2019 Foundation Impact Report

Together, We Make a Difference

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we are now more than ever, on the cusp of lifesaving treatments that move us closer to that elusive goal: a cure. But we cannot get there without your help. In 2019, you provided funding for clinical trials and support for cutting-edge research projects.

You hosted fundraising events and advocated for Moffitt. You volunteered your time by serving on our boards and committees. And you have shown your support in countless other ways. For this, we cannot thank you enough.

In this report, you will read about some of the most courageous members of the Moffitt family — patients, families, doctors, nurses, and donors like you — who have made a true impact in the last year. Together, we are revolutionizing the future of cancer care. We are at the forefront of pioneering advances and innovating treatments. And we are offering the hope our patients need today.

Maria C. Muller, Foundation President, Chief Philanthropy Officer
Moffitt Cancer Center

From the President

Thank You for making 2019 such an extraordinary year. As I reflect on my first full year as Moffitt Foundation President, I have learned so much about this incredible institution, which I am honored to serve. I continue to be inspired by our community of experts, our patients and especially you, our donors who make so much possible. From our youngest fundraiser, who donated the proceeds from her lemonade stand, to those who have made transformative gifts to cancer research, every gift matters and we are deeply grateful for your generosity.

Philanthropy is essential to accelerating breakthroughs in cancer research and fueling preliminary studies that enable researchers to go onto apply for major federal funds. Your donations often fund the most cutting-edge research and allow us to explore new pathways to treatments and cures. Our scientists and researchers continue to work toward making new discoveries, and with your help, even more breakthroughs lie ahead. The money raised from our community stays in our community, improving cancer care for everyone in the Tampa Bay region and far beyond. Thank you for helping us deliver hope to so many patients and families.

I very much look forward to the coming year and the many ways Moffitt will continue to serve the community. I wish each and every one of you a healthy and prosperous 2020.


Moffitt serves patients from all 67 Florida counties, 50 states and more than 130 countries


Moffitt is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida, and one of only 51 in the country.


68,000+ individual patients were served at Moffitt in 2019, resulting in more than 450,000 outpatient visits.


Nearly 700 active interventional clinical trials are underway with more than 2,600 patients enrolled in 2019. Of these, over 200 were initiated by Moffitt researchers.


6,500+ people are employed across our 52-acre campus, with 1.5M+ square feet devoted to research and patient care.

Cheering Kids

More than $27 Million raised in 2019

from 26,500 donors

Nearly half of all 2019 donors were new donors, a 36% increase from 2018.

Gifting Came from 5 key areas
16% corporate & community Giving
15% Foundation Gifts & Grants
13% Planned Giving
12% Annual Giving
our two largest annual fundraisers
$3.5M600 Attendees
$1.5M7,000 Participants

Our supporters make a difference at Moffitt in a variety of meaningful ways. To illustrate our Community of Support, we are sharing stories of how several courageous and compassionate donors are furthering our mission to the prevention and cure of cancer.

Philanthropist of the Year Richard Gonzmart

Philanthropist of the Year Richard Gonzmart

Survivor and Supporter

When it comes to philanthropic support and commitment to causes, Tampa restaurant legend and Moffitt Foundation board member Richard Gonzmart has made his mark on many local nonprofits — including Moffitt Cancer Center. Moffitt was one of five organizations to nominate Richard as the Association of Fundraising Professionals Suncoast Chapter 2019 Philanthropist of the Year.

Richard, fourth-generation owner of the famous Columbia restaurant, takes after his family in many ways — strong work ethic, passion for life, and generosity of spirit. Unfortunately, cancer is also part of this family connection. Thankfully, after catching his prostate cancer early, he was able to use high-dose brachytherapy (HDR), and after two treatments, is in remission.

26th Annual Magnolia Ball

26th Annual Magnolia Ball

A Memorable Evening of Fun & Fundraising

We would like to thank the event chairs, Lesa France Kennedy and Bill Christy, our sponsors, all supporters and everyone who joined us for making the 2019 Magnolia Ball a very special evening. With all your support we were able to raise $3.5 million!

