Borough Hall hosts Cancer Prevention Roundtable with elected officials focusing on skin and HPV related cancers
Elected officials, medical professionals, and not-for-profit leaders work together to expand program
Borough President Vito J. Fossella and his public health team are pleased to continue the work of a three-year Cancer Prevention in Action (CPiA) grant given to Columbia University’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) by hosting a cancer roundtable with local elected officials, medical professionals, community leaders and not-for-profit organizations. The goal is to expand the program to additional community partner sites across Staten Island which can adopt their own sun safety policies, and extend to clinical partners to improve HPV vaccination, in an effort to reduce skin and HPV related cancer rates across the borough.
Compared to the other four boroughs of New York City, Staten Island has a higher incidence of melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. With this grant, HICCC will work with the Borough President’s Office and Richmond University Medical Center to reduce skin cancer rates in Staten Island by raising awareness about the dangers of indoor tanning and the importance of widespread adoption of sun safety practices like seeking shade and using sunscreen for skin cancer prevention.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Children’s Aid- Goodhue Center, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island, and the Richmond University Medical Center’s School-Based Health Center at Susan E. Wagner High School have designed and adopted sun safety policies that encourage providing free sunscreen, displaying sun safety information, and providing sun safety training for staff.
“Our goal is to highlight the fact that there are so many of these cases of skin and HPV related cancers across the borough,” said Borough President Fossella. “This roundtable will help be the first step to spread awareness of this program which is available to community organizations and clinical offices. We want to thank our partners and beyond for their efforts in this important endeavor.”
“We are proud to partner with the Borough President’s office, HICCC, and all of our community partners to bring sun safety programming to our Day Camp and Cornerstone programs. We know that taking proactive steps will help young people prevent cancer in the future, and we’re grateful to be able to play a role in educating our youth on the importance of prevention,” said Orit Lender, JCC CEO.
The grant will also address improving the low rates of HPV vaccination across Staten Island. Staten Island has the lowest rate of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations within the five boroughs with only about 1 in 4 adolescents (ages 13 to 17) having completed the HPV vaccination series. This rate is also significantly lower than New York State’s average of about 55%. HPV can cause six different types of cancers in both men and women, and is responsible for most cases of cervical cancer. The program will work to improve awareness about the protective benefits of the HPV vaccine and provide educational opportunities to community organizations, schools, and healthcare providers. Additionally, the grant will also work with both the Staten Island hospitals, various school based health centers and other clinical partners to improve HPV vaccination rates throughout the borough.
“We are so grateful for our partnership with the team at the Columbia Herbert Irving Cancer Center. They have not only helped in identifying the true needs and gaps of our community, but have been able to bring much needed resources for Staten Island through the CPiA grant,” said Dr. Ginny Mantello, Director of Health and Wellness for Borough President Fossella. “We will continue to work with them beyond this grant to identify other resources around cancer prevention and education for the clinical and community based partners.”
“The roundtable provided an excellent forum to dialogue with our colleagues on population health concerns such as skin cancer and HPV among Staten Islanders,” said MR. Richard J. Salhany, MBA, FACHE, Chief Administrative Officer from Richmond University Medical Center. “We share a common goal of improving the health of the community through prevention, outreach and treatment.”
This roundtable was designed to help elected officials and other community leaders learn about ongoing cancer prevention work on Staten Island, discuss work under the grant, provide an overview of the three main ways to work on cancer prevention in adolescents, and discuss how to leverage partnerships to reduce cancer rates in Staten Island.
“The Cancer Prevention Roundtable was a great opportunity for us to talk to Staten Island elected officials about how they can work with the Cancer Prevention in Action program. We had a great discussion about the need for sun safety programming and HPV vaccination education in order to reduce cancer rates on Staten Island,” said Maya Lipsman, Project Director for Cancer Prevention in Action. “As trusted leaders in their communities, people listen to what elected officials have to say, so we hope that we can partner with them to spread information about sun safety and HPV vaccination to reduce Staten Island’s cancer burden in these areas.”
Columbia University’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) was recently awarded a three-year grant by Cancer Prevention in Action (CPiA) of New York State Department of Health and Health Research, Inc. The award supports the HICCC’s work on skin cancer risk reduction and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination education in Staten Island. The HICCC is the first and only site in New York City to receive this competitive award by the CPiA program. HICCC has partnered with Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) and the Office of the Staten Island Borough President to complete the activities of this grant. These partners make connections with local organizations to implement sun safety policies and deliver HPV vaccination education.