Catholic Health, Roswell Park, Buffalo Medical Group form cancer care alliance

Fri, Apr 28th 2017 10:00 am
Msgr. Robert E. Zapfel, chairman of corporate members and sponsors for Catholic Health, speaks with Catholic Health Chief Executive Officer Joseph McDonald outside of the new 5,000-square-foot radiation oncology center on Buffalo Road in Orchard Park after a groundbreaking ceremony.  The facility is a collaboration between Roswell Park, Catholic Health and Buffalo Medical Group. (Dan Cappellazzo/Staff Photographer)
Msgr. Robert E. Zapfel, chairman of corporate members and sponsors for Catholic Health, speaks with Catholic Health Chief Executive Officer Joseph McDonald outside of the new 5,000-square-foot radiation oncology center on Buffalo Road in Orchard Park after a groundbreaking ceremony. The facility is a collaboration between Roswell Park, Catholic Health and Buffalo Medical Group. (Dan Cappellazzo/Staff Photographer)

Members of Catholic Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Buffalo Medical Group donned hardhats and shovels to break ground for a new radiation oncology center in Orchard Park on April 28.  The 5,000-square-foot center, located at Buffalo Medical Group's Southtowns Campus on North Buffalo Road, will offer outpatient radiation therapy under the clinical oversight of Roswell Park radiation oncologists. A panel of cancer specialists including radiation oncologists, medical physicists and medical dosimetrists will work together to plan, review and deliver personalized treatment for each patient in accordance with both national oncology treatment guidelines and the latest medical evidence.

"The addition of this new state-of-the-art radiation oncology center, backed by the resources and expertise of Roswell Park and Catholic Health, we will now offer comprehensive cancer care services right here in OP," said Dr. Irene Snow, medical director of Buffalo Medical Group.

Joseph D. McDonald, president and CEO of Catholic Health, said the partnership came from a strategic plan Catholic Health put together to offer a broad range of services.

"We initially, about eight years ago, went through a comprehensive strategic plan, and we identified five major service lines and oncology was one of them," he said. "Our plan was always to work with a preeminent national system to be our partner. Obviously, we started with our neighbor Roswell Park."

The location, deep inside Western New York's lake effect snow zone, will be a convenience for Southtown residents needing radiation therapy during the winter. A Hamburg resident and Roswell patient described herself as lucky as she faced stage 1 breast cancer with her family, employer and mild weather working in her favor. 

"I was able to arrange my schedule so I could leave right after work, and I wouldn't have to worry about rush hour traffic and it was a pretty mild winter as well. But, when you are going to radiation treatment every weekday for several weeks, it is very tiresome. Had I had to travel during bad winter weather, that would be unfortunate and it would be a hassle," she said.

She had treatments five days a week for five weeks, scheduling them at Roswell's Main Street location in downtown Buffalo. She said she is in a good place and nearly back to normal since her last treatment in March. Now cancer free, she prays she will never need treatment again, but would recommend the new facility.

"I got great care at Roswell Park, and I had great peace of mind knowing that my team was experienced well-trained and that they really cared about me as an individual. When that kind of care can be even more convenient right here in our own communities,  I think that's a really good thing," McCarthy said.

Msgr. Robert E. Zapfel, the bishop's representative for Health Care, and pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish in Amherst, offered a prayer before the groundbreaking.

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