The Healthcare Foundation Makes History Raising Over $93 Million for Cancer at SMH

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April 15, 2024

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation announced today that its Leading with Care cancer campaign raised over $93 million to support the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System (SMH). The campaign is the largest in the Healthcare Foundation’s nearly 48-year history.

SMH’s vision to transform cancer care was born nearly 10 years ago in response to the southwest Florida community’s rapid growth and increase in cancer cases. At the time, 50% of cancer patients were leaving the community for treatment. With a belief that no one should have to leave home for the best cancer care, a plan was developed to create a world-class cancer institute with comprehensive, quality-driven, patient-centered care.

As SMH’s philanthropic arm, the Healthcare Foundation launched its cancer fundraising campaign in 2017 with a goal to raise $50 million in five years. In 2020, a $25 million gift was made by the Brian and Sheila Jellison Family Foundation. Beyond advanced care treatments and state-of-the-art facilities, the transformational gift helped create a centralized place to assist patients and families facing the many complex decisions that accompany a cancer diagnosis.

“The Jellison’s generosity fast-tracked the creation of the cancer institute and inspired even more support from the community,” said Healthcare Foundation President Stacey Corley. “With so much momentum, the campaign goal was increased to $75 million.”

Susan Milman, a long-time supporter of SMH, recently helped the foundation reach the campaign’s $93 million mark. Ms. Milman’s $16 million gift will support the third phase in the evolution of the Jellison Cancer Institute, specifically the outpatient cancer pavilion currently under construction and slated to open in late 2025. The building will house an expanded breast health center with the latest diagnostic imaging technology, outpatient surgery, brachytherapy, radiation oncology and infusion, and more. It will be known as the Milman-Kover Cancer Pavilion in honor of her family, Alan K. Milman, Natalie Kover Milman and Morris Milman, and Arthur and Fay Kover. To date, Ms. Milman’s contributions to the Jellison Cancer Institute exceed $21 million.

“Philanthropic support has played a vitally important role in the development of the Jellison Cancer Institute and the many expanded programs and services essential to providing comprehensive cancer care,” said Sarasota Memorial Health Care System CEO David Verinder.

In addition to the new Milman Kover Cancer Pavilion, the Jellison Cancer Institute also includes a radiation oncology center and a new inpatient and surgical oncology tower that opened in 2020 and 2021.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for our remarkable supporters who helped us reach this extraordinary milestone,” said Corley. “As our population continues to grow, cancer care will remain a critical need and ongoing support from our community is imperative.”

The Healthcare Foundation exceeded its goal by raising over $93 million in just six years, while concurrently generating philanthropic support for other important advances in behavioral health, rehabilitation, research and education.

Learn more about the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute.

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