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.
2019, 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. We engaged at health care events with the 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, and Far Rockaway Senior Center. In collaboration with Neurosurgery and the Social Work Health Outreach program, our department promoted a multi-disciplinary program called “Harvesting Health, Taking Care of Yourself and Your Brain” in the Cayuga Room at the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell facilities. Attendings and residents in the Neurology program participated at the various tables. Residents were able to interface with the community, assisting them the public in understanding various neurological problems.
Our annual lectures continued with the Jewish Community Center, Dana Foundation for Brain Health, 92Y, New York, and Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association. At a dinner award presentation held by The Chinese American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA), together with our Lower Manhattan partners, under the leadership of Robert Guimento and Chui Man Lai, we were recognized as partners in a Community Award for outreach to the community.
In early 2020, we continued our Wellness Day participation with the Administration for Children’s Services Health Day, which drew at least 300 employees. Our physicians attended 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.
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 continually 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.
In 2021, a collaboration was formed with Adult Programming and Outreach at the New Canaan Library in Connecticut. 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.
Community lectures were given at the Myra Mahon Patient Resource Center of Weill Cornell Medicine on Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
Through collaboration with New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, WCM in collaboration with Battery Park Seniors and Pace University’s Office of Government and Community Relations, a number of our doctors gave presentations on topics such as: Parkinson’s Disease; an Overview of Tremors; and Peripheral Neuropathy. At the Jewish Community Center, Dr. Daniel Barone, Sleep Neurologist presented on Sleep Disorders – “Everything You Wanted to Know, But Did Not Know How to Ask”.
We partnered with GrowNYC to set up tabling efforts, which is staffed by neurologists, neurology residents, and medical students. Educational materials were available in English and Spanish together with resources on accessing care. A survey was conducted collecting socio-demographics and assessing knowledge on neurological disorders to provide a better understanding of the makeup of the community and need for care.
In June 2021, Dr. Greta Strong was nominated as the Chairperson for the Community Outreach Business Resource Group in the Office of Institutional Equity with responsibility for leveraging partnerships with the Staff Equity and Inclusion Council, the Medical College, Graduate School, departmental diversity committees, and members of the WCM community to promote equity, inclusion, and belonging. This is done by increasing dialogue and creating programs designed to align strategic diversity initiatives in support of institutional goals.
The Community Engagement Business Resource Group will strategize to support diverse communities throughout the New York area. The goal is to strengthen partnerships with the WCM staff and the external community to create volunteering opportunities, particularly with diverse organizations.