Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Growing up on the Seneca Nation in Western New York, Rodney Haring, PhD, MSW, learned the concept of "The Good Mind" largely from the matrilineal voices in his community. He calls this philosophy, which is one of the shaping principles of the Haudenosaunee people, "a strength from awareness of purpose, thoughts and actions towards well-being."
Now he is building that philosophy into the work of the Center for Indigenous Cancer Research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center — the first initiative of its kind in the Northeast, dedicated to reducing cancer's impact on Indigenous communities regionally, nationally and internationally.
Working with partners across North America, center staff will coordinate educational events, host health screenings, conduct research and develop action plans to address not only health disparities but larger issues that impact wellness, such as humans' relationship to the environment. Dr. Haring, who leads the new center as Director, highlights what can be gained from applying lessons from both academic medicine and Indigenous knowledge.
"The creation of this center, which will be inspired by Indigenous knowledge and ancestral wisdom, is historic and monumental," he says. "Roswell Park's Center for Indigenous Cancer Research will not only advance cutting-edge cancer research to, for and with Indigenous populations, it will lead to translatable science, medicine and cancer care for Indigenous territories, Nations and populations worldwide. And through our focus on educational opportunities, the center will expand Roswell Park's values of commitment, hope, respect and inspiration for generations to come."
"The Center for Indigenous Cancer Research will tackle some of the most persistent challenges in health equity, applying a unique set of resources to improve the lives of people both near and far," says Candace S. Johnson, PhD, President & CEO and M&T Bank Presidential Chair in Leadership at Roswell Park. "We're so proud of Dr. Haring and all he and his team have accomplished, and deeply grateful to all the partners and ambassadors who will help us to do this important work."
"The Seneca Nation appreciates the work that Roswell Park and Dr. Haring are conducting in Native communities to ensure that comprehensive cancer care addresses the unique circumstances of Native communities when dealing with cancer, including prevention education," says Seneca Nation President Rickey L. Armstrong Sr. "We look forward to our continued collaborative relationship with Dr. Haring and Roswell Park."