Baptist Health Foundation, Miami Cancer Institute, Baptist Health South Florida

Baptist Health Foundation Receives $2M Gift to Establish Endowed Chair at Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute

May 29, 2024

MIAMI, FL – May 29, 2024 – Baptist Health Foundation announced today that it has received a $2 million donation from John and Mary Lou Dasburg to establish an endowed chair in radiation oncology in support of the planned Women’s Cancer Center at Miami Cancer Institute. The chair will be named the John and Mary Lou Dasburg Endowed Chair in Radiation Oncology in recognition of the donors. It will support the work of Minesh P. Mehta, M.D., chief of radiation oncology and deputy director of Miami Cancer Institute.  An endowed chair installation ceremony honoring the Dasburgs and Dr. Mehta is planned for autumn 2024.

“The Foundation is immensely grateful for this generous gift,” said Alex Villoch, CEO of Baptist Health Foundation. “The Dasburg family has been very supportive of Miami Cancer Institute, which continues to grow rapidly under the leadership of Dr. Michael Zinner. This endowed chair will create a legacy that will help expand the Institute and drive research and discovery.”

Dr. Mehta is a widely recognized expert in radiation oncology, proton therapy and cancer research. Since joining Miami Cancer Institute more than six years ago, Dr. Mehta has been instrumental in building the Institute’s radiation oncology program and distinguished team. Under his leadership, the program has become a global leader for treatment and research.  Since 2018, Dr. Mehta and the Institute’s radiation oncology team has presented more than 420 lectures and oral presentations and published 964 publications and poster abstracts at national and international meetings.

Prior to joining Miami Cancer Institute, Dr. Mehta headed the University of Wisconsin Cancer Center’s brain tumor program for more than 15 years. He has led numerous national and international clinical studies, receiving NIH and NCI grants and awards for his research in brain and central nervous system tumors. Dr. Mehta helped launch the Maryland Proton Treatment Center in Baltimore, where he was the medical director. He received his medical degree with highest honors from the University of Zambia School of Medicine.

“The creation of this new endowed chair is such an honor,” said Dr. Mehta. “We are grateful to have the funding required to pursue our research endeavors to treat some of the most complex cancer cases. It’s an exciting time for the Institute, and this gift will support our growth on a local, national and international level.”

Miami Cancer Institute houses the first proton therapy center in South Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean, and is one of few in the world with all of the newest types of radiation therapies all in one place. The program brings unparalleled cancer-fighting expertise and advanced technology to the South Florida region.

The future Women’s Cancer Center will allow the rapidly growing Institute to expand access and revolutionize cancer care by addressing women’s specific needs. The state-of-the-art 115,000 sq. ft. Center, which will be located in the new Keeley Pavilion on Baptist Health’s main campus, will offer a comprehensive array of services, renowned cancer specialists and a holistic, compassionate approach to care.

“My family and I want to support the kind of growth and innovation in cancer treatment that’s happening at Miami Cancer Institute,” said John Dasburg, who is a member of the Institute’s operating board.  “Dr. Mehta is working to advance the science of radiation oncology, and our hope is that his research will lead to improved survival rates and quality of life for many in our community.” Added Mary Lou Dasburg, “The institute’s development of the Women’s Cancer Center is truly groundbreaking. Women in South Florida will soon have a place that not only offers the latest treatment methods, but also supports them every step of the way.”

Miami Cancer Institute, which opened in 2017, cares for nearly 1,300 patients each day. The Institute provides unparalleled expertise in individual cancers, and access to the world’s latest cancer discoveries, most effective treatments and best outcomes – all right here in South Florida.

 

About Baptist Health Foundation

The mission of Baptist Health Foundation is to inspire philanthropy and build extraordinary donor relationships in support of excellence, innovation, community wellness and global leadership in healthcare at Baptist Health South Florida. Through philanthropy, the Foundation supports and expands Baptist Health’s ability to provide outstanding patient care and bring the latest treatments to patients and families affected by a serious illness. Donor contributions also allow the Foundation to assist Baptist Health facilities in keeping pace with technology and equipment advances, perform cutting-edge research and offer continuing education opportunities to medical staff. Learn more at BaptistHealth.net/Foundation and connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

About Baptist Health

Baptist Health is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned institutes specializing in cancer care, brain and spine care, heart and vascular care and orthopedic care. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and The Baptist Health PineApp, a virtual health platform. Baptist Health South Florida is an academic and clinical affiliate of Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and is the most awarded healthcare system in South Florida by U.S. News and World Report. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net/Newsroom and connect with us on FacebookX (formerly Twitter), InstagramTikTok and LinkedIn.

 

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