Roswell Park Receives $1.5 Million Competitive Contract for Tobacco Cessation Program

Cancer center to partner with health-care providers across region to reduce tobacco dependence
Thursday, May 1, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has been awarded a five-year, $1.5 million contract to operate the Western New York Tobacco Health System Change Center (WNY-THSCC). The Center is funded by the New York State Tobacco Control Program and will promote systems changes supporting expanded tobacco-cessation services throughout Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

The Western New York Tobacco Health Systems Change Center is one of eight centers across the state that will collaborate with targeted health-care providers to assist these organizations in the adoption of policies and programs designed to help patients quit using tobacco products. The newly awarded competitive contract represents a change in approach for the RPCI program, which has previously focused on engaging and assisting medical offices and staff in Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties.

“Our continued presence in the four northern counties of Western New York, as well as the expansion of our geographic coverage to now include Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Wyoming counties, is an opportunity to refocus our efforts and concentrate on collaborations with health-care organizations, including health-care systems and Federally Qualified Health Centers. Through these partnerships, we will identify and implement policies to promote the delivery of tobacco control services across a diverse mix of health-care settings,” said Martin Mahoney, MD, PhD, Professor of Oncology in the departments of Health Behavior and Medicine at RPCI.

The program strives to increase the number of health-care provider organizations that have systems to screen all patients for tobacco use, deliver brief advice to quit at all visits, and provide assistance to help patients quit successfully. Evidence demonstrates that brief advice to quit smoking from a health-care provider significantly increases the odds that a smoker will quit.

“We will maximize our efforts by working with health-care organizations that primarily serve patients who are disproportionately impacted by tobacco dependence, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers and mental-health service providers,” added Kimberly Bank, RN, Director of the WNY-THSCC.

While New York State has made great strides in reducing tobacco use, smoking prevalence has not declined for those with low incomes and less education, and those with self-reported poor mental health. These at-risk groups can least afford the costs of tobacco and the consequences of addiction.

To learn more, contact the WNY-THSCC at 716-845-8255 or visit its website at


The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is 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, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager