MSK has been providing care to patients of every religious and cultural identity for over 130 years.
We proudly provide an array of services to the Muslim community, such as outreach programs, clinical trials, and international initiatives that are made possible because of philanthropic generosity.
The Muslim community is obligated to give zakat during Ramadan and encouraged to give sadaqah (almsgiving) year-round to those experiencing financial hardship or hunger. MSK provides several programs to facilitate meeting the obligation to help patients and families in need.
Food insecurity is a serious problem for many people in the New York City area, including many immigrants and international patients, and its consequences are even more dire when families are affected by cancer. MSK’s Food to Overcome Disparities (FOOD) Program helps ensure patients are well fed throughout the course of their treatments.
Financial Assistance Program
The Financial Assistance Program at MSK reduces cancer’s financial burden on patients in the United States who have a household income up to five times the federal poverty level, and who cannot afford to pay for all or some of their medical care.
The International Center
Patients from around the world are matched with the best doctors and services for their needs as well as interpretation services in any language. The Center’s staff provides international patients with step-by-step guidance on how to make an appointment, obtain a second opinion, and more.
Research and Prevention Efforts
For more than 20 years, Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities (IHCD) at MSK has been dedicated to eradicating disparities in cancer treatment and healthcare. The IHCD Service conducts research aimed at improving access to care in the Muslim community and increasing the representation of minorities in clinical trials.
The Taxi Network
Taxi drivers are at an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease due to exposure to particulate matter, poor diet, tobacco use, and barriers to risk reduction and screening. In an effort to address health disparities among taxi drivers, the IHCD teamed up with the South Asian Council for Social Services and Taxi Community Advisory Board to conduct research and provide free services designed to improve the health of drivers, who are predominantly from Islamic countries.
Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening for Women
To improve prevention efforts and outcomes for women with cancer within the Muslim community, the Arab Health Initiative at MSK established the Arab American Breast Cancer Education and Referral Program. The program partners with community-and faith-based organizations to encourage Arab American women to undergo screening and treatment, delivers culturally-sensitive education about breast cancer and the importance of early detection, and facilitates the uptake of cancer screening services.
Colorectal Cancer Early Detection
Screening Colonoscopy Outreach for Prevention and Early Detection is an ongoing initiative focused on educating community members aged 50 and older on the importance of colon cancer screening. Outreach and education activities are implemented in conjunction with community-based organizations using the standardized resources from Screen to Save (S2S), the National Cancer Institute’s Colorectal Cancer Outreach and Screening Initiative, the inflatable colon, and bilingual signage. Staff provide referrals when needed and follow-up to assess screening uptake.
Global Health Initiatives
The Quran’s invitation for Muslims to set out on a quest for truth and knowledge encourages the support of scientific inquiry and exploration. By expanding and developing new international initiatives, MSK hopes to build a bridge of knowledge and care with institutions and physicians around the globe. Worldwide collaboration is key to addressing the needs of the Muslim community within the United States.
The Integrated Cancer Care Access Network (ICCAN)
The ICCAN Program connects immigrant, minority, and underserved cancer patients to resources and services as they undergo cancer treatment. ICCAN helps patients address their Essential Needs, including housing, transportation, income and benefits access, and social support. We provide culturally and linguistically appropriate resources that help patients throughout their cancer journey.
Funding the Future
Philanthropic support is essential to service health initiatives within the Muslim community and ensure its continued progress. Today you have an unprecedented opportunity to help bridge a gap between Muslim services abroad and here in the United States to improve overall treatment and care to all of those who share in the practices of Islam.