Donna and Jon Boscia
For many years, the Sarasota area has been known as one of Florida’s hidden gems, and a place where philanthropy plays a major role in maintaining the specialness of the community. While our beautiful community may not be so hidden anymore, philanthropists continue to enrich its institutions for the benefit of all its residents and visitors.
Donna and Jon Boscia keep a fairly low profile but they are standouts when it comes to supporting the communities they love. Originally from Pittsburgh, the couple purchased a condominium on Longboat Key in 1996 and later moved to a new home in Lido Shores in 2005. At the time, Jon was CEO at Lincoln Financial Group where he retired in 2007. Not unlike many prominent business leaders in retirement, Jon says he “got bored” and went back to work as president at Sun Life Financial Inc. In 2012 he retired again. It was then that Sarasota became the Boscias’ primary residence.
The couple is particularly passionate about healthcare and ensuring that excellent care is available to all. They have been supporting Sarasota Memorial Health Care System for some time, attending several Healthcare Foundation events and they have previously supported Cardiac Services at SMH.
This year, the Boscias made a $5 million gift to support the creation of the future outpatient Cancer Pavilion on the Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Sarasota Campus. The Pavilion represents the next phase in the expansion of the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute. In recognition of their gift, the new Breast Health Center in the pavilion will be named the Donna and Jon Boscia Breast Health Center.
Donna is a patient of Richard Brown, M.D., the Jellison Cancer Institute’s medical director. Through that relationship, they learned about the health system’s vision for bringing state-of-the-art cancer care to our area. Those conversations transitioned into meetings with the Healthcare Foundation.
“We heard the plans for the Cancer Institute, and knew what an asset it would be for families dealing with the horrors of cancer to be able to stay local and have the support of family and friends,” says Jon.
The health system’s vision for bringing comprehensive care home is rooted in the belief that no one should have to leave home to receive the best cancer care.
“I felt it was very important that our residents have everything they need with an all-encompassing cancer center so they don’t have to go elsewhere,” says Donna.
The Boscias are pleased with their decision to name the Breast Health Center. Before learning about the plans for the new facility, they were already impressed with the Oncology Tower that opened on the SMH-Sarasota campus in November 2021, calling the facility “fabulous” and “state of the art.” The couple also noted that it was designed from the “patient’s perspective.”
While the main reason for making their gift wasn’t necessarily to inspire others, Donna said it would be great if it brings others in to lend support. Jon took the thought a step further, pointing out that healthcare touches all of us and everyone should be able to participate—at any giving level—in making excellent healthcare available in the community.
These self-described “low-key” philanthropists are making communities better through their generosity and graciousness.
“We offer our thanks to the Healthcare Foundation and Sarasota Memorial Health Care System for the work they are doing on behalf of the community,” says Jon. “And for their incredible vision,” adds Donna.
We are grateful for you, too, Donna and Jon, for helping bring world-class cancer care to this gem of a place we call home.
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