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Sarasota Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 2 months ago

Jellison Family Foundation donates $25 million to SMH Cancer Institute

Gift is the largest ever received by hospital's foundation.

A $25 million donation to the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation is the organization’s largest ever and will help propel the work of the Sarasota Memorial Cancer Institute, the hospital said.

The donation, from the Brian and Sheila Jellison Family Foundation, was announced on Thursday.

“Everyone should be able to get the best cancer care without having to leave home … we feel so lucky to be able to help SMH bring that care home to Sarasota,” said Sheila Jellison, president of the family foundation, alongside her three daughters, who serve as directors.

Brian Jellison, the family patriarch, died from cancer in 2018 at age 73.

An eight-story oncology tower under construction at the hospital’s main campus and an outpatient radiation oncology center on University Parkway will now be known as the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute. The tower in Sarasota is expected to be open in the fall of 2021.

All future buildings and services of the Cancer Institute will also bear the Jellison name.

Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder and Mason Ayres, president of Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, said the Jellison Family Foundation’s gift memorializes the most important aspect of a cancer patient’s journey – hope. 

“With this donation, they not only honor a beloved husband, father and grandfather, they also give the tremendous gift of hope and courage to people fighting cancer in our community,” Verinder said. 

The Jellison foundation’s donation is the largest in the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation’s history, pushing the healthcare foundation’s cancer campaign closer to its $75 million goal.

“We are so grateful to the Jellison family for their vision and generosity,” Ayres said. “This transformational gift means so much to everyone who has faced cancer either personally or with a loved one.” 

Brian Jellison, the family patriarch, died from cancer in 2018 at age 73. He had been married to Sheila Jellison for 52 years, and, according to the statement, was a “role model for his daughters and their families, including eight grandchildren.”

He led Lakewood Ranch-based Roper for 17 years, where, among other accomplishments, he transformed its business model and increased its market capitalization from $1.5 billion to more than $30 billion. Institutional Investor named Jellison the Best CEO in the Electrical Equipment and Multi-Industry sector in 2018, and Harvard Business Review named him one of the Best Performing CEOs in the World. 



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