Sunday, May 20, 2018
Health

Outback co-founder Chris Sullivan donates $5M to Moffitt Cancer Center

TAMPA — A key developer behind launching Outback Steakhouse has given $5 million to Moffitt Cancer Center, the hospital said Monday.

Chris Sullivan, co-founder of the iconic steak restaurant and its parent company, Bloomin' Brands, donated the money to help in the development of cutting-edge melanoma therapies, according to Moffitt officials.

The money will support Moffitt's Donald A. Adam Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center of Excellence, established in 2008, where researchers are sequencing the human genome to create personalized skin cancer treatments.

"We've been working with Mr. Sullivan for quite a long time," said Moffitt spokeswoman Suzanne Grant. "He's been a longtime friend of Moffitt Cancer Center, which we appreciate. This $5 million donation is really important to us. It's a very generous gift. We have a very unique melanoma research program, and this will really help further our research."

Moffitt hosted a private reception Nov. 19 to celebrate the donation. At the party, officials announced that the atrium of Moffitt's new McKinley campus outpatient facility will be called the Chris Sullivan Family Atrium.

Sullivan is now a partner at MVP Holdings, the company behind the Lee Roy Selmon's restaurant chain, as well as PDQ and Carmel Cafe & Wine Bar. A spokeswoman for the company said Sullivan was traveling Monday and couldn't be reached for comment.

Sullivan, a Florida native, recently announced plans with partners to open the first Glory Days Grill in Tampa, a sports-themed family restaurant with 20 locations north of Florida.

He has been involved with charity work in the past, including an effort to raise funds for the United Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania. In 2005, Sullivan and his family gave $2.5 million to the Pepin Heart Hospital and Dr. Kiran C. Patel Research Institute at University Community Hospital. And Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am golf tournaments have raised money for All Children's Hospital, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, as well as spinal muscular atrophy and Friedreich's ataxia research.

In 2010, Sullivan's daughter was undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, inspiring a group of 20 businessmen to shave their heads to raise funds for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.

Moffitt officials declined to disclose Sullivan's past donations to the center.

Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for people 25 to 29 years old, and is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Moffitt's research with DNA sequencing on melanoma tumors has led to multiple clinical trials with positive results for patients. It is one of only three centers in the United States to do this kind of work, Moffitt officials said.

"The hope is that we'll be able to use this donation to further that research right here in Tampa Bay and address the need for our community, as well as the world," Grant said.

Times staff writer Amy Scherzer contributed to this report. Stephanie Hayes can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3394.

Comments
U.S. approves first drug developed to prevent chronic migraines

U.S. approves first drug developed to prevent chronic migraines

TRENTON, N.J. — U.S. regulators Thursday approved the first drug designed to prevent chronic migraines. The Food and Drug Administration’s action clears the monthly shot Aimovig (AIM’-oh-vig) for sale. It’s the first in a new class of long-acting dru...
Published: 05/18/18
Know your blood pressure numbers? Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day

Know your blood pressure numbers? Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day

Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day, and the American Medical Association is encouraging people to monitor their blood pressure levels and get high blood pressure, or hypertension, under control. High blood pressure, sometimes referred to as the...
Published: 05/17/18
Study: Depression in men may lower chances for pregnancy

Study: Depression in men may lower chances for pregnancy

Women having trouble getting pregnant sometimes try yoga, meditation or mindfulness, and some research suggests that psychological stress may affect infertility. But what about men: Does their mental state affect a couple’s ability to conceive?The la...
Published: 05/17/18
Tampa General Hospital named among top 100 in U.S., second best in Florida

Tampa General Hospital named among top 100 in U.S., second best in Florida

TAMPA—Tampa General Hospital was named one of the top 100 hospitals in America for the fifth consecutive year, and second best in Florida, according to one health industry website.Tampa General is considered the best hospital in the Tampa area, accor...
Published: 05/16/18
Joe Redner asks Florida Supreme Court: Let me grow marijuana now

Joe Redner asks Florida Supreme Court: Let me grow marijuana now

Even though a circuit judge has ruled that Tampa strip club owner Joe Redner can grow and juice his own marijuana, he was barred from doing so until the appeals process is finished.So Redner’s lawyers filed a petition with the Florida Supreme Court o...
Published: 05/15/18
Heated chemo is the key as Tampa General doctor tackles ovarian cancer

Heated chemo is the key as Tampa General doctor tackles ovarian cancer

Over the span of three weeks, Brenda Gotlen watched as her abdomen got bigger. Her lower stomach felt bloated."It got to the point that I looked nine months pregnant," said Gotlen, a 62-year-old Seffner resident. She made an appointment to see her pr...
Published: 05/15/18
Some health premiums will go up next year. Which party should we blame this time?

Some health premiums will go up next year. Which party should we blame this time?

As some insurers angle for hefty premium hikes and concerns grow that more Americans will wind up uninsured, the federal health law is likely — once again — to play big in both parties’ strategies for the contentious 2018 election.Candidates are alre...
Published: 05/15/18
Blood donations from the ‘Man with the Golden Arm’ saved millions of babies

Blood donations from the ‘Man with the Golden Arm’ saved millions of babies

When he was 14, James Harrison needed surgery. And as he would come to find out, he would also need a significant amount ofstrangers’ blood to survive it.After he had recovered and as soon as he became an adult, Harrison felt compelled to pay it forw...
Published: 05/14/18
UN health agency aims to wipe out trans fats worldwide

UN health agency aims to wipe out trans fats worldwide

NEW YORK — The World Health Organization has released a plan to help countries wipe out trans fats from the global food supply in the next five years. The United Nations agency has in the past pushed to exterminate infectious diseases, but now it’s a...
Published: 05/14/18
Troubling link found between pollution exposure in pregnancy, high blood pressure in children

Troubling link found between pollution exposure in pregnancy, high blood pressure in children

High blood pressure typically occurs in adulthood, so when children develop the condition, it often means something is very wrong. A child might have kidney disease, hyperthyroidism or a heart problem. Obesity can also be a factor.But what about seem...
Published: 05/14/18