TAMPA, Fla. — Hospitals are facing major challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, and Moffitt Cancer Center is no exception. As our patients continue to seek lifesaving care, the cancer center is doing everything possible to protect the immunocompromised, as well as our own health care team. This includes strengthening our safety measures, harnessing technology and expanding our research beyond cancer to better understand this virus.

The COVID-19 Frontline Response Fund was created by the Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation to advance three critical areas — patient support, telemedicine and research. As our nurses, physicians and researchers are assisting to combat this pandemic, Moffitt wants to ensure our patients and team members have the extra support needed in these uncertain times. 

“Our foundation created and launched the COVID-19 Frontline Response Fund to support the complex needs of our patients, as well as our team members who are ensuring the health and safety of our patients during this difficult time,” said Maria Muller, president of the Moffitt Foundation. “While this virus has altered the way of life for many, the demand for world-class cancer care for our patients remains unchanged.”

The COVID-19 fund will help Moffitt’s most vulnerable patients who cannot wait until the world returns to normal to receive care. The need to provide a virtual connection also has become critical for many cancer patients. Telemedicine offers some patients the ability to receive care from the comfort of their own homes — potentially reducing their level of stress from the current crisis. While virtual visits at Moffitt have spiked to nearly 350 a day, up from 100 a month in early March, more patients will need virtual care as social distancing recommendations and stay-at-home orders remain in effect.

As new details emerge about the coronavirus every day, Moffitt researchers are lending their knowledge to help better understand the virus and its impact. The response fund will support researchers conducting antibody and immune response research related to COVID-19. 

“Funds for research are very critical,” Muller said. “Our researchers are investigating how the body’s immune system reacts to and fights COVID-19 infection, which in turn could lead to new treatments or a vaccine in the future.”

The foundation has received a $100,000 donation to kick off the response fund and is accepting additional gifts of any amount. 

To donate or learn more about the COVID-19 Frontline Response Fund, visit moffitt.org/give.

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt is a Top 10 cancer hospital and has been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report since 1999. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 6,500 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.4 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube