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Accelerating Next-Generation Breakthroughs

2022 Impact Report

Next Generation Breakthroughs

Breakthroughs don’t come easy. They’re costly in time and resources. And for cancer patients and their families, breakthroughs can never come quick enough.

But with a focus on what may seem impossible, scientists at Moffitt Cancer Center are steadfastly working to cure a disease that is thought to have first been diagnosed by ancient Egyptians in 3000 B.C. Fueled by donations large and small from throughout the country, Moffitt researchers are pushing for breakthroughs to end cancer and most importantly save more lives.

And with your help, they’re getting closer.

Thank you. 

Thank you Bell Ringer

Helping Us Push the Needle Forward

With your generous support, Moffitt Cancer Center has accelerated its most promising cancer research and brought important screening, prevention and treatment breakthroughs to our patients.

Gifts from friends like John and Joanne Fisher helped to start a first-of-its kind clinic that is entirely focused on individuals who are at increased risk for pancreatic cancer. The Pancreas Interception Center is a novel concept designed to educate, identify and alter the course
of care for those at increased risk for the disease.

Organizations like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Fifth Third Bank and Hill Ward Henderson have joined the new Moffitt Health Equity Partners corporate membership program. They seek to
eliminate cancer disparities in our most vulnerable communities.

And then there is Phebe Morgan, who is standing up to oral cancer. Her gift will fund research to create new cellular therapies to treat this tough disease.

We are deeply grateful for your support, which continues to push us forward and bring new hope to our patients.

Patrick Hwu, MD
President & CEO, Moffitt Cancer Center

We Achieve So Much More Together

The history of the Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation is found in individual stories. Tributes of love and reflection. A desire to bring lifesaving improvements to how we treat this difficult disease. A commitment to making sure that all individuals get the right care at the right place at the right time.

As you’ll see in the pages to follow, the Moffitt Foundation has had a remarkable year because of individuals, families and organizations like you who seek to partner in preventing and curing cancer.

Together, Moffitt is expanding services to reach more patients with expert care, embarking on new areas of research, breaking new ground in reaching underserved communities, and saving
more lives.

The Moffitt team is able to accomplish this — and so much more — because of your commitment.

On behalf of Moffitt Cancer Center, our patients and their families, we share our great gratitude for your generosity. 

Maria C. Muller
EVP, Foundation President 

Creating Impact, Change and Hope

We couldn't do it without you. See more about the impact you've made in cancer care and research.

John and Joanne Fisher:
Investing in the Moffitt Family to Support Pancreatic Research

It is only through caring investments of time and monetary resources that Moffitt will be able to find these cures and continue the extraordinary treatment of their patients at their facilities.
John & Joanne Fisher

John and Joanne Fisher
John & Joanne Fisher


John and Joanne Fisher vividly remember the Moffitt Cancer Center “family” that cared for John when he was being treated for stage two pancreatic cancer. They were impressed by the Tampa facilities and the “wondrous, personalized — almost familial — treatment that John received,” said Joanne.

"The doctors, their staff and nurses all made me feel like I was part of a family being cared for in a home, rather than a hospital," said John. He added, winking, "except for those middle-of-the-night wake-ups to check stats!"

Together, the two have set up a $1 million gift to support pancreatic research at Moffitt.

"We are fully aware that it takes financial support to produce breakthroughs in cancer research that will find the cures for the cancers in this world," they said. Like other generous philanthropists, the Fishers wish to promote and encourage additional donors to join them in funding the cancer research of their choice. "It is only through caring investments of time and monetary resources that Moffitt will be able to find these cures and continue the extraordinary treatment of their patients at their facilities."

Moffitt’s Pancreas Program is home to researchers who are internationally renowned for their advances in pancreatic cancer, and its clinical team consistently performs above the national average with respect to patient outcomes.

AutoNation Races Past
10th Year as Presenting Sponsor

AutoNation once again helped to drive a cure for cancer by being the presenting sponsor of Miles for Moffitt in 2022 - its 10th consecutive year. 


