Community Outreach, Engagement, and Advocacy

Who We Are

  • Community outreach, engagement, and advocacy to the diverse population we serve is of high priority for our department. We have developed a highly active program, spearheaded by Greta Strong, Ed.D.  We seek to educate the diverse communities in our city regarding important medical issues and Weill Cornell Medicine’s (WCM) leadership in neurological research. Ten of our studies leverage the NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC), making use of central cores including outpatient facilities, outreach, bioethics, and biostatistics.
  • Our department continues to draw on the Institution’s many strengths to increase the community’s awareness of our programs and services by reaching out into our highly diverse communities here in New York City and its surrounding areas.  Our community collaborations have been with government and community leaders, community- and faith-based organizations, including community boards, education, social, and business-related groups. 
  • We partner with New York Presbyterian Hospital Lower Manhattan, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Pace University to successfully put on a series of lectures in the spring and fall. The focus of this collaborative partnership is to provide health education, promotion, screenings, and opportunities for research study participation to the Lower Manhattan community and the community-at-large. These bi-annual, co-sponsored seminars are free, open to the public, and cover relevant health topics. On average, attendance ranges anywhere from 25 to 200 people.
  • We select the general topics for the seminars with an aim of addressing health issues that are most impacting the community. The topics are timely and reflect the clinical and research strengths of the Institution. Speakers are WCM’s clinical faculty, researchers, or allied health professionals, who are selected based on their level of expertise on a given topic.

Highlights of Our Program  

  • Our past collaborations have been with the Manhattan Borough President’s office in planning “Up with Aging: A Healthy Brain Aging Health Fair for New York City’s Older Adult Population”.  This was designed to invigorate the lives of older adults and alter the negative attitudes toward aging that are common among older adults. The focus of the event was brain fitness and the vital connection between brain health and successful aging. This public event attracted over 700 Manhattan residents aged 60 and above. It consisted of two components: Staying Sharp: Ask the Experts about Keeping Your Brain Young, a 90-minute moderated panel discussion between leading neuroscientists about the way the brain works, and an Expo, which featured cutting edge interactive activities and information about brain fitness, successful aging, and senior empowerment. The panel was moderated by then Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. It was presented by the Dana Foundation and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in partnership with AARP. The Staying Sharp program has been in 49 cities around the country and almost 42,000 people have attended the program since it began in 1994. Its take-home message was refined to emphasize the four factors of brain health, which are taken from the 2006 NIH summary: increased mental activity, increased physical activity, increased levels of social engagement, and control of vascular risk. It was live-streamed and reached hundreds of seniors and other interested New Yorkers. Dr. Matthew E. Fink, Chair of Neurology was one of the panelists.
  • We also collaborated with the Manhattan Borough President’s Office on “Caregiving 101:  The essentials of caring for others and (yourself)”. Other co-sponsors were: Fordham Law School, Caregiver Action Network, Presbyterian Senior Services – Circle of Care, Caring Kind Well Spouse Association, NYC Health and Hospitals/Harlem, Visiting Nurse Services of New York, Music and Memory, Health Advocates for Older People, Dorot, and JASA. Over 800 people attended the event. Dr. Matthew E. Fink, Chair of Neurology was one of the panelists. 
  • In Lower Manhattan and Upper East side communities, we partner at wellness day events  with organizations such as the Boston Consulting Group, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Conde Nast, Dana Foundation for Brain Health, Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan New York, Jewish Community Center, Lenox Hill Senior Center, MetroNorth Railroad, National Launch of the All of US Program at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, New York Public Library, New York City Department of Transportation, 92nd Street Y, 100 Black Men, Inc., New York,  Pace University, Seize the Cure for Epilepsy – Bronx YMCA, Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Houses, US Court of International Trade, U.S. Department Health and Human Services, WorldWide Association of Small Churches, Metropolitan College of New York, Carter Burden Network, Webster Library, Sumitomo Corporation of America, Lenox Hill Neighborhood Health Center, Bronx Epilepsy Foundation, Lazard Ferres & Company, Golden Age Community, American Lung Association, Chinese American Medical Society, the Clinical Translation Science Center’s Heart-to-Heart Program at God’s Battalion Church of Prayer and conducted broadcasts at Far Rockaway and Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Centers. 

