BUFFALO, NY - Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) and Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo) stood today with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center President and CEO Candace S. Johnson, PhD, to announce that, after successfully reversing $13 million in operating funding cuts to the cancer center in the proposed state budget, Roswell Park will be creating 100 new positions in 2021. As one of the nation’s leading cancer research and treatment centers, the proposed cuts threatened the center’s ability to hire the staff necessary to continue to maintain their world-class levels of service. The threat to the center’s funding was compounded by the moratoriums on elective surgeries that were imposed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which further cut into the center’s operating funds. In total, this year’s state budget provides $51,463,000 in operating funding for the world’s first cancer research center. Highlights of these new positions include:
- Thirty new clinical positions including nurses and surgical technicians.
- Ten new positions related to nurse training and education.
- Ten new positions related to patient navigation, prostate and breast cancer disparities, and cancer prevention, including navigators with a focus on our region’s Native American population.
These new positions will allow Roswell Park to stay competitive with other leading cancer research centers across the country. The cancer center was ranked as the 14th best cancer hospital for 2020-21 by U.S. News & World Report, affirming its status as a globally-recognized leader. Kennedy and Peoples-Stokes, as the senior majority members from their respective legislative houses, serve as Co-Deans of the Western New York Delegation, and led the fight to reverse these cuts.
“Roswell Park has historically been a world-leading institution in cancer research, committed to the fight to end cancer," said Assembly Majority Leader Crystal People-Stokes. The state funding invested in Roswell plays a significant role in advancing Roswell Park's standard of excellence in cancer care. Budget cuts greatly threatened Roswell Park’s operations and their standing as a world-leading cancer research center. With immense pleasure, I can announce that through strong and decisive leadership, I along with my colleague Sen. Kennedy, have successfully restored $13 million to the cancer center. As a result, this funding will create 100 new jobs here in WNY dedicated to cancer education, research, prevention, and treatment.”
“Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is known across the world as one of the leading cancer research centers,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “This center is one of our region’s most valuable assets, and Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes and I are aware that the work done here is saving lives every day. As the son of a nurse, I was proud to reverse these budget cuts and ensure that not only are the cancer center’s finances kept healthy, but the institution continues to thrive and produce groundbreaking research.”
“Outstanding care and groundbreaking innovation don’t happen unless you have the resources to compete with the other leading centers that are fighting for the same talent pool,” said Candace S. Johnson, PhD, Roswell Park President and CEO. “We are enormously grateful to Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes and Senator Kennedy for fighting for us so we can fight for our patients and for a healthier tomorrow for our community.”
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center was founded in 1898 as the world’s first cancer research center. Today, its 29-acre campus is home to 3,650 employees who provide world-class care for more than 42,000 patients each year. Recently, the center served as a vaccine distribution site, focusing on ensuring that underserved communities in surrounding neighborhoods had access to COVID-19 vaccinations.