AutoNation Logo

Since 2013, AutoNation and Moffitt have shared one vision: to drive out cancer. Together, they have one of the longest standing partnerships through AutoNation’s Drive Pink (DRVPNK) initiative. “AutoNation is proud and honored to support Miles for Moffitt. DRVPNK is dedicated to helping drive out cancer by supporting institutions that are leading research and innovation to find a cure,” said AutoNation’s Chief Operating Officer Dave Koehler.

In addition to its $100,000 sponsorship, AutoNation team members made a significant impact by raising another $208,000.

Now going into its 18th year, Miles for Moffitt has raised more than $10 million to support lifesaving cancer research at Moffitt. The funding also aids the cancer center in gaining millions more in additional federal support.

We leveraged 14 AutoNation stores in the Tampa, Clearwater and St. Pete area to achieve our highest fundraising goal. Our team was all-in to make it the best year yet!
Dave Koehler
Chief Operating Officer, AutoNation

Group photo at Miles for Moffitt
From left, Dr. Patrick Hwu joins AutoNation leadership and Mayor Jane Castor.

Miles for Moffitt starting line

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Steering Students Toward Science & Medicine

Moffitt's Summer Program for the Advancement of Research Knowledge

Student's working in the SPARK Lab


Group photo of SPARK students

Students with a passion for science and medicine come together during the summer at Moffitt to gain hands-on experience in a variety of fields with some of the nation’s leading cancer scientists. Their involvement in this 10- week program is due in large part to the support of the Frank E. Duckwall Foundation, which has given more than $600,000 over the last 20-plus years to Moffitt’s Summer Program for the Advancement of Research Knowledge (SPARK).

Students aged 18 and older are thrust into intensive laboratory research, participating in programs such as molecular oncology, immunology and drug discovery. At the end of the program, students participate in Research Day by providing a five-minute oral presentation about their project to other SPARK students, faculty members from different labs and their families. Students have gone on to graduate from medical schools, earn PhDs and even return to work at Moffitt.

Doug Cress
Our goal is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer, and we do that by training the next generation of scientists, and the Duckwall Foundation supports that by providing stipends to our students.
Douglas Cress, Ph.D.

ASPIRE Gift Focuses on Innovation

Dr. Shari Pilon-Thomas spends her days innovating — finding new ways to help cancer patients live longer and new ways to stop the disease in its tracks. And for the last 13 years, the scientist has focused specifically on a cellular therapy that uses tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) to help turn on the immune systems of cancer patients to kill cancer cells.

A woman researcher working in the Pilon-Thomas lab

Pilon-Thomas’ desire to innovate was recognized in 2022 with an ASPIRE Award from The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research. The award supports researchers who use pioneering methods to solve high-impact problems in cancer research.

With her collaborator Dr. Daniel Abate-Daga, the award is helping to fund research into melanoma and the use of TIL therapy. They seek to manufacture high quality T-cell products by targeting beneficial immune cells in the melanoma patient’s tumor. As they continue the research, their hope is to translate their findings to bladder cancer and renal cell carcinoma.

Dr. Shari Pilon-Thomas                   Dr. Daniel Abate-Daga
Dr. Shari Pilon-Thomas            Dr. Daniel Abate-Daga 

With the power of our immune system, we can use it as a weapon against our tumors.
Dr. Shari Pilon-Thomas

A researcher working in the Pilon-Thomas lab


Over $35 Million Raised for Cancer Research

In 2022, $35.7 million was gifted to support the prevention and cure of cancer.

Introducing Moffitt Health Equity Partners

An important initiative began last year at Moffitt, as the institution partnered with Tampa Bay area organizations to improve health equity in underserved communities. Moffitt Health Equity Partners, an initiative of the George Edgecomb Society, launched as a new corporate membership program that provides a powerful way to contribute to the vision of health equity for all people within our diverse communities.

The program brings together health care experts, community leaders, non-profits, supporters and sponsors to deliver public engagement and research programs that directly address growing health disparities among Black and Latino communities and other underserved groups.