Virtual Lectures

  • With the advent of COVID, our doctors participated in virtual lectures. A collaboration was formed with the New York State Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Service Agency, an all-volunteer NYS EMS Agency certified and credentialed team of pre-hospital providers (EMTs, Paramedics), who render aid, providing lifesaving treatments at no-cost to patients. Their use of updated evidence-based protocols and online medical direction allow for the consistent delivery of quality care.  Our neurologists gave presentations which were instrumental to the upkeep of their protocols for quality care. 
  • Our longstanding lecture series was presented virtually in collaboration with New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, WCM, Battery Park Seniors, and Pace University’s Office of Government and Community Relations.  Topics presented were Stroke Tips, Optimizing Brain Health for Healthy Aging, and Healthy Sleep.  Together with the Patient Resource Center at WCM, we presented timely topics such as Healthy Sleep: Even More Important During Pandemic Times and Peripheral Neuropathy.  We also presented on Sleep Health at a virtual lecture series for Trinity Church, Wall Street.
  • We also formed a collaboration with the New Canaan, Connecticut Public Library Adult Programming Center.  Our neurologists presented on Memory Disorders (1) Alzheimer’s disease epidemiology.  It is extremely common, and it is the main reason we think it is "normal" to lose memory as we get older. (2) How we recognize Alzheimer’s disease: Clinical symptoms and pathology. (3) Risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease (modifiable and unmodifiable risks); what you can do that may reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.  (4) Current and possible future treatments for Alzheimer disease. (5) How to prepare for Alzheimer’s disease (emotional, financial, legal, and logistical). 
  • Concussion - Concussions and other head injuries-how to protect yourself and keep your brain healthy (Defining and identifying concussion and other mild traumatic brain injuries and how to maintain brain health.) Keeping a young audience in attendance in mind, this talk was presented in an easy-to-understand format and also covered concussion in sports and sleep health. 
  • Neurologists in the Department of Neurology expanded their presence on news Websites such as NY1spectrum, Ohio News, Conversation Radio, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Dr. Oz, Viacom, Financial Times, Digital Industry Wire, The Atlantic, Health Care News Reports, and Dana Brain Foundation podcasts. 

Support Groups 

Our support groups are the Hope for Stroke Support Group and Parkinson’s Disease Support Group.

Awareness Days, Weeks, Months

World Encephalitis Day, Sleep Awareness Week, World Multiple Sclerosis Day, Brain Awareness Week, Brain Injury Awareness Month, National Essential Tremor Awareness Month, Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness, Brain Tumor Awareness Month, Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Peripheral Neuropathy Awareness, American Stroke Awareness Month, Huntington’s Disease Awareness, Neurofibromatosis, Dementia Awareness Week, Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, Aphasia Awareness, Headache Awareness Week,  Healthy Aging Day/Month, Migraine Awareness Day, National/International Ataxia Awareness Day, World Frontotemporal Degeneration Awareness, Brain Aneurysm Awareness, Dystonia Awareness Month, National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month Dyspraxia Awareness Week, International Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Awareness Day, National Epilepsy Awareness.

Back to Health Podcasts

Back To Health is Weill Cornell’s Medicine source for the latest in health, wellness, and medical care for the whole family. Our team of world-renowned physicians at Weill Cornell Medicine, conduct in-depth conversations covering trending health topics, wellness tips, and medical breakthroughs.  With the spotlight on a collaborative approach to patient care, the series presents cutting-edge treatments, innovative therapies as well as real-life stories that answer common questions for both patients and their caregivers.  Weill Cornell Medicine understand that medicine is complex and can be overwhelming.  You can subscribe to the podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.