Lesa and Bill challenged the room to meet their $1 million pledge and this was achieved through many gifts of all levels, including a generous $250,000 pledge from Moffitt Board of Advisors member Thomas Rouse and his wife, Sandy.

The Magnolia Ball, one of Tampa Bay’s premiere fundraising galas, has become a remarkable event that truly touches lives and propels us toward a cancer-free world. Each year, Moffitt Cancer Center supporters come together to celebrate Moffitt’s 350,000 plus courageous patients who have been touched by cancer. Since its inception, the Magnolia Ball has raised more than $45 million for research, education and patient care.

Each step we take together helps to develop more effective treatments, while extending and improving the quality of life for our patients and their families.

The Brenda T. Myers and Family Multiple Myeloma Fund

John, Lauri, Salli, Cindi and John Sr.

The Brenda T. Myers and Family Multiple Myeloma Fund

Supporting Families Struggling to Afford Treatment

“Moffitt!” This was the first word that came out of the mouths of John Myers and his four adult children when they wanted to do something special in honor of his wife and their mother Brenda, recognizing what she brought to the world.

Brenda fought cancer much of her adult life, surviving both breast cancer and melanoma. She fought with that same brave spirit when she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma five years ago, which was her greatest fight.

When Brenda and John learned of Brenda’s multiple myeloma diagnosis, they scoured the country looking for the right balance of knowledge, care and compassion. Once they looked into Moffitt and met Dr. Rachid Baz and his team, they knew they were in the right place.

Brenda, John and their four children have expressed gratitude for that knowledge, care and compassion received at Moffitt with a generous gift honoring Brenda’s life. The Brenda T. Myers and Family Multiple Myeloma Fund commemorates Brenda by providing financial assistance to those patients and families struggling to afford treatment and continuing education to nurses and caregivers regarding patient care.

Anonymous Donor, Identifiable Advances

A Significant Contribution to Help Eliminate HPV-related Cancers

An anonymous donor committed $500,000 to the advancements in HPV-related genitourinary oncology research projects. One in 20 cancers worldwide is caused by HPV. Moffitt’s Center of Excellence for Infection-Related Research is working toward the goal of eliminating up to six HPV-related cancers.

“Every one of you has a role to play in our goal. We have the tools to eliminate HPV-related cancers and save lives.”

- U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, 14th District of Florida

Continued Support from The V Foundation

Continued Support from The V Foundation

Working to Support Many Facets of Cancer Treatment

Gifts totaling $395,450 from The V Foundation were awarded to three projects. Hooters of America funded a prescreening strategy to increase clinical trial participation.

Additionally, two Kay Yow Cancer Fund Awards funded ovarian cancer research projects.

Since 2003, The V Foundation has awarded Moffitt over $7 million dollars for 26 grants.

Casiana Hilton’s Matching Gift

Casiana Hilton’s Matching Gift

Paying It Forward

Casiana Hilton was living a healthy, happy and fulfilled life. She was a world traveler who loved exploring different cultures. But that world turned upside down when the lump in her right breast was confirmed to be a malignant tumor. Nothing in all her many experiences could have prepared her for a fight with cancer.

After thorough testing at Moffitt confirmed the cancer, Casiana was assigned to the care of Dr. Susan Hoover and her team. Though she emerged victorious from her battle with breast cancer, her trial was not over. Two years after her successful double mastectomy, Dr. Hoover recommended another CT scan, which revealed a small nodule in Casiana’s lung.

Though not related to the breast cancer, this new mass also was malignant. Casiana went into surgery at Moffitt again — and half her lung was removed.

Casiana knows that if Dr. Susan Hoover and Dr. Jacques-Pierre Fontaine had not been proactive, the lung cancer could have progressed — and been much worse. Because she is so grateful for the lifesaving treatment she has received at Moffitt, Casiana has decided to pay it forward with her exceptionally generous gift that was leveraged as a matching gift.

