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Fahey Vows to Take Fight for Roswell to Albany | Health

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Fahey Vows to Take Fight for Roswell to Albany
Health, News, Politics
Fahey Vows to Take Fight for Roswell to Albany

State Imposed Two Year Funding Deadline Could Lead to Collapse of Critical Cancer Center & Loss of Thousands of Jobs

Chris Fahey, Democratic candidate in the race for New York’s 145th Assembly District, announced plans to fight for a workable plan for Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) that allows the Institute to gain solid financial footing in a manageable period of time so that the value of its research mission is not lost.  New York State has indicated it intends to cut off funding to Roswell within two years.

“Roswell Park Cancer Institute is one of our community’s most critical assets toward a more stable economic future,” said Fahey.  “We can’t sit idly by and allow this to happen.  Albany must understand that cutting off funding to Roswell Park hastily would have significant effects on Western New York.  Roswell Park is a beacon of hope for the thousands of Western New Yorkers who face the heart-wrenching challenge of cancer, and the Institute importantly supports thousands of jobs.”

Roswell Park Cancer Institute employs more than 3,220 local residents in jobs ranging from researchers to nurses and serves as the anchor for the Buffalo Niagara Medical campus which is home to over 8,500 jobs and growing. 

Roswell Park is in the midst of a decades-long transformation.  Up until 1999, the Institute was a division of the New York State Department of Health.  With the construction of the state-of-the-art facility and a renewed mission, Roswell Park established itself as an entity that could focus solely on its mission to eradicate and prevent cancer without interference of onerous state and federal mandates. 

Unlike other large freestanding cancer hospitals, Roswell Park does not have a substantial endowment, largely because of its history as a division of state government.   While its competitors have had many, many years to build up significant private support, Roswell’s philanthropic arm has only existed for two decades.  

Fahey noted that the leadership at Roswell Park welcomes the opportunity to transition to an institution totally independent from State support.  However, the timeline currently proposed is punitive and would result in an utter collapse of the Institute’s research mission. “Without intervention this would be devastating to the community in terms of a decrease in the quality of patient care, an exodus in researchers and physicians due to funding uncertainties, and a chilling effect on the institution’s future.  This community deserves a voice for Roswell and I will take our fight to Albany.”

Chris Fahey is running in the March 20 special election to fill the seat formerly held by Mark Schroeder, who was recently elected as Buffalo Comptroller.   More information on Chris Fahey is available at www.chrisfahey.com

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