Roswell Park, NFMMC Launch Cancer Care Collaboration

February 8, 2019

Comprehensive thoracic clinical program to be first to offer specialized services

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center today announced a collaborative effort to greatly improve the availability of cancer care in Niagara County. 

The first step of the new collaborative partnership is a comprehensive thoracic clinical program. With the establishment of a jointly operated Thoracic Center at Memorial, Niagara County residents now have convenient access to a wide range of specialized services, from lung cancer screening and early detection through to state-of-the-art cancer treatment and survivorship support — the first time such specialized and comprehensive cancer services have been available in the Niagara region. 

The new program focuses on the prevention, detection, and outpatient treatment of lung cancer and other malignant conditions of the chest and chest wall and is directed by Sai Yendamuri, MD, FACS, Chair, and Attending Surgeon for Roswell Park’s Department of Thoracic Surgery. 

“This new program will be an important addition to cancer care services in Niagara County,” says Niagara Falls Memorial President & CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo. “The per capita incidence of lung and bronchial cancer in Niagara County is much higher than in the state or the nation as a whole, making it even more important to make this specialized care readily available to those who live and work here.” 

“This partnership is another way that Roswell Park is expanding its footprint right here in Western New York to be sure that no matter where you live, you are afforded easy access to truly comprehensive cancer care, including treatments that are not offered elsewhere in our region,” adds Roswell Park President and CEO Candace S. Johnson, Ph.D. 

“This natural partnership between two cutting-edge institutions continues to demonstrate NFMMC and Roswell Park’s dedication to people of Niagara County and the need for state-of-the-art care,” says Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. “Today’s life-altering announcement will undoubtedly impact the lives of so many as NFMMC and Roswell Park continue their mission to eradicate one of the leading causes of death in our community once and for all.” 

Cases of lung cancer in Niagara County have risen about 36% over the last 40 years, and today the county’s rate of incidence is one of the highest across the state. And the New York State Health Department lists lung cancer as the leading cause of death for women in Niagara County and the second leading cause of death for men. 

Seeking to address those concerning trends, Roswell Park and Memorial have partnered to build a program that covers the full range of integrated services from diagnosis and early detection through to treatment and survivorship for patients with lung and chest cancers or precancerous lesions. 

“Given the environmental factors inherent in Niagara County – its large number of chemical plants and its history of former smokestack industries, not to mention the presence of Love Canal and six other EPA Superfund sites – the presence of cancer casts a pall over those who live and work here,” Ruffolo said. “Partnering with Roswell to launch lung cancer screening in conjunction with this new thoracic program undoubtedly will save lives.” 

Dr. Yendamuri is seeing patients one day a week at Memorial’s Thoracic Center for services including post-surgery consultation, surgical oncology procedures, endoscopy, and minimally invasive thoracic surgery performed onsite. The Thoracic Center will also be staffed by Christie Goodman-Williams, NP, RNFA, a nurse practitioner certified in surgery, and Lori Pearce, PA, an advanced practice provider who will operate a lung cancer screening clinic based on Roswell Park’s own lung cancer early detection program, which has been shown to diagnose 70% of cancers at an early stage. 

Additionally, Niagara Falls Memorial staff will have access to Roswell Park grand rounds and other educational activities. 

The collaboration represents Roswell Park’s third clinical program in Niagara County, joining its Niagara Center satellite infusion site in Wheatfield and its Roswell Park Niagara community cancer practice in Niagara Falls. And Memorial’s Ruffolo describes the introduction of a thoracic program at Memorial serves as yet another example of the medical center’s efforts to bring specialized medical care to Niagara through vibrant partnerships. 

About Niagara Falls Memorial: 

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is a full-service 171-bed regional medical provider offering extensive inpatient and outpatient services at 10 sites in Niagara and Erie counties including The Heart Center of Niagara, Niagara Wellness Connection Center, Wound Center of Niagara, Diabetes & Endocrinology Center of Niagara, Niagara Metabolic & Bariatric Services, two OB/GYN Centers, and UBMD Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. We strive to improve the health of the Greater Niagara region by meeting standards of excellence in each of our services, by providing care to all those in need regardless of their ability to pay, and by actively linking patients to community-based services that will promote continued wellness. To learn more, visit NFMMC.org. 

About Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center: 

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or ASKRoswell@RoswellPark.org.

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