The George Edgecomb Society

Closing the Cancer Health Disparities Gap

The George Edgecomb Society (GES) raised significant funds this year to provide seed funding that makes our researchers better able to compete for major cancer health disparities grant awards. We bestowed two new $75,000 research awards to Moffitt researchers. An anonymous gift of $500,000 — by far the largest single cash gift to support cancer health disparities in the history of Moffitt Cancer Center—was received, and we are confident that this is just the beginning of more significant gifts that will help Moffitt to close the cancer health disparities gap.

Moffitt Supporter and GES Advocate Woodrow Grady

Moffitt Supporter and GES Advocate Woodrow Grady

Rising Up to Make a Difference

While there has been much progress in cancer treatment, screening, diagnosis and prevention, it has been slower for the black community. That’s why when Moffitt’s Dr. Lee Green reached out about a new initiative – the George Edgecomb Society, Woodrow Grady replied “Just sign me up.”

To Woodrow, there is no greater joy in the world than giving back to the community and making a difference.

Miles for Moffitt 2019

Miles for Moffitt 2019

More Than $1.5 M Raised, 7,000 Participants, 403 Teams

Miles for Moffitt 2019 passed an incredible milestone in the race to keep cancer on the run — raising a record breaking $1.5 million. The community came together in a beautiful way in downtown Tampa on November 23 to show support to those battling cancer, celebrate our survivors, honor those we’ve lost, and raise critical funds for cancer research.

Since 2006, the annual Miles for Moffitt event has brought together thousands of runners, walkers, wheel- chair racers, volunteers, survivors, caregivers, supporters, and friends in a community effort to end cancer. To date, the race has raised more than $6 million with one hundred percent of proceeds fueling research and empowering scientists at Moffitt Cancer Center to find a cure. Proceeds from the race have funded 56 pilot research studies and gained more than $18 million in additional federal support.

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor, AutoNation, the largest automotive retailer in the United States. AutoNation has served as presenting sponsor of Miles for Moffitt since 2015. Between sponsorship of the annual Miles for Moffitt event and funds raised by employees, AutoNation has contributed more than $565,000 to the cancer center.

Save the Date! 15th Annual Miles for Moffitt, Saturday, October 24, 2020, Tampa Convention Center

Jorge (George) Ferioli

Contributions Toward Hematology Research

George Ferioli made a generous pledge in support of Moffitt’s Malignant Hematology Research Fund. Our Malignant Hematology Program specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of various blood cancers and autoimmune disorders. This gift will fund a project for reprogramming T cells in chronic lymphocytic leukemia adoptive therapies.

Community Partner Events

Community Partner Events

Building Community and Raising Funds

70+ community partner events raised more than $1.1 million in 2019.

Since 2005, Martinis for Moffitt has raised more than $1 million to benefit Moffitt’s Advanced Prostate Cancer Collaboration and Adolescent and Young Adult program — donating $220,000 in 2019.

The Callaghan Tire Charity ProAm golf tournament raised $145,000 for pancreatic cancer research.

Shannon’s Walk contributed $40,000 to adrenal cancer research from their annual ACC C.U.R.E. event.

Moffitt Cancer Center’s reach is far and wide. Through stories about our innovative work and breakthroughs, courageous patients, and dedicated staff, learn more how your philanthropy is, without a doubt, making a World of Impact.

Moffitt Leads

Our world-class care and treatment are driven by our leading- edge research. As a Moffitt supporter, you have played a pivotal role in propelling the kind of change that is felt not just locally, regionally or nationally, but on a global scale.

  • Icon of beakers transfering liquid

    Moffitt is a leader in immuno-oncology, specifically CAR T therapy. Moffitt treated the first clinical trial patient and the first commercial patient in the U.S. for Yescarta® and leads efforts to expand use of the FDA-approved therapy.

  • Icon of globe on top of open book

    Moffitt is at the forefront of translational breakthroughs in cancer care — co-leading the pivotal national clinical trial for Yescarta®, a CAR T therapy. Moffitt is also leading a national, Phase II trial for breast cancer immunotherapy.

  • Icon of graph

    Moffitt was the first cancer center with an Integrated Mathematical Oncology Department. Clinical trials using math models are creating drug dosing schemes that allow the cancer to remain in the body, rather than bombarding it, as long as it doesn’t spread.