Moffitt Health Equity Partners   Moffitt Health Equity Partners

Cary Putrino
Fifth Third Bank is investing in Moffitt Health Equity Partners to give people in underserved communities access to regular screenings that can save lives. This partnership reflects our commitment to strengthen communities in Tampa Bay and beyond.
Cary Putrino
Regional President, Fifth Third Bank

Francisco Sanchez, Loretta Lee and Dr. Patrick HwuFrancisco Sanchez, Loretta Lee and Dr. Patrick Hwu


an educational event

Loretta Lee: Philanthropy is a Responsibility

Loretta Lee is the founder, CEO and chair of an international company that has built its success in manufacturing. Historically producing products in south China that were sold in the U.S., Lee recently built two factories in Virginia and Tennessee, becoming one of the only manufacturers to produce work boots in the U.S. 

Important to her success, though, is her commitment to philanthropy. “She has a great sense of responsibility to contribute to things that are bigger than herself,” said Francisco Sanchez, an advisor and friend.

Loretta believes that her philanthropy is best focused on serving or contributing to organizations that support underserved communities.
Francisco Sanchez

Upon getting to know Moffitt Cancer Center, Lee learned of the many initiatives underway in health equity research. Last July, the Hong Kong native decided to make a $1 million gift to Moffitt in honor of her mother, who died of cancer. The gift will help support pilot funding over the next five years focused on unique aspects of cancer that may disproportionately affect a minority population. A portion of that gift is an irrevocable estate gift that will continue related research into the future.

Bridging the Gap in Cancer Health Disparities

Closing the gap on cancer health disparities in the Black community is close to the hearts of Victor Young and Jonathan Graham. With their connections to Moffitt, they are getting closer to seeing that goal come to fruition. Young is the vice chair of the Moffitt Medical Group Board of Directors, and Graham is one of the leading construction contractors on Moffitt’s McKinley Hospital, which will open in July 2023.

With Young’s idea, they banded together to organize the event called Helicopters and High Rollers to raise money for the George Edgecomb Society at Moffitt, which focuses on bridging the gap in cancer health disparities for Black people. “There are a lot of individuals in this town who should support the society,” said Young. “I wanted to make sure I was a conduit, connecting them to the organization, so they can see the value and put in their time, treasure and talent behind it.” The poker tournament took place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, with guests arriving in an interesting way — from the sky. Participants arrived in style in a helicopter and played in the tournament, which raised $100,000. “I always want to do something that helps Moffitt Cancer Center because I realize how special their work is, and so when the idea was presented to me by Victor, I was all in,” said Graham. Graham is the creator of the Hook and Slice Golf Tournament, which also raises money for the George Edgecomb Society. With the success of the event, Young and Graham are planning to host another tournament in 2023.

I always want to do something that helps Moffitt Cancer Center because I realize how special their work is.”
Jonathan Graham

Check presentationAt center, Jonathan Graham and Victor Young present a check from the Helicopters and High Rollers event.

Victor Young, left, with Jonathan Graham
Victor Young, left, with Jonathan Graham

Jennifer Stevens



Jennifer Stevens

Golf Tournament
Joel Stevens, far left, pictured with friends at the event.

Bringing ‘Boldness, Commitment, Courage’ to Fighting Lung Cancer

In April 2020, Tampa resident Jennifer Stevens was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

SCLC is a less common lung cancer that is very aggressive due to its rapid and uncontrolled growth of cells. The beloved wife, mother and friend, who was a patient at Moffitt Cancer Center, battled the disease for seven months until she passed away that following November.

With her passing, Stevens’ husband of 25 years, Joel, focused on supporting SCLC research at Moffitt by creating the Jennifer Stevens Memorial Golf Tournament, which is now in its third year. Held in December, it includes a Friday dinner, followed by a marquee party and the Jennifer #StevensStrong! Memorial Golf Tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

The annual event supports SCLC research through the Jennifer Stevens Lung Cancer Research Fund at Moffitt. Since its inception, it has raised more than $260,000 to support essential SCLC research. “With the establishment of this fund, along with the support of the team at Moffit Cancer Center, we are engaging and fighting SCLC the way Jennifer approached life and her fight with this deadly cancer — with boldness, commitment, courage, optimism, ferocity, compassion, and faith,” said Stevens.  

