There are many contributors to the success of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, from donors to staff to volunteers and the patients themselves, but the $1.5 million gift from New Era Cap Co. is noteworthy because it will allow construction of a new building.
The gift brings to $40 million the amount raised for the 11-story Clinical Sciences Center planned for the northwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Carlton Street, abutting the cancer center’s main hospital building. The project is set to be completed in phases, with the first seven floors to be finished by 2015. An additional $10 million will be raised to build out the remaining floors.
Not enough can be said about the donors. In addition to New Era Cap, the “Circle of 10” donors pledged $10 million and a total of 435 donors contributed to the campaign. Another $10 million came from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Corp.
New Era Cap’s CEO, Christopher Koch, saw his father, David, die in 2002 of cancer. His gift makes possible a building that will add to the incredible growth and dynamic of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The synergy being created involving new buildings, existing infrastructure and a critical mass of doctors, scientists and researchers will continue to enhance the area’s reputation as a medical destination.
Projects already on the boards include a new $200 million Children’s Hospital near the corner of Ellicott and High streets. Construction is due to begin next spring, with completion scheduled for early 2016. The University at Buffalo’s new medical school should be open the same year. Other projects include the Gates Vascular Institute, the University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Research Center and Kaleida Health’s new nursing home, HighPointe on Michigan.
Just recently, officials from Kaleida Health and Roswell Park announced plans to unify services for young patients with cancer and blood diseases under one roof at the recently renamed John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, a replacement for the Women & Children’s Hospital campus on Bryant Street.
Roswell Park and Kaleida have been collaborating for nearly 40 years, but merging services for young people under one roof presents exciting opportunities to offer high-quality, comprehensive care.
Although the memorandum of understanding between the two institutions launches a complicated process, given Roswell Park’s standing as a public benefit corporation and Kaleida’s as a private, not-for-profit entity with multiple unions, that complexity should not be an impediment to progress. Unions and management should work together in moving this critical effort forward.
The medical campus continues a transformation that is benefiting the whole region as it becomes a hub for health care. Medical professionals, students and researchers are attracted by new, state-of-the-art facilities and the kinds of collaborations that allow better communication across platforms in a concentrated area.
This sort of progress is powered by the selflessness of philanthropists, both large and small. The community thanks them.