Artificial Intelligence Use in Research

Artificial Intelligence Use in Research

Moffitt’s First AI Officer: Ross Mitchell

J. Ross Mitchell, PhD, MSc, is Moffitt’s first artificial intelligence officer, leading our efforts to develop digital tools and technologies that utilize computer science to improve the efficiency and quality of cancer care. Mitchell’s own research includes a neuroradiology imaging study that will utilize AI to read brain scans and identify a tumor’s location and volume within minutes.

Clinical projects in AI already underway include:

  • The development of models for predicting sepsis Dr. Mitchell reviews scans using new methods in medical imaging. in cancer patients.
  • A program using natural language processing to extract tumor site and histology information from free text of pathology reports for use in clinical trial matching, clinical pathways and other decision support tools.

Read More

Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL)Therapy Research Expansion

Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL)Therapy Research Expansion

A “First in the U.S.” Clinical Trial

Moffitt has been a leader in offering immunotherapy as another treatment option for sarcomas. Now, our Sarcoma Oncology Program is the first in the country to open a sarcoma adoptive cell therapy clinical trial solely focused on sarcoma patients receiving an infusion of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL).

“We are proud to have developed a novel strategy ... to expand TIL from melanoma. This allows us to treat sarcoma patients with the TIL therapy, and we are optimistic about similar results for these patients.”

- Dr. John Mullinax, Surgical Oncologist

Read More

An Innovative Trial for Brain-Metastatic Breast Cancer

An Innovative Trial for Brain-Metastatic Breast Cancer

A Four-Year Grant from DoD

Moffitt Cancer Center is preparing to launch a new, innovative clinical trial for brain-metastatic breast cancer patients, thanks to a new grant from the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD awarded the cancer center a four-year, $8.3 million Breakthrough Award to fund a phase 2 clinical trial led by Dr. Brian Czerniecki, chair of Moffitt’s Breast Cancer Oncology Department.

The first-of-its-kind trial, which will begin accruing patients this year, will evaluate the efficacy of a three-part strategy utilizing immunotherapy.

Rare Melanoma Can’t Keep This Clown Down

Rare Melanoma Can’t Keep This Clown Down

Karen Tilton is Dedicated to Spreading Smiles

One of K-Tee the Clown’s favorite magic tricks is turning three different lengths of rope into equal segments right before your eyes. It’s a trick she learned in clown school and one that delights the children she entertains.

But K-Tee, who is also known as Karen Tilton, needed more than magic to survive a unique melanoma diagnosis in 2018.

Read More

Surviving Breast Cancer and Thriving

Surviving Breast Cancer and Thriving

Kerry Kinsella Tests the DigniCap®

Do blondes really have more fun? Kerry Kinsella put the old adage to the test as she dyed her hair bright blond shortly before beginning chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. She figured if she was going to lose her hair, it may as well fall out in style. But, after six rounds of treatment, her golden locks are still in place thanks to The DigniCap® Scalp Cooling System, an FDA-approved device for patients undergoing chemotherapy to reduce hair loss.

Read More

Moffitt Doctor Brings his Passion to Pakistan

Moffitt Doctor Brings his Passion to Pakistan

The Story of Dr. Mian Shahzad’s Quest for Compassion

Walking the halls at Moffitt, you see hundreds of health care professionals and some of the most advanced medical technology. For gynecological oncologist Dr. Mian Shahzad it puts things in perspective.

Growing up in a remote village of Pakistan, Shahzad remembers studying on floor mats in school and classmates who often would come to school without shoes. By the time his grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer, it had already spread to his spine, leaving him paralyzed and bedridden. He would tell a teenage Shahzad about the lack of compassion from some physicians and absence of proper testing and diagnoses. That’s when Shahzad knew he wanted to become a doctor.

When he was 15, Shahzad and his family moved to the United States, and he started working toward his goal. After two decades of school and extensive training, Shahzad became the first Pakistani American gynecological oncologist. With plans to travel to Pakistan yearly, Shahzad hopes he can keep bringing awareness and building a robust training program for gynecological oncologists who will eventually serve the people there.

