The Tisch Cancer Institute

Community Outreach and Engagement Programs

By engaging with our community partners, the Community and Outreach Services (COE) program focuses on developing and implementing community-based culturally relevant educational programs to increase cancer screening in vulnerable groups and increase minority involvement in the cancer care continuum the various stages of cancer: risk reduction, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and end of life.

Community Advisory Board

The Tisch Cancer Institute (TCI) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has a Community Advisory Board (CAB) comprised of local community leaders and patient advocates from within the community and affiliated with cancer care organizations throughout New York City (NYC). Within the CAB, there are three workgroups to better understand and support the cancer needs of the community across the cancer continuum: (1) Risk Reduction, Early Detection and Screening and (2) Treatment, Survivorship and Supportive Oncology and (3) Citizen Scientist workgroup.

Mission: The CAB’s mission is to identify and address community needs as well as cancer disparities throughout the cancer continuum to alleviate the burden of cancer for patients, families and caregivers within NYC. 


  • Ensure the CAB is a board of members that reflects the communities we serve
  • Disseminate programs and key cancer-related messages emanating from research findings
  • Identify and reduce healthcare delivery disparities
  • Understand and support the cancer needs of the community

For more information on how to become a Community Partner or a Patient Advocate please contact Asher Moreland (Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) Program Manager).

Citizen Scientist Program

Citizen scientists are advocates of the community we serve and are trained to engage with and be the voice of the community. Citizen scientists have proven valuable in increasing communities’ knowledge and awareness of research, building trust in scientific research, and informing areas of research design and ethics. They can be included on grants and provide input to researchers on how to approach patients for enrollment, look at consent language, and talks about whether certain trials would be important to the community.

Citizen scientists are members of the Mount Sinai Cancer Community Advisory Board. The citizen scientists attend workgroup discussions that are focused on: cancer education, access to care and available resources, navigation, physical, psychological and economic issues of cancer, improving quality of life for patients and families, provide input to researchers on how to approach patients for enrollment, review consent and discuss clinical trial consent language and how they are relatable and important to the community. 

Citizen scientists may have a role on the Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee where clinical trial protocols are reviewed and vetted to meet the scientific merit and priorities of the Tisch Cancer Institute (TCI).

Cancer Outreach Programs

CHOICE Program

Screening for colorectal cancer is strongly recommended for everyone, starting at age 45. Colorectal cancer screening has been proven to save lives. Through the CHOICE program, Mount Sinai allows you to stay up to date with screening for colorectal cancer. More info here.

The Witness Project® of Harlem

The Witness Project® of Harlem (WPH) represents a culturally sensitive educational effort that requires collaboration with the church, a powerful and far-reaching institution in the African American community.  This program has been modeled after the Witness Project® developed by Dr. Deborah Erwin and her associates (then) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  The Witness Project® is a culturally competent breast and cervical cancer education program for African American women designed to increase adherence to recommended screening guidelines.  The Project trains breast cancer survivors (Witness Role Models (WRMs)), to share their own experience of cancer diagnosis and treatment.  Additionally, Lay Health Advisors (LHAs) are trained to work with the WRMs in the education component of the program.  Evaluation of the Witness Project® has revealed that participants report significant increases in breast cancer screening from pre-to post-intervention as compared to a control group.

Esperanza y Vida® – The Latina Witness Project of Harlem

Esperanza y Vida® (EyV) represents a culturally sensitive health education program that works collaboratively with different community and faith-based organizations within the Hispanic/Latino community.  This program has been modeled after the Witness Project®.  The program uses creative and innovative technology in order to educate the communities about breast and cervical cancer.  The program was designed not only to increase knowledge about the topic but also to improve adherence to recommended screening guidelines.  The Project trains breast cancer survivors (Sobrevivientes), to share their own experience of cancer diagnosis and treatment.  Additionally, Lay Health Advisors (LHAs) are trained to work with the sobrevivientes in the educational component of the program.  The research component of Esperanza y Vida® has shown that those participants who were navigated after the educational component of the program, report significant increases in breast and cervical cancer screening.

 Hepatitis Outreach Network (HONE)

This is a community viral hepatitis prevention, screening, and link to case study focused on adult, minority groups in New York City who are at high risk for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV). HONE is raising awareness and providing education in minority communities (such as the African Immigrant community) in the New York City area. It aims to create a comprehensive hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and screening project in minority communities at high risk in the New York City area. It also looks to establish a link between screening efforts and appropriate healthcare, including vaccination and access to treatment for chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C patients. HONE offers combined HBV and HCV screening at no-cost at a variety of health fairs and other events throughout New York City. If found positive for Hepatitis B or C, we also offer a free initial visit at Mount Sinai Hospital for further tests and treatment options, as well as linkage to care at a facility convenient to the patients. This study is a collaboration between members of The Mount Sinai Health System Division of Liver Diseases, the Tisch Cancer Institute and community physicians who care for minority patients at high risk for chronic HBV and HCV.

Mobile Mammography Program

The Mobile Mammography Program will functions provides breast cancer screening services for women 40 and over throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The program will couple group-based, culturally targeted education and outreach with (1) digital breast tomosynthesis full field mammography; (2) the newest Mammography Information System, which will make our intake and follow-up communications available in the many languages of our target populations; and (3) provides continuous quality monitoring software. More info here. For info in Spanish visit this page.

Schedule your mammogram visit here.

Mobile MRI Prostate Unit

Mount Sinai launched the Robert F. Smith Mobile MRI Unit to support prostate health and address the high incidence of prostate cancer in the Black community. This mobile unit brings state-of-the-art imaging equipment and specialized staff directly to the communities that need them most. The goal is to lower prostate cancer deaths by 25 percent among Black males in the areas immediately surrounding The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens. The mobile van will serve all five boroughs across NYC. Read more here.

Schedule your screening here.

Mount Sinai Tisch Cancer Center Lay Health Navigator Program

The Brooklyn College Cancer Center (CommUnity Outreach, Research and Education) BCCC-CURE has partnered with The Tisch Cancer Institute Community Outreach and Engagement Program at Mount Sinai to launch the Mount Sinai Tisch Cancer Center Lay Health Navigator Program with Brooklyn College. Students selected for the program attend two 2-hour virtual or in-person training sessions and work with a professional Community Health Educator. Once trained, students will commit to navigating at least 20 patients a year (about 20 hours of work).

As Lay Health Navigators, these trained students will reach out to community members to improve access to cancer screenings and care, especially among underserved communities across NYC. They will also learn to guide patients through the health-care system so that they may receive medical services, such as a cancer-screening test.

For more information, please email