Catherine Alfano, PhD, is an international leader in cancer survivorship and cancer rehabilitation. At Northwell Health, she leads both clinical care design and research across the health system.
Operationally, she develops and oversees the implementation and integration of a high-quality cancer survivorship program for the health system with a goal of reducing unnecessary costs as a result of more timely and effective care while simultaneously improving long-term patient outcomes. She also oversees the growth of new research development and training programs and research projects.
Before joining Northwell, she served as the Vice President of Survivorship at the American Cancer Society where she provided vision and leadership to ACS research, programming, and policy efforts nationwide to improve the lives of cancer survivors. She previously served as the Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Survivorship where she created funding opportunity announcements to fill gaps in cancer survivorship and transdisciplinary research and administered a grant portfolio of cancer rehabilitation, symptom management, and behavior change trials.
Dr. Alfano’s research aims to speed the effective translation of research into practice and inform supporting policy to optimize patient outcomes and clinic efficiency, address provider shortages, and decrease healthcare costs. This research focuses on: 1) Domestic and global efforts to improve interventions and models of care delivery for oncology, cancer rehabilitation, and survivorship; 2) Integrating multi-source Big Data including Real World Evidence to generate insights for predictive and prescriptive analytics and creating mobile health and other digital health tools leading to better-personalized care approaches; 3) Incorporating rehabilitation, healthy behavior change, and self-management into oncology and cancer follow-up care; and 4) The integration of biological and behavioral pathways governing health, accelerated aging, function, and cancer prognosis.
In addition to her roles at Northwell, she has led work with the American Society of Clinical Oncology to help American healthcare systems develop risk & need-stratified survivorship care that focuses on helping patients self-manage their health and delivers care outside of clinic walls.
She has held leadership positions as the Chair of the Cancer Special Interest Group of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and Co-Chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline Panel: Diet, Physical Activity and Weight Management During Cancer Treatment. She has served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Survivorship Committee and Energy Balance Sub-committee, and on the Research Task Force of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Cancer Networking Group.