New pediatric cancer chief will head joint program at Women & Children’s, Roswell Park and UB

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In February 2016, Kara Kelly, MD, will begin her tenure as the new leader of the joint program in pediatric hematology/oncology at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, UBMD Pediatrics and the University at Buffalo.

Dr. Kelly is a gifted physician leader who brings openness and great sensitivity to the care she provides and her interactions with families. She is poised to be an outstanding chair.

Kara Kelly, MD has been appointed as the new leader of the joint program in pediatric hematology/oncology, a partnership of Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB), Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), UBMD Pediatrics and the University at Buffalo (UB). WCHOB, RPCI and UB have provided pediatric hematology and cancer care through a comprehensive and collaborative program for more than 40 years.

Kelly is currently professor of pediatrics at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Her appointments as chair of pediatric oncology, professor of oncology and the Waldemar J. Kaminski Endowed Chair of Pediatrics at RPCI and medical director of the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Service Line at WCHOB, a Kaleida Health facility, will take effect on February 15, 2016. Kelly will also assume the responsibilities of division chief of hematology and oncology at both UBMD Pediatrics and the Department of Pediatrics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, where she will be appointed research professor.

Kelly is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in the treatment of pediatric lymphoma and leukemia and serves as the chairperson of the Hodgkin lymphoma committee of the Children’s Oncology Group. In addition to her current role as professor of pediatrics, she is associate director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplantation at Columbia.

Kelly brings a wealth of knowledge in clinical trials and integrative medicine to the Western New York community, with a keen interest on how nutrition and diet may help children being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) better tolerate their therapy. Her focus on helping patients and their families cope with cancer therapy led her to co-author Integrative Strategies for Cancer Patients: A Practical Resource for Managing the Side Effects of Cancer Therapy (Hackensack: World Scientific Publishing, 2012).

“Dr. Kelly is a gifted physician leader who brings openness and great sensitivity to the care she provides and her interactions with families. With all she has accomplished in the clinical, academic and research arenas, she is poised to be an outstanding chair,” said Candace S. Johnson, PhD, President and CEO of Roswell Park. “Through his thoughtful leadership and wise stewardship, Dr. Marty Brecher built our joint pediatric oncology/hematology program into a comprehensive network to meet the needs of some of the region’s youngest and most vulnerable patients, and now we look forward to watching this network grow and evolve with Dr. Kelly’s vision.”

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Kelly join our program. She is a national and international leader in the oncology field and brings to Western New York her rich expertise as a clinician, teacher and clinical investigator, with specific expertise in clinical trials,” said Teresa Quattrin, MD, chair of the department of pediatrics at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB and pediatrician-in-chief at WCHOB. In fact, Kelly has taken a leading role in efforts to increase clinical trial access for adult and pediatric minority patients. She is the lead investigator for the Columbia University Minority/Underserved Site National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program, which links adult and pediatric minority patients with opportunities to participate in clinical trials.

Kelly received a BA in human biology from Brown University and an MD from the medical school at the University at Buffalo. She completed both her pediatric residency and pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Kelly to the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo family and are eager for her to impart her impressive expertise and extensive experience to the pediatric hematology/oncology division,” said Allegra C. Jaros, MBA, President, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. “As we transition into the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, we will look to Dr. Kelly as an integral leader in solidifying the joint pediatric hematology/oncology program with Roswell Park Cancer Institute – and improving the quality of care we provide to our patients and families. This joint recruitment is a great example of what we can do together as a medical community on the medical campus.”

The Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program is an integrated academic and clinical program based at both WCHOB and RPCI. Inpatients will be cared for within the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital currently under construction on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, and outpatient care will be delivered at RPCI. Relocation of WCHOB and the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to the medical campus will allow for enhanced services, a paradigm that draws on the strengths of each of the institutions involved and provides opportunities for growth in clinical care and medical research and teaching.

“In another example of the collaboration synonymous with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, our medical faculty, residents and students are looking forward to working closely with Dr. Kelly and benefiting from her skills in caring for one of our most vulnerable patient populations - children with cancer,” said Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB.

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The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is 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 http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci(at)roswellpark(dot)org. Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

Founded in 1892, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo is a 200-bed Kaleida Health facility and teaching hospital for the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. As the regional center for comprehensive and state-of-the-art pediatric and women’s services, and one of only 43 freestanding pediatric hospitals in the nation, our entire facility is designed with the child and family in mind. Through collaboration with the University at Buffalo and our expert pediatric, surgical, maternal, fetal and OB/GYN subspecialists, we serve patients in Western New York and beyond with the best practitioners and services available. For more information, please go online at http://www.wchob.org.

UBMD Pediatrics is one of 18 practice plans that make up the UBMD Physicians’ Group, the single largest physicians group in Western New York. All of our physicians are faculty members at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. UBMD Pediatrics is based at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, with additional locations in Amherst and Hamburg. For more information, call 716.932.6073, or visit http://www.UBMD.com.

Founded in 1846, the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo is beginning a new chapter in its history with the largest medical education building under construction in the nation. The eight-story, 628,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in 2017. The new location puts superior medical education, clinical care and pioneering research in close proximity, anchoring Buffalo’s evolving comprehensive academic health center in a vibrant downtown setting. These new facilities will better enable the school to advance health and wellness across the life span for the people of New York and the world through research, clinical care and the education of tomorrow’s leaders in health care and biomedical sciences. The school’s faculty and residents provide care for the community’s diverse populations through strong clinical partnerships and the school’s practice plan, UBMD Physicians’ Group.

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