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Community and outreach to the diverse population we serve also is a high priority for our department. We have developed a highly active community outreach program, spearheaded by Greta Strong, Ed.D., that seeks to educate the diverse communities in our city regarding important medical issues and WCM’s 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 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.
Since the spring of 2013, Greta Strong, Ed.D., has played an integral part in our Department’s expanding commitment to outreach, engagement, and enhancing our relationship to the communities we serve. Our community outreach draws on the Institution’s many strengths, in the process of engagement with individuals, communities, businesses, industries, government, faith-based institutions, and other educational institutions.
Since the spring of 2015, we have been working with the leadership of 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 purpose and 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 100 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 Weill Cornell Medicine’s clinical faculty, researchers, or allied health professionals, who are selected based on their level of expertise on a given topic.
In 2016, we collaborated 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”, 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. It was a free public event, which attracted over 700 Manhattan residents age 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. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer moderated the panel. It was a public program 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 has been refined to emphasize what are referred to as 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, Chairman of Neurology was one of the panelists.
In the summer of 2017, we again collaborated with the Manhattan Borough President’s Office. The community event was titled “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 & Memory, Health Advocates for Older People, Dorot, and JASA. Over 800 people attended the event. Dr. Matthew E. Fink, Chairman of Neurology was one of the panelists.
In 2018, we collaborated with multiple departments within Weill Cornell Medicine/New York Presbyterian Hospital (WCM/NYPH) to foster community health through outreach, education, and advocacy, and to maintain relationships with government and community leaders, community- and faith-based organizations, including community boards, educational, social, and business-related groups. In Lower Manhattan and Upper East side communities, we partnered 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., 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, and Webster Library.