Grant Establishes Fellowship in Benign Blood Disorders

Published May 20, 2019

The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has been awarded a grant aimed at addressing a shortage of physicians in the region who specialize in treating non-malignant blood disorders.

“These grants are targeted investments that address specialty care gaps in our community.”
Vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Western New York BloodCare, formerly known as the Hemophilia Center of Western New York, is funding the $675,000 grant to establish the Rosemary “Penny” Holmberg Hemostasis and Thrombosis Clinical Fellowship in non-malignant hematology at UB. 

It provides one to two years of training in advanced medical management of patients with complex bleeding and thrombotic disorders.

An earlier grant for $890,000 established the Robert Long Career Development Award. It invests in a junior physician-scientist who is dedicated to conducting advanced research, facilitating training for medical professionals, and providing expert care to local patients and families with these disorders.

Fellowship Integrated Into Existing Programs

The Hemostasis and Thrombosis Fellowship Program will be integrated into the hematology/oncology program at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and the pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship training program at UB and Roswell Park.

“We are very grateful for this continued support from Western New York BloodCare,” says Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School.

“These grants are targeted investments that address specialty care gaps in our community,” he adds. “By strategically partnering with UB to close these gaps, Western New York BloodCare is helping to assure that patients in our community with non-malignant blood disorders will have access to care provided by highly qualified physician-scientists who also will train the next generation of specialists.”

Particularly Complex Area of Medical Practice

“This training opportunity will help us to address an important need for both adult and pediatric patients in this region,” says Kara M. Kelly, MD, who heads a pediatric cancer and blood disorders collaboration through her roles as professor of pediatrics and chief of hematology/oncology in the Department of Pediatrics at the Jacobs School, Waldemar J. Kaminski Endowed Chair of Pediatrics at Roswell Park and director of pediatric hematology/oncology at Oishei Children’s Hospital.

“Treatment of bleeding and clotting disorders is a particularly complex area of medical practice and requires candidates with exceptional dedication. This opportunity will help us to identify and support those candidates,” says Marc S. Ernstoff, MD, professor of medicine and chief of hematology/oncology in the Department of Medicine at the Jacobs School and professor and Katherine Anne Gioia Chair of Medicine at Roswell Park.

Beverly A. Schaefer, MD, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics in the Jacobs School and attending pediatric hematologist/oncologist at the Roswell Park Oishei Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Program, will serve as program director.

Acute Need for Hematologists Across Country

In Western New York, as in many parts of the country, there is an acute need for hematologists who are trained and skilled in the management of complex bleeding and thrombotic disorders as well as in state-of-the-art clinical and translational investigation.

“Multiple factors contribute to this shortage, including a scarcity of training programs, salary disparities and limited availability of experienced mentors,” says Laurel Reger, executive director of Western New York BloodCare.

“Yet in the greater Buffalo area, we are fortunate,” she adds. “With full-service bleeding-and clotting-disorders care available through Western New York BloodCare, and an academic health center anchored by the Jacobs School, our organizations are uniquely positioned to form a philanthropic partnership that can work together to build and retain a local workforce of highly trained physicians focused on providing the highest quality care to individuals with hemophilia and non-malignant hematologic disorders.”