BUFFALO, NY — Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), together with its Board of Directors and board members for the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, held a reception June 28 at RPCI to thank the Western New York delegation to the New York State Legislature for their advocacy and support of the Institute’s mission — to understand, prevent and cure cancer. The gathering underscored the tremendous impact RPCI has as an internationally recognized cancer center competing successfully for grants and top talent, and as a research, treatment and education center that is among the largest employers in the region.
Roswell Park, a New York State public-benefit corporation, this year faced the prospect of severe and sudden budget cuts, and a call to make RPCI fiscally and operationally independent within an aggressive two-year timeline. The 19 lawmakers who make up the Western New York delegation mobilized quickly to make sure their colleagues throughout the state were aware of RPCI’s contributions to cancer care and research through the decades and the devastating impact those drastic measures would have across the region, the state and the nation.
The local Senators and Assembly members championed removal of proposed budget language that set March 2014 as a firm deadline for elimination of New York State funding to RPCI, and successfully advocated for restoration of $25 million in funding through the Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers Capital Grant Program. As a result of their committed and informed advocacy, the final approved budget provided more than $100 million in 2012-13 funding and ensured that RPCI leaders will have a more reasonable time frame for developing a plan to make the Institute independent without compromising past gains or future stability.
“So much was at risk this year, and there were a few harrowing weeks when we thought this year’s budget might include some devastating provisions,” said Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, Roswell Park President and CEO. “But our local representatives stepped up and spoke loudly to make sure that those things did not come to pass. Their unwavering support for Roswell Park’s patients, employees and volunteers is a critical element in our ongoing partnership with New York State, and ensures that we can move forward our vision for continued excellence.”
Legislators recognized at the gathering in RPCI’s Center for Genetics and Pharmacology were Sen. George Maziarz, Sen. Cathy Young, Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer, Sen. Pat Gallivan, Sen. Mark Grisanti, Sen. Tim Kennedy, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, Assemblyman Dan Burling, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Assemblyman Joe Giglio, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, Assemblyman Joe Ceretto, Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Assemblyman Kevin Smardz, Assemblyman Ray Walter, Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Assemblyman Mickey Kearns.
RPCI has frequently been recognized for high-quality care and overall excellence. Named to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2011-12 Best Hospitals list for Cancer Care, the Institute holds Magnet Recognition Program designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and has received other special commendations from AARP The Magazine, BlueCross BlueShield, Optum Health, The Scientist magazine and others.
The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager