Reducing Barriers to Cancer Care

Improved Cancer Care for underserved Chinese-Speaking patients in New York City was originally funded by a grant from the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Reducing Barriers to Cancer Care is a dedicated cancer outreach effort for Chinese immigrants living in New York City, conducted by the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center in partnership with Bellevue Hospital Center Department of Social Work and the American Cancer Society Asian Initiative.

Chinese immigrants, traditionally a medically underserved population, have great need for cancer information and referral to medical services. A great disparity exists, however, in this population's use of cancer prevention services, screening, treatment, and participation in clinical trials.

Patient Navigator

To respond to the specific needs of the Chinese immigrant population and help patients and caregivers overcome access barriers, Perlmutter Cancer Center assigned a bilingual (Chinese/English-speaking) patient navigator (PN) to the multidisciplinary Bellevue Hospital Center oncology clinics.

Alternating between the gastrointestinal and head and neck specialty clinics, the PN:

  • schedules and coordinates appointments
  • arranges translation
  • coordinates referrals
  • supports patient follow-up

Chinese Language Cancer Support Program

Perlmutter Cancer Center sponsors a monthly Chinese-language support program for patients and their family members.

Monthly support meetings feature cancer-related presentations by guest speakers. Group participants have the opportunity to gather information and support from program staff.

Advisory Board

Representatives from Perlmutter Cancer Center, Bellevue Hospital Center Department of Social Work, and the American Cancer Society Asian Initiative meet regularly to oversee all aspects of the project and to ensure that goals are met in a timely manner.

In addition, the board identifies the unique needs of Chinese immigrants for use in an education module for health care professionals who work with this population

Connections for Chinese-Speaking Cancer Patients

Since its founding in 2005, the Reducing Barriers to Cancer Care program has served 200 individuals. The efforts of the PN and the support group have resulted in nearly 900 contacts with patients, family members, and health care professionals.