There is a cancer problem in the Niagara Falls area and a new response to the problem, called the Golisano Medical Oncology Center.
It took almost two decades from when hospital managers discussed bringing Roswell Park into Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center to the official opening Thursday. It also took $2 million for the conversion of space in the hospital into the oncology center. Three-quarters of that, or $1.5 million, came from former Rochester businessman, gubernatorial candidate and Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano.
A focus will be cancer treatment for the mentally disabled, a longtime focus for Golisano.
Roswell Park President and CEO Candace Johnson said her center and the hospital will deal with the Cataract City's cancer disparity. Rooms are sunlit and colorful, and blond wood floors and cabinets line the array of medical equipment.
"There's a disproportionate population here that is affected by cancer and COVID," said Johnson. "Oh my goodness, it's hitting those folks even more, and who would even believe that we're in this COVID situation, but we are. It's hard to believe that this got all completed during all of that. It's really pretty phenomenal."
The Niagara Falls center is the latest in a network of outposts Roswell Park has been putting across the region and into downstate New York. NFMMC Board Chair James Roscetti said Roswell Park is the gold standard for cancer treatment.
"Fine that we have it here now, for residents of this area, is astonishing," he said. "Just yesterday, a friend of mine who I went to grade school with, he's been getting treated for the last couple of years at Roswell on Military Road, he was here yesterday for the first time. He sent me a picture of the place. He couldn't believe it. How nice it was. How convenient it was."
Carol Faccini praised her care at Roswell Park.
"I am now a four-time ovarian cancer survivor, having been through surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy under the care of Dr. Frederick, my Roswell OB-GYN, Dr. Ahmed and now Dr. Ramkumar," Faccini said. "Having care in my backyard is so convenient."