Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

UM/Sylvester Announces $137 Million Capital Campaign


The University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center cemented its key role in Momentum: The Campaign for the University of Miami, with the announcement of a $137 million capital campaign for the cancer center.

The Chairman of the Board of UM/Sylvester, Joaquin Blaya, and fellow board member and Campaign Co-Chair Jose Bared said they were proud to announce that $50 million has already been raised toward the goal, while emphasizing to community and business leaders gathered at the Milhous Museum in Boca Raton that this is just the beginning.

“You and I can’t perform the surgeries or administer the treatments that save the lives of cancer patients,” said Blaya. “But what we can do and what you can do is help South Florida’s leading cancer researchers save lives, now and in the future.”

The Sylvester family, for whom the institution is named, announced a dramatic second-generation gift. “I am honored to be able to continue my father’s support for cancer care and research today,” said Jayne Malfitano, the daughter of Harcourt Sylvester, Jr., as her father looked on. She announced $11.5 million in philanthropic support. Harcourt Sylvester’s original gift of $27.5 million 18 years ago, followed by a second gift of $5 million, made the creation of UM/Sylvester possible.

“It is our hope that this contribution will continue the evolution of UM/Sylvester into a world-class cancer center,” said Malfitano.

“Research cures cancer,” said UM/Sylvester Scientific Director Joseph D. Rosenblatt, M.D., who thanked the Sylvester family and explained the importance of support for cancer research.

“We have 126 clinical trials underway now at UM/Sylvester, including original research that isn’t being done anywhere else in the world,” said Rosenblatt. “We will make breakthroughs, but we can’t do it without your help.”

Since Dr. Rosenblatt joined the faculty he has hired more than a dozen top researchers, including Joyce M. Slingerland, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at UM/Sylvester, established by a $5 million gift from Norman and Irma Braman.

Rakesh Singal, M.D., M.R.C.P., a leading genetic researcher and specialist in prostate and genitourinary cancers, and lymphoma specialist Izidore Lossos, M.D., a leader in the use of cDNA microarrays are among many new faculty members. More recruits are on the way.

Two of six senior scientists and a majority of new top scientist and physician recruits are already on the faculty. “Our new scientists will complement the cadre of top oncologists already in place at South Florida’s only university-based cancer center,” said W. Jarrard Goodwin, M.D., F.A.C.S., director of UM/Sylvester.

“Your support can help us expand our relationship with the National Cancer Institute and NIH,” said Goodwin. “We need your help to reach critical mass, and with that help, we truly are one community fighting cancer.”

The Sylvester gift augments the tremendous support of the Papanicolaou Corps for Cancer Research, which pledged $10 million in 2003, to be paid over the next five years. The Pap Corps has supported cancer research at the University of Miami School of Medicine since it was founded in 1952.

In honor of the long tradition of cancer research and care at the University of Miami, and the importance of the UM/Sylvester campaign to the School of Medicine, John G. Clarkson, M.D., senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the University of Miami School of Medicine, was also on hand.

“We’ve set ambitious goals for the future of health care and medical education in South Florida,” said Clarkson, who is overseeing a $700 million campaign for the medical school. UM/Sylvester is one of only two divisions seeking $137 million, along with the Department of Pediatrics.

Robert and Gail Milhous and Paul and Mary Ann Milhous hosted the evening in one of the most unique venues in South Florida. Robert Milhous was treated for cancer by Dr. Goodwin. The Milhous Museum of Collectibles is home to one of the only remaining American nickelodeons. The collection has grown to include more than 30 classic, often one-of-a-kind automobiles, neon signs, airplanes, a gas station, and a new 86-rank Wurlitzer theatre organ, as well as other American memorabilia from the turn of the century. The centerpiece of the museum is a fully operative carousel.

UM/Sylvester was founded in 1992 to provide comprehensive cancer services and today serves as the hub for cancer-related research, diagnosis, and treatment at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

UM/Sylvester handles more than 1,100 inpatient admissions annually, performs 2,800 surgical procedures, and treats 2,900 new cancer patients. All UM/Sylvester physicians are on the faculty of the University of Miami School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center.

In addition, UM/Sylvester physicians and scientists are engaged in 126 clinical trials and receive more than $30 million annually in research grants. UM/Sylvester at Deerfield Beach recently opened to better meet the needs of residents of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. This 10,000 square-foot facility at I-95 and S.W. 10th Street offers appointments with physicians from five cancer specialties, complementary therapies from the Courtelis Center, and education and outreach events.

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