Roswell Park to spend up to $500,000 on PR firm focused on diversity, equity and inclusion
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has come under intense scrutiny following a string of recent employee discrimination lawsuits, a refusal to release a diversity report, and a long-term resignation as chairman following allegations of racism against its development company.
Now, a major cancer hospital in western New York is looking to hire a public relations firm to promote diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The deal is estimated at between $50,000 and $500,000 over three to five years, but the specific terms will be negotiated with the winning bidder, according to an advertisement posted on the state’s contract website on Friday.
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In its post (interested businesses must apply by August 11), Roswell Park said it “seeks to put its expertise into a proactive communication and activation plan that emphasizes its values, initiatives and commitment to providing equitable, inclusive and culturally competent employment opportunities, patient care and education.”
“In doing so, cancer centers can build trust and relationships with historically marginalized and underserved communities, improve the patient experience, attract a diverse workforce, meet ethical and legal requirements, and support the health and well-being of the entire community they serve,” List continues.
Roswell Park said in a statement that while it has taken many initiatives recently to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, it is seeking the services of a communications agency to complement the work of communications staff for its smaller workforce. He added that the cancer center regularly contracts experts and works with employee teams on ongoing and new projects.
The post also follows several articles in recent months from the Buffalo News and Investigative Post websites outlining the history of discrimination lawsuits against the cancer center and Roswell Park’s efforts to address these accusations, largely behind closed doors.
– John Harris and Stephen T. Watson
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