Health experts view it as history-in-the-making. A new partnership between Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Indian Health Service is expected to improve health outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
The pact is billed as the first such partnership between a major cancer center and the IHS.
The goal is to reduce the impact of cancer among American Indians through joint research. Dr. Rodney Haring is assistant professor of oncology in Roswell’s Office of Cancer Health Disparities and member of
the Seneca Nation. Haring told WBFO he believes the impact of the collaboration on American Indians will be significant.
“Creating partnerships and relationships is basically the first step,” he explained. “The first step to be part of the research process and also to have the communities more cognizant of the prevention that’s offered here and the treatment that’s offered here.”
Roswell Park is the first comprehensive cancer center in the United States to have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Health Service.
“The Indian Health Service is working up to build a program called the Special Cancer Program for Indians which is going to parallel the Special Diabetes Program for Indians,” said Haring. “So Roswell Park will likely be the forefront of that initiative at a national level.”