Golisano Gives $1.5 Million to Build New Oncology Center

Joint venture at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center affiliated with Roswell Park

WBEN Newsroom
November 20, 2019 - 3:51 pm

WBEN Photo/Tim Wenger

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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WBEN) - More collaboration between Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and Roswell Park is in the works thanks to a major donation from the Golisano Foundation.

Memorial and Roswell Park, along with the Golisano Foundation have announced a $1.5 million donation speahheaded by businessman Tom Golisano to support a new $2 million medical oncology center at NFMMC.  The initiative will improve access to cancer treatment for people in Niagara County.

The new center will be operated by NFMMC in affiliation with Roswell Park and 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,” said Ann Costello of the Golisano Foundation.  “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.”

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

“Everyone deserves access to outstanding cancer care. 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,” said Dr. Johnson, President & CEO and M&T Bank Presidential Chair in Leadership at Roswell Park, who established the Roswell Park Care Network in order to expand access to comprehensive cancer care across the state.

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.

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

Niagara County has the 6th 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. 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 June 19, 2016 opening of the Golisano Center for Community Health on Memorial’s downtown campus. That very 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.

Roswell Park Medical Oncology Center at Niagara Falls Memorial

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