We are engaging and fighting SCLC the way Jennifer approached life and her fight with this deadly cancer — with boldness, commitment, courage, optimism, ferocity, compassion, and faith.
Joel Stevens

Moffitt Accolades

Moffitt Accolades Logos

Creating Hope

Bold Stand Against Oral Cancer Honors “Love of Her Life”

Glenn Hoffman“He lost the ability to speak, eat and breathe,” she recalled. “A cure that focuses on the early stages of oral cancer would make such a difference. Moffitt is on the leading edge of innovative new treatments in this crusade, and Glenn would wish to help in any way to develop new drugs and find a cure.”

That sentiment led Morgan to make a $5 million gift to Moffitt to support research focused on developing new drugs to cure oral cancers. A portion of that tribute is an irrevocable estate gift that will name the Marshall Glenn Hoffman Oral Cancer Research Lab, led by Dr. Christine Chung, chair of the Department of Head and Neck-Endocrine Oncology. Chung’s team is working to develop cellular therapies that help the body’s immune system better fight cancer.

“Phebe is very thoughtful in how she is honoring Glenn,” said Maria Muller, president of the Moffitt Foundation. “She has crafted this gift in a way that makes a long-term commitment to research, but also allows our scientists to begin their work now in developing new drugs to cure oral cancer.”

A cure that focuses on the early stages of oral cancer would make such a difference. Moffitt is on the leading edge of innovative new treatments in this crusade, and Glenn would wish to help in any way to develop new drugs and find a cure.
Phebe Morgan

Glenn Hoffman and Phebe Morgan
Glenn Hoffman and Phebe Morgan

Moffitt staffer talks to a woman at an event

Gift Helps Underserved Patients Navigate Care

Since 2015, Moffitt Cancer Center has received more than $925,000 in grant funding from the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This vital support helps team members assist women in underserved communities with breast health needs. A patient navigator offers individualized assistance to patients, families and caregivers to overcome systemic barriers and work directly with the clinical team to coordinate care.

In the last fiscal year, 147 patients received navigation services and 286 breast mammogram vouchers were funded thanks to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

One of those patients was Gloria Leal de Leon, who says the assistance made her feel more confident. “I am very fortunate and grateful,” said Leal de Leon. “In spite of this terrible disease, I am very grateful and appreciative of the care that I receive from the doctor who handles my case and the wonderful nurses who work with me. The Moffitt staff makes me feel confident that I am going to be a survivor.”

Community Focus Drives Support of Breast Cancer Research


Williams Automotive Group staff presents a check

With four dealerships and more than 500 employees, Williams Automotive Group seeks to reach an ambitious goal of raising $1 million to support breast cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center. This community-focused organization proudly wears pink each October during their efforts to raise funds and awareness.

Since 2010, their generosity has funded numerous advances in the laboratory. This includes a wide variety of breast cancer research and education efforts, such as breast cancer prevention, studying immune response and breakthroughs in treating triple negative breast cancer. Committed to the cause, Williams Automotive Group presented a check for more than $70,000 to Moffitt in October 2022. The team is well on its way to reaching its goal and providing hope and cures to patients in the Tampa Bay area and beyond.

Williams Automotive Group seeks to reach an ambitious goal of raising $1 million to support breast cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center.

A Magical Combination: Fish, Friends and Fundraising

A beautiful day on the water serves as the backdrop for an annual event that supports cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center. Contractors for a Cure is a fishing tournament that construction company Barr & Barr has organized since 2020. “It’s a lot of work putting these tournaments together, but it feels so good knowing that you are giving all this money to this fantastic organization that helps our friends, families, neighbors and people in our community,” said Lydia McDowell, marketing manager at Barr & Barr.

The 2022 event drew 36 boats and 116 participants, raising more than $230,000. “We have our vendors, subcontractors and even doctors from Moffitt come out to join the tournament,” said Krista Hayes, project director at Barr & Barr and lead organizer of the tournament.

Barr & Barr’s relationship with Moffitt is over two decades strong. The construction company has worked on many Moffitt projects over the years, including the new Moffitt McKinley Hospital, which will open in July. Barr & Barr also has been an ardent supporter of Miles for Moffitt and the Magnolia Ball. “Moffitt is such a great client, and the things they do are amazing. So, if we can contribute in any way, that’s what we are going to do,” said Hayes. feels so good knowing that you are giving all this money to this fantastic organization that helps our friends, families, neighbors and people in our community.
Lydia McDowell, Barr & Barr

A fishing boat and crew at Contractors for a Cure


Check presentation at the Contractors for a Cure fishing tournament

Martinis for Moffitt:
A Party with Heart

It’s no wonder Martinis for Moffitt is often called Tampa Bay’s “hottest party of the summer.” More than a thousand people gather at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa for music, dancing, delicious hors-d’oeuvres and signature martinis.

