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Community Conversations

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

photo by J. Torres Photography MMCC/BOLD/CAB " Community Conversations"

On December 13, 2022, Community Bridges to Success Incorporated (CBTSI), a not for profit organization based in the Bronx, participated in Montefiore Einstein Cancer Care Center(MECC) /CAB “Community Conversations” at The Dreiser Loop Community Center in Co - Op City moderated by Dr. Brittany Miller.

I’m one of the interns with CBTSI, we were responsible for CBTSI's information table; we distributed “Take care. Be well” gift bags of PPE (face masks, COVID - 19 home kits and face shields). Our bags also included a flu quiz, “Did You Know?” Handout with health statistics, and “ 13 Holiday tips to stay healthy for the Holidays''.

There were a variety of topics that were discussed such as lung cancer, breast cancer, food in

photos by J. Torres Photography CBTSI Anthony Neal

security and that our air quality, pollutants and chemicals could be the cause of many different types of cancer.

One of the things that I found interesting was the statistics that were discussed. According to statistics from the CDC, the highest rate of cancer is found among the minority groups. Precisely black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Due to factors such as lack of insurance , no primary care physician, mistrust of medical providers, many don't feel heard or acknowledged all of which often leads to late detection of the disease.

photo by: J Torres Photography, CBTSI Interns Fatima and Fanta

Another valuable detail that was brought up was that cancer survivors are not left alone nor abandoned after chemotherapy is over. There are programs such as the Survivorship Program, in which patients have to be referred by their providers. The program offers assistance to former patients to adapt and transition from being a cancer patient to a cancer survivor. The Survivorship Program provides resources and clinical care to people who completed their cancer treatment. That information was really relevant as it confirmed and assured that cancer survivors are not alone in their transition, but rather are blessed with people who are compassionate and have passion in caring for the survivors and make it easier for them.

photos by J. Torres Photography (Dr.Balaz Halmos,M.D.,M.S. Dir. of Clinical Trials, Dr.Dean Hosgood, Ph.D Environmental Health, Dr. Ilora Rafique,M.D. MPH Integrative Medicine, Leslie Harrison Dir. CBTSI, Charles Henry, BOLD Buddy Patient Advocate, Dr. Alyson Moadel- Robblee,Ph.D Professpr of Clinical Epidemiology, Founder Dir, BOLD Living Program,Shirley Johns, BOLD Buddy Patient Advocate, Dr. Hilda Haynes - Lewis, Ph.D Survivorship Program Committee Member, Elizabeth Serrano, BOLD Buddy Advocate and Dr. Brittany Miller , Ph.D , Project Director, BOLD Cancer Health Equity Initiatives

From the conversations that was held amongst the clinicians, cancer survivors and community organization like CBTSI as well as the audience, I have some understanding of the research, clinical trials and some of the obstacles and challenges that patients and the community encounter. I was also able hear a different perspectives of the eight panelists, four of them are cancer survivors themselves: Ms. Elizabeth Serrano, Mr. Charles Henry and Ms. Shirley Johnson. Additionally, Dr. Balaz Halmos, Director of Clinical Trials, Dr. Hilda Haynes-Lewis Ph.D , Survivorship Program Committee Member, Dr. Ilora Rafique, cancer survivor, Integrative Medicine, Dr. Dean Hosgood Ph.D. Environmental and Epidemiologist and Leslie Harrison, Director of Community Bridges to Success Incorporated.

Thanks to the eight panelists who were able to effectively answer questions from the people of the community and direct them to where they can find the information they’re looking for, the conversation was successful and beneficial.

For more information about Community Bridges to Success Incorporated check us out at

Instagram: @cbtsinc


Photos by J. Torres Photography


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