New York Cancer & Blood Specialists and Episcopal Health Services Inc., Partner to Advance Comprehensive Cancer Care on the Rockaway Peninsula

Far Rockaway, NY, May 02, 2022 --( New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (NYCBS), one of the leading oncology practices in the nation, has teamed up with Episcopal Health Services Inc. (EHS), the parent company of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital (SJEH), to build a new comprehensive cancer care facility over the next year.

“NYCBS is committed to helping minimize the healthcare disparities that are present in Far Rockaway and in the communities we serve,” said Jeff Vacirca, MD, CEO of NYCBS. “We look forward to providing the underserved and vulnerable population of patients with dedicated cancer care and blood disorder services.”

The Far Rockaway community has a higher cancer incidence when compared to its surrounding neighborhoods. The partnership will bring a range of comprehensive services and increased access to world-class hematology-oncology care to patients looking for trusted care close to home. The center will offer a wide range of advanced treatments, imaging services, and a multidisciplinary approach.

Prior to the center's construction, NYCBS’ board-certified hematologist-oncologist Dr. Joshua Harris will serve as chief of the division, providing expert care and culturally sensitive services for patients with all types of cancer and blood disorders at 275 Rockaway Turnpike in Lawrence, NY.

“Today, many Rockaway residents must travel far off of the peninsula to receive cancer care. Traveling great distances is challenging for most cancer patients, especially if they lack transportation and are in a fragile state of health,” said Gerard M. Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of EHS. “Our community members deserve top-notch cancer care, and that is exactly what we intend to provide.”

Dr. Harris is particularly interested in GI malignancies, and lung and breast cancer. He is truly driven by the relationship within the communities of his practice and reinforces a holistic approach to hematologic and oncologic patients.

Dr. Harris received his Doctor of Medicine at Ross University and was a medical student at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. Then, he completed an Internal Medicine Residency and Hematology-Oncology Fellowship at NYU Winthrop University Hospital. During this time, he received honors as the most outstanding resident. He was also elected and inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Society for excellence in scholarship, high professionalism, leadership, and gifted teaching. In his final year of training, Dr. Harris was named Chief Fellow for the Department of Hematology and Oncology.

“I am honored and privileged to return to the very place that inspired me to become an oncologist as a medical student,” said Dr. Harris. “I look forward to continuing our NYCBS mission of bringing state-of-the-art cancer care close to home for those in the Rockaways and surrounding communities.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Harris, please call 718-696-0632.

About New York Cancer & Blood Specialists:
New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (NYCBS) is a leading oncology practice in the New York Metropolitan area committed to providing world-class, patient-centered affordable care to patients with cancer and blood disorders in their own communities, close to family and friends. We have more than 30 locations and 35 hospital affiliations throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. We offer a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach to care that utilizes the most advanced imaging, state-of-the-art therapies, cutting-edge clinical trials, on-site pharmacies, and an in-house laboratory with a full range of pathology services. Advocating for and ensuring the health and well-being of our patients is and always will be our priority. For more information, visit

About St. John’s Episcopal Hospital:
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is the only hospital providing emergency and ambulatory care to the densely populated, culturally and economically diverse, and medically underserved populations of the Rockaways and Five Towns in southern Queens County and southwestern Nassau County, New York. Celebrating over 110 years of community care, the 257-bed facility provides people of all faiths with comprehensive preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative services, regardless of ability to pay.
New York Cancer & Blood Specialists
Sarah Gould, Communications Manager