Roswell Park, Tops team up for community outreach sessions

A group of 12 women, representing the Office of Community Outreach and Education at Roswell Park, gather in a lobby.

Furthering our commitment to the Fruit Belt neighborhood, and the Jefferson Avenue community, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is pleased to announce a new outreach effort at the Tops Friendly Markets on Jefferson Avenue beginning in February.

On the first and fourth Thursday of each month, representatives from Roswell Park’s Community Outreach and Engagement team will set up tables inside the Tops vestibule, near the memorial water wall, from 12-2 p.m., and provide information on a variety of health-related topics, from cancer screening and prevention to nutrition and ways people can provide their feedback on innovative research.

“We at Roswell Park will be collaborating with Tops on Jefferson Avenue in partnership to provide a continuation of the service we have provided in the past. From food donations to health services, Roswell Park remains committed to providing health information, screenings, and other needed services,” says Ellen Grant, PhD, LCSW-R, Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Roswell Park. “We are one community and we are looking forward to continuing to be part of our City of Good Neighbors.”

The events, offered twice a month, will be consistent, but the information presented will change based on community interest. “We will be responsive to the needs and interests of the community members we meet, and we will allow the specific focus to evolve based upon the requests and questions we hear,” says Nikia Clark, a Senior Community Outreach and Engagement Manager in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at Roswell Park. “I’m excited about the opportunity. When we talk about effective communication and outreach that gets results, this is what we’re talking about. This neighborhood, and this Tops location, they’re addressing a need and they’re investing in it. The best way to do community outreach is to do it on a routine basis. That way we can learn from each other, and community members know they can count on us being there as a resource.”’

Tops’ partnership with Roswell Park is longstanding, so forging this additional outreach together was a natural collaboration.  “After the tragedy of 5/14, we learned that the most important thing to do was to lead with our hearts and to listen,” said Kathy Sautter, Tops’ director of corporate communications and public relations.  “In engaging the community in important conversations and services like those offered by Roswell, we continue to provide the community with programming essential to their continued health and well-being.”

Community Outreach and Engagement (COE)

Read more about all the ways Roswell Park's COE team is interacting with, educating and screening those most at risk in our community.

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Health, nutrition, other information also available

Additionally, there will be a representative from Roswell Park’s Survivorship program, offering information on the support services available to those who have completed their treatment and are learning to live and thrive again. A member of our caregiver support group also will be ready to help people caring for a loved one going through treatment.

This is an important opportunity and a great way for Roswell Park to further its commitment to the community and neighborhood, Clark says. Coming less than a year after the horrific mass shooting inside the store, this outreach activity is one of the ways that the Roswell Park team is working to better serve members of the community.

“After any tragedy, after the cameras go away, when it’s not in the forefront of the news anymore, people can forget. But in this neighborhood, for the people of this community, they live with it every single day,” Clark says. “We want them to know we’re committed, that we’re going to show up and we’re here for the long haul.”