Podcasts Presented by Neurology Faculty

Dr. Matthew E. Fink CADASIL Awareness (Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Sub-cortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalop

Matthew E. Fink, M.D., discusses what patients should know about Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopath (CADASIL). He reviews the signs and symptoms of the rare disease and how it may cause strokes in younger adult patients. He goes over the risk of inheritance of the gene that may cause CADASIL and how parents who may carry it can still have healthy children through a coordinated collaborative care approach to treatment.

Matthew E. Fink, M.D. Patient-centered Care for Parkinson’s Disease

Matthew E. Fink, M.D. speaks with his patient Lawrence Sterne about Parkinson's Disease (PD). They also discuss with Lawrence's spouse & caretaker, Susan Sterne, about the care he received at Weill Cornell Medicine, since being diagnosed with PD. The panel also highlights what other patients should know about the treatments available for the neurodegenerative disorder.

Dr. Matthew E. Fink/Andrew Kampel - Stroke Recovery

Matthew E. Fink, M.D., speaks with his patient Andrew Kampel about his recovery after having a stroke. Due to the quick response of his neighbors, family, and Weill Cornell Medicine care team, Andrew has not only recovered, but is thriving in his life, post-stroke rehabilitation. 

Dr. Matthew E. Fink, Susan and Lawrence Sterne - Parkinson’s Disease

Matthew E. Fink, M.D. speaks with his patient Lawrence Sterne about Parkinson's Disease (PD). They also discuss with Lawrence's spouse & caretaker, Susan Sterne, about the care he receives at Weill Cornell Medicine, since being diagnosed with PD. The panel also highlights what other patients should know about the treatments available for the neurodegenerative disorder.

Dr. Mary Vo – Myasthenia Gravis

Mary Vo, M.D. discusses what patients should know about myasthenia gravis. She reviews the rare chronic autoimmune, neuromuscular disease and how it manifests in adults at different life stages. She highlights the symptoms of the condition and how neurological providers diagnose it in patients. Finally, she shares the available treatments for patients at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Dr. Mary Vo – Diabetic Neuropathy

Mary Vo, M.D. discusses diabetic neuropathy. She shares the cause of nerve damage and how it impacts patients with diabetes. She also discusses the latest treatments for the condition and how it can be preventable or reversible.

Dr. Kelly Ann Niotis - Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness

Kellyann Niotis, M.D., discusses Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). She shares the genetic risk factors for developing AD and the age at which many people may begin to exhibit symptoms. She discusses some of the recent advancements in treating AD and the ongoing research towards finding a cure. Finally, she provides some behavioral strategies for patients and their loved ones for optimizing memory and cognitive functions.

Dr. Rajiv Magge - Brain Tumor Awareness

Rajiv Magge, M.D. discusses what patients should know about brain tumors. He tells us the difference between malignant and benign brain tumors and the causes that may lead to cancer. He shares the risk factors for a potential brain tumor, including the signs and symptoms. He also highlights the latest treatment options available for treating and removing brain tumors.

Dr. Timothy Vartanian - Environmental and Genetic Risk Factors for Multiple Sclerosis

Timothy Vartanian, M.D., Ph.D. discusses the environmental and genetic risk factors that may cause multiple sclerosis (MS). He talks about the risk of MS onset across different population and ways to diagnosis the condition. He also highlights the care available for patients at The Judith Jaffe Multiple Sclerosis Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine. Finally, he shares the importance of the center's multidisciplinary approach in helping those who are living with MS to successfully manage their health.

Dr. Ulrike Kaunzner - Treatment Decisions for Multiple Sclerosis

Ulrike W. Kaunzner, M.D., Ph.D., discusses what people should know when making treatment decisions for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She highlights the recent research and care available to MS patients, including new medication options. She reviews the shared decision making that can happen with patients and their doctors as they determine the appropriate treatment plans. She also reviews the multidisciplinary approach that the Judith Jaffe Multiple Sclerosis Center at Weill Cornell Medicine uses to address the other symptoms and comorbidities associated with MS.

