Queens, eastern Brooklyn residents should soon have access to expanded cancer care

Residents of Queens and eastern Brooklyn should soon have access to world-class cancer care as a result of a collaboration between Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and MediSys Health Network (Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center).

MediSys Health Network in making the announcement of the new collaboration on Jan. 12 states “Aligning MSK’s unique expertise and specialized cancer care with the deep community integration and acute care knowledge of MediSys Health Network, the collaboration is positioned to make a true difference in the lives of thousands of New Yorkers.”

“Today, Queens is one of the most diverse communities in the world with 2.4 million residents who speak more than 135 languages. Many people living in Queens also face significant healthcare barriers, including socio-economic, language, and educational disparities, that have a profound effect on their ability to access care, particularly cancer care,” according to a news release.

According to the release “During the first phase of the relationship, which is anticipated to last throughout 2023, MSK physician leadership will work closely with clinical leadership from MediSys to enable the development of a robust oncology program onsite at Jamaica Hospital. Together, the team will also create a more streamlined process to transfer patients needing more specialized care to MSK locations including participation in clinical trials, based on clinical criteria and treatment requirements.”

“We are thrilled to launch this exciting new collaboration that merges our combined expertise and honors our shared goal of bringing the very best cancer care to the residents of Queens and eastern Brooklyn,” said David Pfister, MD, chief, head and Neck Oncology Service and associate deputy physician-in-chief, Strategic Partnerships. “MediSys Health Network and Jamaica Hospital have deep roots within their community, an extraordinary commitment to serving it, and great expertise in caring for their patients. We believe that together our efforts will make a positive impact across this vibrant community.”

“We at MediSys are very excited about our collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,” said Sabiha Raoof, MD, chief medical officer and chairperson of Radiology, MediSys Health Network. “Cancer care is a significant unmet need in our community. MSK will help bring world-class oncology expertise to our patients. In combination with our long-standing experience in addressing socioeconomic determinants of health, I believe our partnership will be highly synergistic and will reduce the heavy burden of cancer in Queens.”

According to the release this collaboration aims to bring innovative cancer therapies to the people of Queens and eastern Brooklyn. It is also a pivotal step in furthering MSK’s goal of creating a patient population that better reflects the diversity of New York City and, ideally, offering participation in clinical trials to a broader group of people. The knowledge gained from clinical trials that include a diverse mix of patients is invaluable and will support the development of potentially lifesaving therapies for a wider range of people with cancer.