March 10, 2010 11:34 ET

Roswell Park Cancer Institute Renews Relationship With VHA

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - March 10, 2010) -  Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) of Buffalo, N.Y., one of the nation's leading comprehensive cancer centers, renewed its relationship with VHA Inc., the national health care network, as one way to cope with the anticipated devastating health care funding cuts proposed for facilities across the state. 

"We plan to leverage our membership in VHA to help us stretch our resources so we can maintain the quality of care we provide to cancer patients and maintain momentum in cancer research, even amidst these budget struggles," said Rochelle Krowinski, chief operating officer at RPCI, which currently buys $80 million worth of products annually through Novation, VHA's supply contracting company. "Through VHA, we'll have access to tools and programs that will help us increase efficiencies and value in the purchasing of medical supplies."

The not-for-profit Institute depends on support from a variety of sources, including New York State, patient-care revenues, and government and medical industry research funding. With the state proposing large reductions in both direct support for care and funding for medical research, RPCI needed to find the best and safest savings strategies to strengthen its financial footing so it can continue to meet patient needs.

While hospitals across the state and country are challenged to balance increasing costs with reduced funding, the issue is intensified for RPCI by its higher utilization of high-priced cancer drugs and the need for advanced, specialized diagnostic equipment. 

In looking at its options to link with a national GPO, RPCI renewed its relationship with VHA because it offers:

  • customized services to meet the unique demands of the cancer center
  • greater savings on pharmaceuticals than competing GPOs 
  • clinical programs that will help RPCI address key issues, such as reducing readmissions, preventing and minimizing infections in hospitalized patients, and improving overall quality and patient satisfaction

"VHA serves some of the nation's largest and best known health care organizations, as well as hundreds of small hospitals across the U.S.," said Bill Glaser, vice president at VHA. "In every situation, our mission is to support the success of not-for-profit health care organizations. They are the backbone of our health care system, yet they are facing unprecedented challenges. We view our work as more important -- and more rewarding -- than ever."

About VHA
VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. Formed in 1977, through its 16 regional offices, VHA serves more than 1,400 hospitals and more than 28,000 non-acute care providers nationwide. VHA was ranked by Modern Healthcare as the 7th best place to work in health care in 2009.

About RPCI
The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation's leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI's website at or call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email

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