Dr. Jai Perumal - Multiple Sclerosis – Multidisciplinary Care

Jai S. Perumal, M.D. discusses what patients should know about multidisciplinary care for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She gives an overview of what MS is and how the condition is diagnosed and treated. She highlights the comprehensive and collaborative care available for people living with MS at the Weill Cornell Medicine Multiple Sclerosis Center.

Dr. Hai Hoang – Encephalitis

Hai Hoang, M.D. discusses what patients should know about encephalitis. He reviews the symptoms, causes, and types of inflammation related to the brain. He also highlights the treatments available for the viral condition at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Dr. Padmaja Kandula - Sudden, Unexpected Death in Epilepsy

Padmaja Kandula, M.D. discusses what patients should know about SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy). She reviews the recent developments with treating seizures and epilepsy and how people can manage the conditions. She notes how the prevalence of certain risk factors and uncontrolled severe types of seizures in certain populations can impact the likelihood of SUDEP. Finally, she highlights the multidisciplinary care and treatments available through the Epilepsy Center at Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Padmaja Kandula – National Epilepsy Awareness Month

Padmaja Kandula, M.D. discusses what patients should know about epilepsies. She shares the symptoms of seizures and what to do if you see someone experiencing different types. She also examines diet and its role in epilepsy treatment. Finally, she highlights the expectations patients should have if surgical options are discussed.

Dr. Anna Nordvig - Neurological Effects of Long Haul Covid

Anna S. Nordvig, M.D. discusses what patients should know about the neurological effects of long COVID. She highlights how the impacts of COVID-19 can cause long-term complications to the brain and the peripheral nervous systems, including common effects like brain fog, chronic fatigue, and confusion. She reviews the cognitive dysfunctions of the condition and how patient advocacy groups helped to shed light on these issues. She shares how patients can help with treatment and research through documenting all their symptoms, as well as noting the existing screenings and treatments available.

Dr. Saad Mir - Stroke Awareness

Saad Mir, M.D. discusses what you should know about strokes. He discusses common symptoms and what to do if you or a loved one is suffering a stroke. He offers great advice on the lifestyle changes that you can make immediately to prevent a stroke from occurring. 

Dr. Susan Broner – What You Need to Know About Headaches

Susan Broner, M.D, discusses what you need to know about headache disorders. She shares vital information for people that suffer from headaches and migraines, including advice on avoiding triggers. She also highlights the latest in headache treatment at the Weill Cornell Medicine Headache Program to help patients alleviate pain and restore quality of life

Dr. Evan Noch – Neurofibramatosis

Evan Noch M.D., PhD discusses what patients should know about neurofibromatosis (NF). He reviews the different types of NF, including the risk factors and symptoms of the genetic disorder and how that can affect the nervous system. Finally, he highlights how NF is diagnosed and treatments available to patients.

Dr. Daniel Barone – Improving Seep Hygiene During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Daniel Barone MD, FAASM, FANA, discusses why many of us have not slept well since the onset of Covid-19. He shares how coronavirus anxiety may be contributing to insomnia and offers some great tips on how to practice better sleep hygiene. He emphasizes the importance of restorative sleep and why it is so vital to our overall health, especially during these challenging times. 

Dr. Norman Latov - Idiopathic Neuropathy

Norman Latov, M.D., Ph.D. discusses what patients should know about idiopathic neuropathy. As the causes are unknown for the condition, Dr. Latov describes common comorbidities that could trigger the symptoms. He discusses possible treatments that can help improve one's conditions once the neuropathic pain is identified. He highlights the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment to help patients alleviate pain caused by the neurological condition.

Dr. Matthew Robbins – Long-Covid Headache

Matthew Robbins, M.D. discusses what patients should know about long COVID & headache disorders. He goes over common symptoms and genetic connections to headaches and migraines, as well as the likelihood of developing them as a result of recovering from COVID-19. He highlights the importance of involving your care team when treating headaches and migraines, as they could be a result of other comorbidities. He also covers his recent trip to Capitol Hill advocating for his patients and making appeals for dedicating more funding for long COVID headache research.

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