Roswell Collaboration, Building Expansion Point to Exciting Future
As we approach the start of the spring season, there are a number of exciting changes happening within the Wilmot Cancer Center. O ne of the most obvious is the physical change that you may have seen if you have been to, or passed by the Cancer Center in recent weeks. In February, workers began to erect the steel framework for the expansion project that will transform the Wilmot Cancer Center into a comprehensive cancer hospital, housing both inpatient and outpatient services. As I have shared with you previously, this is a significant advance for our clinical and research teams. More importantly, it allows us to further improve the world class care that we provide to the patients who place their faith, hope and trust in us.
One of those patients – Richard Bell –has expressed his faith and gratitude with a generous gift of $1.5 million that will be used to establish the Richard T. Bell Endowed Professorship in the Department of Radiation Oncology. The endowment will be used to support research activities and to recruit and retain new faculty to further strengthen our radiation oncology department. Richard is a throat cancer survivor whose story is chronicled in this issue. We are grateful for his thoughtfulness and generosity, and thrilled that he has surpassed the five-year mark of remaining cancer-free.
It is because of a gifted and dedicated team of clinicians and researchers that we are able to achieve positive outcomes like Richard has experienced. We remain committed to raising the bar even higher and securing our place among the nation’s elite cancer centers. One of the ways we will achieve that is through increasing collaboration with our counterparts at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Just prior to the start of the New Year, Roswell Park President and CEO, Donald “Skip” Trump, M.D., and I – along with members of our respective teams – traveled to Washington to meet with representatives of the National Cancer Institute. The purpose of our visit was to further elaborate on our vision of working more collaboratively and becoming a consortium that will be a national powerhouse in cancer research and treatment, and to seek NCI guidance and support of our efforts.
Both Skip and I were encouraged by the discussions with the NCI. Our organizations will be working closely in the coming months to demonstrate our commitment to establishing an NCI-designated consortium, including identifying additional opportunities for collaboration, and raising funds for seed grants to support those ventures. T hese are exciting times for the Wilmot Cancer Center, no doubt made possible in large part by your continued support of our efforts to bring the best in cancer care to our community. I hope you are able to join us for our annual Discovery Ball, at which we celebrate our accomplishments and recognize the spirit of our patients as well as the caring and generosity of our donors. The Discovery Ball will be held May 21 at the Robert B. Wegman Conference Facility. I am sure there will be many more good things to share at that time, and look forward to seeing you then.
Richard I. Fisher, M.D.
Director, James P. Wilmot Cancer Center
Vice President, University of Rochester Medical Center