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Tom Golisano gives $1.5 million to build new $2 million medical oncology center at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

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Wed, Nov 20th 2019 08:05 pm
Artistic renderings of the new $2 million medical oncology center at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. (Courtesy of NFMMC)
Artistic renderings of the new $2 million medical oncology center at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. (Courtesy of NFMMC)

Goal is to improve access to cancer treatment for people in Niagara Region

Niagara will soon have another Golisano Center – one in which lives will be saved.

Ann Costello, director of the Golisano Foundation, on Wednesday announced philanthropist and businessman Tom Golisano is committing $1.5 million to support a new $2 million medical oncology center at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center to improve access to cancer treatment for people in Niagara County.

The new center will be operated by Memorial in affiliation with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the top cancer centers in the U.S. It will be named the Golisano Medical Oncology Center in Golisano’s honor.

“I am very pleased to announce that Tom Golisano will commit $1.5 million to construct the new Golisano Medical Oncology Center at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, which will bring a better system of cancer care to the people in Niagara County,” Costello said. “The new medical oncology center is poised to become a center of excellence for providing cancer care for all residents – including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a population that often falls through the cracks of complex health care systems – and specialty care, including early detection, cancer screening and treatment.”

Costello added, “We commend Memorial’s history of outreach and community collaboration as demonstrated in the Golisano Center for Community Health and now in this new endeavor with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.”

Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said, “We are profoundly grateful to Tom Golisano, Ann Costello and the Golisano Foundation for their vision, dedication and support, and to Roswell President and CEO Dr. Candace Johnson for embracing the vision of regionalizing cancer care to improve access to expert care in Niagara.”

Johnson also is the M&T Bank Presidential Chair in Leadership at Roswell Park. She established the Roswell Park Care Network in order to expand access to comprehensive cancer care across the state.

“Everyone deserves access to outstanding cancer care,” Johnson said. “This collaboration between a top cancer center, a quality-driven regional medical center and a visionary philanthropist will ensure that people throughout this community will have convenient, appropriate, evidence-based care available close to home in a beautiful and welcoming setting.”

The $2 million Golisano Medical Oncology Center will make Roswell’s expertise – in areas including hematology, chemotherapy infusion and the newest cancer treatments, including immunotherapies – readily accessible to those who live and work in Niagara County.

Currently under construction on the fourth floor of Memorial’s Schoellkopf Building, the 6,085-square-foot facility is scheduled to open next spring.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is ranked No. 14 out of nearly 900 cancer centers across the U.S., placing it among the top 1.5% of cancer centers in the nation. The Golisano Medical Oncology Center will mark the next step in a series of joint efforts by Roswell and Niagara Falls Memorial under a collaboration agreement signed in February.

That collaboration already includes integrated screening and treatment for lung and thoracic cancers. In May, Memorial joined the Roswell Park Care Network, a collaborative that allows patients access to the cancer care of this region’s only nationally designated comprehensive cancer center, in their own communities.

Niagara County has the sixth-highest cancer incidence rate among New York state's 62 counties. Worse yet, Niagara’s cancer death rate is higher than 76% of the state’s counties and is nearly 36% higher than the New York state average rate. For people with intellectual disabilities who are now living longer, cancer is one of the three main causes of death.

Area residents will no longer have to make the 40-mile round trip to Roswell Park’s Buffalo campus to receive cancer treatment.

Memorial said, “Bringing the best cancer care to our community will result in improved compliance with treatment protocols and lead to a decrease in cancer mortality.”

Memorial also enjoys a longstanding relationship with Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation dating back to the opening of the Golisano Center for Community Health on Memorial’s downtown campus (June 19, 2016). That busy center has become a hub of activity for the provision of primary care, child and adult health home care management, community outreach, social services, and comprehensive integrated health service to all who walk through its doors, including adults with special needs and their families.

Golisano donated $3.5 million to build the Golisano Center for Community Health, bringing his gifts to Memorial to more than $5 million. The Golisano Foundation has also supported dentistry training programs at Memorial to increase access to dental care for people with intellectual disabilities.

A collaborative fundraising campaign is ongoing to secure the remaining funds needed to complete this important and impactful project.

To learn more, visit NFMMC.org.

Golisano – entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic leader – is chairman of the board of Paychex Inc., a leading national provider of payroll, human resource, and benefit outsourcing solutions for more than a half-million small and medium-sized businesses.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355), or [email protected].

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