Alyson Moadel-Robblee, Ph.D. is Clinical Professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Population Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She holds several roles including Director of the Psychosocial Oncology Program, founding Director of the Bronx Oncology Living Daily (BOLD) Program, and Co-Director of the Integrative Oncology Program of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC), Bronx NY. As a health psychologist, Dr. Moadel applies a career in research, teaching and counseling to her interest in the psychological, social and cultural factors associated with coping with cancer. She received her doctorate in Health Psychology from Yeshiva University in 1995, after which she received her postdoctoral training (1995-1997) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Psycho-Oncology. Since then, she has been involved in studying the efficacy of various behavioral and mind-body intervention methods to improve the quality of life of cancer patients.
In 2001, Dr. Moadel was awarded grants from the National Cancer Institute and Langeloth Foundation to initiate one of the first randomized controlled trials in the United States to examine the effects of yoga on quality of life in breast cancer patients. As a follow-up to this pilot work, the Langeloth Foundation awarded an additional 2-years of funding (January 2004-2006) to continue her yoga research in breast cancer, as well as to expand it to two new patient populations, namely lung and colorectal cancer patients. A description of the Yoga intervention protocol that was used in this study can be found below. In addition to her research in yoga, Dr. Moadel received a three-year grant from the American Cancer Society (July 2003-2006) to investigate the effects of a spiritual group intervention in comparison to a psycho-educational intervention on quality of life, spiritual well-being, and survival in advanced stage cancer patients. All of her studies are accessible to English and Spanish-speaking patients.
Based on an ongoing psychosocial needs assessment of over 1,500 cancer patients, Dr. Moadel-Robblee has focused her career on program development and evaluation efforts to meet the unmet needs of the underserved cancer patient population of the Bronx. In addition to directing a free counseling program delivered by bilingual mental health counseling student interns under her supervision, she has developed a diverse BOLD Wellness Workshop Program, offering over 12 workshops per month at various MECCC locations featuring interests endorsed by patients including crochet, Reiki, jewelry making, dance movement, scrapbooking, meditation/yoga, walking/nutrition groups, among many others, at no cost to participants.
To address factors that may contribute to cancer disparities, including isolation, cultural misconceptions, and medical mistrust, and treatment nonadherence, she has received funding from the Avon Foundation, Entertainment Industry Foundation, and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to develop and expand the BOLD Buddy Program, comprised of English- and Spanish-speaking cancer survivor volunteers who provide peer navigation and counseling to underserved, primarily African American and Latino, cancer patients. In 2015, BOLD Screening Buddies were developed and placed at the Montefiore breast imaging clinics to help encourage women lost to follow up who were recalled for further diagnostic screening to return, and in 2016, the BOLD Buddy Program included a new arm of BOLD Doulas who provide compassionate bedside support to breast cancer patients at end of life. As an outgrowth of this peer support program, the BOLD Brothers/Sisters Program is currently under development, with support from the Lewin Fund, to provide a peer mentorship program for Bronx teens and young adults affected by parental cancer.
In May 2017, Dr. Moadel-Robblee was the faculty recipient of Einstein's Spirit of Achievement award: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcY-GkdjJuU