care that immigrants and others often face in accessing and completing cancer treatment.

Expanding Access to Telehealth, Psychosocial Support, and Language Assistance

The funding will allow ICCAN to expand their close work with community and faith-based organizations, government agencies, healthcare systems, and others to expand navigation, essential needs, telemedicine, and psychosocial support services, including language translation and interpretation.

Francesca Gany, Chief of IHCD, began ICCAN more than a decade ago.

“For many immigrants and other medically underserved populations, coping with a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. And finishing all the treatment that’s required can seem like an impossible feat,” said Dr. Gany. “This grant will allow our dedicated ICCAN team to continue to help people in and around New York City to begin and finish treatment for their cancer.”

Dr. Gany also notes that the grant will support ICCAN’s expansion into Westchester and New Jersey.

A History of Collaboration

Over the past decade, ICCAN has steadily built a network across 15 cancer treatment sites in New York City and Long Island. It has helped thousands of patients with cancer navigate a complicated healthcare system.

ICCAN helps patients secure health insurance, transportation, healthy food, psychosocial support, childcare, legal aid, financial assistance, and other resources from the more than 350 community organizations that partner with ICCAN.

A Larger Health Equity Effort

MSK was one of seven recipients of the Merck Foundation’s Alliance for Equity in Cancer Care grant. As a collective, the grantees will work to:

  • improve the coordination of patient care from diagnosis through survivorship
  • strengthen patient engagement in treatment decisions and overall patient-provider communication
  • build community partnerships that address barriers to care related to social determinants of health, and
  • provide essential psychosocial support services.