Read More

Nursing Isn’t a Job. It’s a Passion.

Nursing Isn’t a Job. It’s a Passion.

Appreciation for a Calling

Pam Lowry, RN came to Moffitt Cancer Center after 21 years as an ER/Trauma nurse.

Pam says, “After an epiphany, I took a chance and took a job here at Moffitt Cancer Center and I have never looked back.”

And she’s glad she did. Every day Pam’s patients empower her to be the best nurse she can be.

“I think that’s one of the things I love best about Moffitt is it’s not just the nurses and the doctors. Everybody wants to help. It’s so much more than the skills and the things we can do. There’s a heart to it.”

- Pam Lowry, RN

Doctor examining a patient's left eye


U.S. News and World Report evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions.

This year, 165 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty.

Moffitt Cancer Center is ranked No. 8 for cancer overall

In addition, Moffitt received the following rankings:

  • No. 29 in Urology and in Ear, Nose & Throat
  • No. 43 in Gynecology
  • High Performing in Colon Cancer Surgery, Lung Cancer Surgery, andGastroenterology and GI surgery
Tampa Bay times top Workplaces in 2019
Tampa Bay times top Workplaces in 2019

No. 31 in Computerworld's 2019 list of 100 Best Places To Work in IT
No. 31 in Computerworld's 2019 list of 100 Best Places To Work in IT

No. 3 on DiversityInc’s 2019 Top Hospitals & Health Systems List
No. 3 on DiversityInc’s 2019 Top Hospitals & Health Systems List

Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality
Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality

NAFE Top 10 Nonprofit Companies for Executive Women
NAFE Top 10 Nonprofit Companies for Executive Women


As we embark on this new decade, we look both to our past and to our future.

OUR MISSION —to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer — remains our driving force and the standard by which we measure ourselves.

OUR VISION — to boldly pursue the transformation of cancer care through service, science and partnership — guides our decisions as we embark on our path toward more scientific breakthroughs, new and better treatments, and our ability to touch more lives.

OUR COMMUNITY OF SUPPORTERS— each and every one of you are the reason we are able to continue our work. The reason we remain a leader in the search for a cure.

Together, we can unlock new successes, this year and beyond.

ON THE HORIZON: Partnership and Expansion

Moffitt and AdventHealth Partnership

Moffitt Cancer Center and AdventHealth are partnering to provide world-class cancer treatment and better access to cancer prevention, education, cancer screenings and early phase clinical trials. The two organizations will work together to establish a clinical research facility and chemotherapy/immunotherapy infusion program at AdventHealth Celebration focused on solid tumor malignancies and malignant hematology and will allow Central Florida patients to receive critical treatments closer to home. 

Patients across Florida will have increased access to research, personalized medicine and innovation through this relationship. Combining the breadth and depth of the clinical and research talent at Moffitt and AdventHealth, combined with the significant patient populations that we serve, will help advance personalized cancer care, with the goal of finding new discoveries in the fight against cancer.  

Read More

New Hospital Under Development

Moffitt’s board of trustees has approved the development of a new 498,000 square foot surgical hospital which will be located on Moffit’s McKinley campus. The new hospital is the first of two planned phases and will provide diagnostic imaging, 19 operating rooms, 128 inpatient beds and two floors of shell space for future inpatient bed expansion. The project also includes a new energy plant to serve the hospital, a structured parking garage to serve patients, visitors and staff and an enclosed pedestrian bridge that will connect the new hospital to the existing Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Outpatient Center building across McKinley Drive.

The project has been in planning and design since late 2018 and we expect to begin construction in the spring of 2020 and occupy the facility in the summer of 2023.


Your donations help fund powerful cancer-fighting programs. Learn more at Moffitt.org/YourImpact.


Moffitt continuously strives to follow the highest standards of operational quality, transparency and accountability. That is why we welcome you to learn more about us at Moffitt.org/WhyGive.


If you have questions about donating, or would like to learn more about making an impact, please contact our team of gift officers at the Foundation at 1-800-456-3434 ext 1403 or FoundationInfo@Moffitt.org.