Growing Roswell Park Program Evolves Into New Department of Indigenous Cancer Health

A program launched at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center three years ago to advance health equity and access by strengthening connections between cancer researchers and Indigenous communities has grown into a broad-based team of Indigenous experts with an expanded scope and purpose. The cancer center’s new Department of Indigenous Cancer Health reflects the significant growth of an initiative led since its inception by health disparities expert Rodney Haring, PhD, MSW, an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Beaver Clan.

“The Department of Indigenous Cancer Health at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is the first of its kind at any National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in the country, which is monumental in many different ways,” says Dr. Haring, newly named Chair of the department, who has served on the Roswell Park faculty since 2012.  

“It’s so important that we have integrated resources to offer the communities and organizations we serve. It’s not enough to focus just on how to make cancer research more beneficial for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. We have to be there with supports and services at every step from prevention to education, patient services and translating research into practice, and our new framework as a department makes full use of the tools and partnerships we’ve forged along the way.”

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Rodney Haring PhD, MSW.

Rodney Haring PhD, MSW

Chair of the Department of Indigenous Cancer Health

Specializing In: Health Behavior Interventions Screening Patient Navigation, Cancer focused Cancer Education Initiatives Research Interests: Cancer Prevention Co-Occurring Conditions Data Sovereignty and Research Ethics

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