Philanthropic foundations are critical to sustaining our research efforts and equipping our scientists, physicians and researchers to provide the best outcomes possible for patients and their families.
Philanthropic foundations provide key support for much of Moffitt’s innovative, high-risk research, which is often not funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and other public entities. It is crucial that we leverage private funds, which enable our researchers to have continued breakthroughs. An example of this is in areas such as CAR T-cell immunotherapy and adaptive therapy, which changes cancer into a chronic, manageable disease.
To build on these successes and help further distinguish Moffitt Cancer Center as a national and international leader in the research and treatment for thousands of patients and families, we work to develop strategic partnerships with philanthropic foundations. These partnerships, both in the community and globally, are accelerating the discovery and delivery of cancer care.
Moffitt is proud to partner with philanthropic foundations on impactful cancer-fighting programs such as:
The Moffitt Program for Outreach Wellness and Resources (M-Power) program seeks to create partnerships with the local community to reduce cancer disparities. M-Power assists underserved community members with free and/or low –cost screening services and provides health education workshops focusing on early detection, screening, prevention and cancer risk reduction. M-Power programs that have been funded through private foundations include:
- The Men’s Health Forum was established as a result of our community’s desire to reduce the gap in health outcomes for at-risk and underserved populations. Held annually, the event provides medically underserved men, ages 18 and older, with wellness checkups and health care education at no cost to participants. Past free wellness screenings have included skin cancer, blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, HIV/AIDS, vision, hearing, and prostate exam vouchers.
- Moffitt Healthy KIDZ Program is a community outreach program for children and youth of all ages and backgrounds. Focusing on cancer prevention, healthy living, and the importance of making positive life choices, educational content is delivered to Hillsborough County School students through fun and interactive programs. By delivering culturally competent education to participants and also providing the tools to put this education into practice, we arm children with the tools necessary to adopt long-term healthy lifestyle behaviors, putting them on the path to success early in life. The program focuses on several themes including tobacco use, importance of fruits and vegetables, sun safety, fitness, literacy, and exploring STEAM careers in healthcare.
- Moffitt’s Healthy KIDZ Role Model Awards program was recently created as a way to recognize and reward outstanding students within the Hillsborough County School system. We believe that with community support and encouragement, we have the power to identify, recognize, and sustain the next generation of scientists from within our local neighborhoods. Program goals include:
- Creating partnerships to mentor and provide access to underrepresented, low-income youth to STEAM careers
- Providing financial assistance to students entering college, universities and technical schools in pursuit of STEAM careers
- Sustaining Moffitt’s Healthy KIDZ program’s STEAM focus.
Each year, outstanding high school seniors graduating with a specialization, or expressed interest in pursuing a career within a STEAM field will be eligible to receive a scholarship to the higher education institution of their choice. Recipients must have excellent school attendance, provide proof of admission to a higher education institution, and submit at least one letter of reference from a teacher, coach, or mentor.
- The Yo me cuido® program, which translated means “I take care of myself,” was developed in 2011 to deliver community-based outreach and health education to Hispanic women to increase cancer-related awareness and knowledge, increase access to mammography services, and to reduce cancer risk through healthy lifestyles. Unlike many other programs already in existence, Yo me cuido emphasizes a more personal, culturally-based experience in both urban and rural environments that make women feel more comfortable, valued and empowered.
We are proud to partner with the American Breast Cancer Foundation, Avon Foundation, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Barbells for Boobs, the Wawa Foundation, Florida Blue Foundation, and Tampa General Hospital to provide these services to the Tampa Bay community.
The goal of Moffitt’s Health Outcomes and Behavior Program (HOB) is to contribute to the prevention, detection, and control of cancer through the study of health-related behaviors, health care practices and health-related quality of life. The team's work starts in the community, which provides the greatest opportunities to prevent cancer or detect cancer early. The HOB program works with all Moffitt clinical programs on studies to develop strategies that help patients and those that care for them make decisions about treatment, get the support they need, and to move from patient to survivor. Whether they are working in the community or with Moffitt patients, researchers are especially concerned with the health of those who have long been underserved and have limited access to important resources. The program focuses on three areas of prevention:
- Primary prevention – stopping cancer from happening in the first place. Targeted risk factors that contribute to a person’s risk of developing cancer at some point in their lives include lifestyle, tobacco usage, HPV vaccination, and genetics.
- Secondary prevention – utilizing screening services to detect cancer at the earliest stages possible when there is the best chance for cure and the most treatment options available.
- Tertiary prevention – minimizing the negative effects and improving the quality of life for the cancer patient and their families. These strategies include symptom management, fatigue, caregiver stress, and social support.
At Moffitt, we believe that the future of beating cancer lies in outsmarting it. We use predictive modeling based on evolutionary principles, sophisticated diagnostics and advanced imaging to treat tumors by actually directing the way they evolve in response to our treatments. As we keep one step ahead of cancer by responding quickly to overcome cancer cells resistant to therapy, Moffitt’s adaptive therapy aims to keep resistant cells in check by deliberately maintaining a population of chemo-sensitive cells. This treatment applies only the minimum dose necessary to maintain control of the cancer. Effectively, cancer becomes a chronic condition much like diabetes.
For example, our partnership with The V Foundation for Cancer Research led to support for Dr. Robert Gatenby’s research to combine targeted therapy and immunotherapy to improve the lives of patients with metastatic esophageal cancer.
The Don Shula Foundation established The Shula Fund at Moffitt Cancer Center to support cutting-edge breast cancer research projects that will improve patient outcomes and lead to the cure of breast cancer.
Moffitt researchers are unraveling the disease at the molecular level, recognizing that genetic changes can lead to personalized breast cancer treatment. Recent scientific advances in breast cancer research at Moffitt include outlining the best use of genetic counseling and testing, assessing a gene mutation’s impact on cancer risk and lifestyle, and identifying environmental risk factors contributing to the disease. The Shula Fund supports innovative breast cancer research projects that are being translated into novel treatments to improve patient outcomes.
“Cancer has touched our family personally, and I know that the more we give to cancer research, the closer we are to finding a cure,” said Coach Shula, a member of Moffitt’s national Board of Advisors. “We want to make a difference in this fight, and we believe The Shula Fund will help do just that.”
For more information about philanthropic foundation giving, please contact 813-745-1403 or FoundationInfo@Moffitt.org.
TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE LIVES TODAY
CONTACT USMoffitt Cancer Center Foundation
12902 Magnolia Drive
Tampa, FL 33612 1-800-456-3434, ext. 1403