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Contact: Linda Johnson
WCA Hospital Public Relations
(716) 664-8614

Congressman Higgins, Roswell Park & WCA Hospital Announce Grant For Radiation Cancer Treatment

WCA Hospital
From left, Stanley Byun, MD, full-time, on-site radiation oncologist at the WCA Cancer Treatment Center on the faculty of Roswell Park Cancer Institute; Lea Anne Cali, Breast Cancer Survivor, who received radiation treatment at the newly renovated WCA Cancer Treatment Center; Congressman Brian Higgins, a member of the National Cancer Caucus; Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, President & CEO, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; Betsy T. Wright, FACHE, WCA Hospital President/CEO; said Michael Kuettel, MD, MBA, PhD, The Barbara C. and George H. Hyde Chair in Radiation Medicine, RPCI.

May 1, 2009 - Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27), WCA Hospital President and CEO Betsy Wright, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) President and CEO Dr. Donald Trump and announced the launch of a joint radiation therapy program made available to residents in Chautauqua County and northern Pennsylvania with the help of a federal grant used to purchase new state-of-the-art conference equipment.

"This is a really exciting and innovative way to deliver the best in cancer treatment and care to cancer patients right here in Chautauqua County," said Congressman Higgins, a member of the National Cancer Caucus. "I commend Roswell Park and WCA Hospital for this progressive approach."

"Congressman Higgins, a national leader in the fight against cancer, advocated for the resources necessary for the state-of-the-art technology to expand and improve the precision of radiation therapy services to cancer patients of Chautauqua County," said Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, President & CEO, Roswell Park Cancer Institute. "The collaborative relationship between Roswell Park and WCA Hospital is now supported by sophisticated technology, which will benefit patients who receive radiation treatment closer to home."

"This is an important time for patients and their families in Southwestern New York," said Betsy T. Wright, FACHE, WCA Hospital President and CEO. "We are very appreciative to Congressman Higgins for securing the necessary funds that allow us to launch a world class radiation treatment program in collaboration with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, here at home."
Under the affiliation agreement cancer care specialists at Roswell Park, one of the Nation's leading cancer centers, and WCA Hospital will be linked electronically, in real time, to develop personalized radiation treatment plans. Medical information in the form of text, images, audio and video are transmitted via high-speed digital connections between the two locations. Specialists are able to view CT scans, examine tissue slides and discuss treatment protocols, providing WCA cancer patients with top-rate cancer care.
Congressman Higgins secured $429,000 in the Labor, Health and Human Services & Education Fiscal Year 2008 Appropriations bill toward the purchase of technology for the project.

More than 50% of all cancer patients are treated with some form of radiation therapy during the course of their cancer care. For patients living in rural regions or smaller cities, such as Jamestown, Dunkirk and Erie, this affiliation means patients can be treated at WCA Hospital, conveniently close to home. WCA Hospital, recognized for cancer excellence by the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer, serves more than 160,000 people throughout Southwestern New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania.

A 2006 American Cancer Society Chautauqua County profile estimates that 16 Chautauqua County residents are diagnosed with cancer each week.

Congressman Higgins has been a vocal advocate for increased national funding for cancer research. Recently Congress approved a budget to begin the doubling of funding for cancer research, an increase of $6 billion, demonstrating a new and long-overdue commitment to this cause. Under the previous administration, there were $250 million in proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health over the last five years.

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