Our History

Our History

Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York celebrated its 25th Anniversary in August of 2007.  Established in 1982 by Dr. John Gullo and Dr. Santo DiFino, a vision to serve the community by providing the highest level of quality care to patients dealing with cancer and blood disorders was born.  Soon to join these physicians were Dr. Jeffrey Kirshner and Dr. Anthony Scalzo.  These four founding partners were subsequently joined by Doctors Thomas Maher, David Churchill, Heidi Puc, Dennis Kotlove, Daniel Bingham and Richard Cherny.  Since 2006, Doctors Tracy Alpert, Joseph Navone, Benny Wong, Olga Kligerman, and Stefania Morbidini joined the group.  In August of 2008, Drs. Benjamin Himpler and Angelie Roman formally of Syracuse Hematology/Oncology, joined our family of physicians.  All these physicians have the combined expertise in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, Medical Hematology, and Radiation Oncology.  In January of 2006, the practiced experienced a significant loss with the death of Dr. Thomas Maher.

From active treatment through remission, patients and families who live with blood disorders and cancer receive a variety of services from our growing and dedicated staff of healthcare professionals and support personnel.  Committed to clinical cancer research, in conjunction with our Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) through the National Cancer Institute, patients and staff work in partnership to find new and better treatments. Our team includes highly skilled nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, medical technologists, physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists, social workers, dieticians, oncology certified nurses and other gifted personnel to assist patients and their families to meet challenges throughout their journey.  

In 1993, to enhance the delivery of comprehensive care to our community, offices located in the Physician Office Buildings of Crouse Hospital, Community-General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital were centralized to one location at the Hill Building in downtown Syracuse.  In 1999, Radiation Oncology Centers were developed in Brittonfield and Camillus.  In June of 2003, medical oncology services from the Hill Building were relocated to a newly constructed, comprehensive 60,000 square foot medical center in Brittonfield Parkway that remains the main hub of the practice.  An office in Rome was opened in May of 2003 and a 13,500 square foot comprehensive center was completed in February of 2007 adjacent to Community-General Hospital on Broad Road. In November of 2007, the practice’s commitment to state of the art technology was exemplified with the addition of the CyberKnife – a completely robotic stereotactic radiosurgery system that targets and destroys small and previously inaccessible tumors and lesions anywhere in the body with sub-millimeter accuracy.  It is currently the only CyberKnife in Central New York.  In June of 2008, the practice’s commitment to Wellness and Integrative Therapies was exemplified when a 4,000 square foot wellness center opened in Camillus at Medical Center West.  Our previous office space was transformed into a beautiful, peaceful, healing center that offers Massage, Meditation, Energy modalities, NIA, Belly Dancing and more.

In August of 2008, the practice’s commitment to patients in our community was further enriched when the physicians of the former, Syracuse Hematology/Oncology joined our practice.  Doctors Benjamin Himpler and Angelie Roman and their staff were welcomed to our family of physicians and healthcare professionals.

April 2012, we expanded our practice west into Auburn. We added the practice of Dr. Margaret Boufal to ours. We updated the computer systems and increased staffing to cover this new area, making ourselves more accessible to patients in that area.
As healthcare providers, educators and community volunteers, Hematology-Oncology Associates is a leader in cancer care, prevention, innovation and support services throughout Central New York.