The Healthcare Foundation Awards $10,000,000 Grant Benefitting the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute at SMH

Grants in Action

DECEMBER 15, 2021

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation recently awarded a $10 million grant to the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute at Sarasota Memorial. Funds will be directed toward the development and expansion of programs and services that are essential to providing comprehensive cancer care to our community.

“The health system’s vision of bringing comprehensive cancer care to our area has become a reality and community support has played an important role,” said Sarasota Memorial Health Care System president and CEO David Verinder, “We have created state-of-the-art facilities, and grants like this will help us take cancer care to the next level and ensure no one needs to leave home to get it.”

The Healthcare Foundation awards SMH grants in the areas of patient care, technology, clinical research, staff education and facilities. “This grant is focused on patient care,” said Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation Board Chair, Michael Valentino. “Funding will be allocated to programs in multiple areas including oncology nurse navigation, breast health diagnostics and treatment services, lung cancer screening and genetic counseling.”

Support for Oncology Nurse Navigation, Genetic Counseling, Lung Cancer Screening, Breast Health Diagnostics and Treatment will help these critically important programs continue meeting the growing needs in the community. Oncology Nurse Navigators connect patients to vital resources, monitor treatment plans and ensure that patients receive the care they need when they need it. Genetic counseling helps patients make educated decisions when choosing treatment options, making lifestyle choices or even exploring preventative surgeries. The Lung Cancer Screening Program was initiated in 2016 and now screens, manages, and coordinates follow-up care for over 700 patients per year. Support for Breast Health will help with the expansion and coordination of diagnostic and treatment services for uninsured patients.

Additional areas that will benefit from this grant include the development of Medical Directorships, the expansion of the care team for the Oncology tower’s inpatient units, the Cancer Registry and new Symptom Management Clinic.  

 “The outpouring of support from the community has been remarkable. We are so grateful to all the generous supporters of our Leading with Care campaign who helped make this grant possible,” said Mason Ayres, president of Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation. “True to our mission as the health system’s philanthropic partner, this grant is just the beginning of our efforts to bring hope home for cancer patients and their families.”

Community support will continue to make a significant impact at the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute as the proposed next phases of development—an outpatient center on the SMH-Sarasota campus and cancer services on the SMH-Venice campus—get under way.

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