Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center (MECCC) has been awarded “Comprehensive” designation by the National Cancer Institute (NCI); it’s the ultimate standard, achieved by only 55 other NCI cancer centers in the United States.
With its five-year, $20 million Cancer Center Support Grant, MECCC will help advance the translation of novel cancer research into new treatments, new screening and diagnostic tools, and equitable access to care throughout the Bronx, Westchester County, and the lower Hudson Valley.
“We are deeply honored to be recognized for the unique and special contributions of our cancer center,” says Edward Chu, M.D., M.M.S., director of MECCC, the Carol and Roger Einiger Professor of Cancer Medicine, and professor of oncology, of medicine, and of molecular pharmacology at Einstein, and vice president of cancer medicine at Montefiore. “This NCI designation is a testament to the remarkable strength of our exceptional science integrated with extraordinary multidisciplinary patient care.”
“We are proud of the entire team at the cancer center,” says Philip O. Ozuah, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Montefiore. “Our ongoing strategic investments and transformative institutional support ensure that Montefiore Einstein will continue to redefine medical excellence and be at the forefront of discoveries and treatments that serve our patients with cancer and our community as a whole.”
From genetic variants to systemic inequities, MECCC investigators strive to uncover the drivers of cancer disparities and develop interventions that result in better outcomes. Strong partnerships with community-based organizations bolster cancer screenings and other preventive measures specific to the needs and concerns of the Bronx community. Attention to social determinants of health, such as diet and exercise, inform and enhance patient care and support services.
“We are a national model for community outreach, engagement, and cancer health equity,” says Dr. Chu. “It is critical that we do everything within our power to ensure that all patients receive the highest quality care.”
MECCC educates and trains the next generation of cancer investigators and physician-scientists through pathway programs that begin as early as high school. Initiatives such as BEYOND ALBERT, a summer science program for Bronx high school students, and the Einstein Discover Research Program, a training program for master’s degree candidates at the City University of New York’s Lehman College, offer opportunities for individuals from groups historically underrepresented in medicine and science.