Martinis for Moffitt group photo

It’s also a party with heart. Bay Area Advisors launched it in 2006 as a low-key cocktail party and networking event that benefits cancer research. Since then, Martinis for Moffitt has grown bigger, more fun and even more glitzy each year, raising an impressive total of $2 million. It supports Moffitt’s Advanced Prostate Cancer Collaboration and the Adolescent and Young Adult program.

Martinis for Moffitt party“We are so blessed to have an institution like Moffitt Cancer Center in our back yard,” said Mark Spence, the 2022 event chair who has been involved for more than 15 years. Bay Area Advisors’ commitment has continued to grow even stronger over time.

"We want to bring as much awareness to cancer prevention and detection as possible, and support cancer research, because it can save lives," said Spence. "That’s what Martinis for Moffitt is all about."

Coming Soon

Moffitt Breaks Ground On Global Innovation Center

Moffitt Cancer Center took a massive step in its mission to prevent and cure cancer with the groundbreaking of the 775-acre Speros FL campus coming to Pasco County.

Speros FL will boast 140 buildings that will house clinics, research, housing and more. Approximately 500 acres of the 775 acres will be developed, leaving 35% of the land for environmental conservation. The location off Ridge Road in Land O’Lakes will be convenient to Tampa Bay area commuters and visitors alike and will see its first patients in 2025. 

Learn more about Speros FL

Groundbreaking ceremony at Speros FL

Moffitt Mckinley Hospital

Surgical Hospital on Track for July 31 Opening

The 10-story Moffitt McKinley Hospital will open July 31 as scheduled, allowing Moffitt to expand its state-of-the art surgical services to thousands of patients needing highly complex surgeries and related inpatient care each year.

The 500,000-square-foot hospital is located on more than 20 acres across the street from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Outpatient Center. Starting with 80 inpatient beds fully staffed and 96 equipped, it will have the capacity to expand to 400 in future phases as demand grows. The new inpatient surgical hospital will open with 19 operating rooms, 60 perioperative rooms, an intraoperative MRI, a CT scanner and two nuclear medicine cameras.

Learn more about Moffitt McKinley Hospital

Outpatient Center to be Built in Ruskin

Moffitt Cancer Center is expanding to south Hillsborough County to continue to make cancer care accessible to more patients. With more than 47,000 patients expected to die of cancer in Florida in 2023, Moffitt is planning a new outpatient center to expand access to lifesaving screening and prevention, world class care and novel clinical trials.

Moffitt will build a 75,000-square-foot facility called Moffitt Cancer Center at South Shore with construction starting this year and ending in late 2024. Services will include screening and diagnostics, advanced imaging, clinical lab services, blood draw, biopsies, medical oncology, radiation oncology, infusion, pharmacy and clinical trials. 

Learn more about Moffitt Cancer Center at South Shore

Moffitt Cancer Center at South Shore Rendering

The Benefactor Wall, located at the Muriel Rothman Clinical BuildingCelebrating Our Donors

Over the past 36 years, an incredible community of donors has provided life-changing gifts to help make Moffitt’s mission a reality. To celebrate this milestone, the Moffitt Foundation is acknowledging and thanking its most generous donors by conferring the status of “Benefactor.”

The names of this elite group of donors are showcased on Moffitt’s first Benefactor Wall, located at the Muriel Rothman Clinical Building Lobby on the Magnolia campus.

The digital display permanently recognizes donors whose lifetime giving has reached $1 million and above. It also showcases stories of generosity and impact, along with messages of hope for patients and families.

An additional Benefactor Wall will be included in the new Moffitt McKinley Hospital, set to open in July 2023.

Our Promise
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

Making An Impact
Your donations help fund powerful cancer-fighting programs. Learn more at

Connect With Us
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