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Roswell Park teams up with Buffalo Medical Group and Buffalo Sabres

The top official at Roswell Park Cancer Institute on Wednesday announced new collaborations with the Buffalo Medical Group and the Buffalo Sabres.

The initiative with the Buffalo Medical Group, a large multispecialty physician group and competitor to the cancer center, is small but described as having the potential for a larger relationship in the future.

A Roswell Park gynecologic oncologist will see patients at the medical group’s Orchard Park location, and two medical group oncologists will provide care to patients at the cancer center’s medical-surgical clinics. Officials said the arrangement will bring access to clinical research studies to medical group patients, and initially help Roswell Park with patients who need treatment for gastrointestinal and melanoma/sarcoma/soft-tissue cancers.

“We are starting small. You need to develop trust,” said Candace S. Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Roswell Park. “Hopefully this is just the beginning of a closer, more expansive relationship.”

Buffalo Medical Group also operates major offices in Buffalo and Williamsville.

Johnson, who was named CEO a year ago after filling in on an interim basis, announced the collaborations during an overview of her first year to staff and a look forward at plans for the cancer center.

The partnership with the Buffalo Sabres formalizes a long relationship with the cancer center, making Roswell Park the official and exclusive comprehensive cancer center of the hockey team. Officials see benefits in raising awareness about cancer prevention, generating funds for research and helping market the cancer center in Western New York and beyond.

Over the next five hockey seasons, the two organizations will embark on an educational campaign with the tagline, “One Goal: Inspire Cancer Cures.” The effort will include a free public cancer screening event March 24 at First Niagara Center.

“If you want to reach people, if you can do it with sports, you can get your message across and gain a national presence also,” Johnson said.