Saturday, July 21, 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
When suicide threats come calling: ‘I try to make a connection.’

When suicide threats come calling: ‘I try to make a connection.’

TAMPA — At first glance, it’s a typical office with more than a dozen cubicles under florescent lights. The operators wear headsets and stare into computer screens, some tinkering with handheld toys, others browsing Facebook or chatting with colleagu...
Published: 07/20/18
In the few weeks before school starts, experts offer tips on getting ready mentally and physically

In the few weeks before school starts, experts offer tips on getting ready mentally and physically

By the second week of August, public schools will be back in session across the Tampa Bay area. That may seem far off, but sleep experts say now is when parents need to start easing the kids (and themselves) into those early wakeup routines. The foll...
Published: 07/20/18
Sarasota man dies from infectious bacteria after eating raw oysters

Sarasota man dies from infectious bacteria after eating raw oysters

A Sarasota man died of an infectious bacteria after eating raw oysters.The bacteria, called Vibrio vulnificus, is often associated with eating raw or under-cooked shellfish or entering into warm coastal waters with exposed wounds.The 71-year-old Sara...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/19/18
Soy, almond ‘milk’ don’t come from a cow, so they may soon be called ‘drinks’

Soy, almond ‘milk’ don’t come from a cow, so they may soon be called ‘drinks’

NEW YORK — Soy and almond drinks don’t come from cows, so regulators may soon ask them to stop calling themselves "milk." The Food and Drug Administration is signaling that it plans to start enforcing a federal standard that defines "milk" as coming ...
Published: 07/18/18
Florida nursing homes have enough staff, numbers show. But the state has shortages in other areas.

Florida nursing homes have enough staff, numbers show. But the state has shortages in other areas.

In most places across America, nursing homes are facing an acute shortage of workers to take care of the country’s growing population of aging and disabled patients. But not in Florida. A Kaiser Family Foundation report published this month found tha...
Published: 07/17/18
So far, so good. Doctors at Tampa General find success with a device that fights often-fatal aneurysms

So far, so good. Doctors at Tampa General find success with a device that fights often-fatal aneurysms

TAMPA — Dr. Murray Shames holds a flexible, lightweight tube as wide as two garden hoses pushed together in his office at Tampa General Hospital. The polyester tube, and its thinner fastening branches with metal wiring, will be attached inside someon...
Published: 07/13/18
Updated: 07/16/18
Sunday Conversation: Sherry Hoback looks to move Tampa Family Health Centers to the next level

Sunday Conversation: Sherry Hoback looks to move Tampa Family Health Centers to the next level

TAMPA — Taking over for an administrator who has run a company for almost 20 years can be daunting. • But Sherry Hoback prepared for some time to replace Charles Bottoms as CEO of the Tampa Family Health Centers, a non-profit organization that operat...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/15/18
How can City Hall improve our health? A new push in Pinellas hopes to show the way.

How can City Hall improve our health? A new push in Pinellas hopes to show the way.

The charitable organization that owns a 20 percent stake in St. Petersburg’s Bayfront Health hospital is working with local governments to improve the public’s health, part of a strategy to make a difference in new and often subtle ways. The Foundati...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18
New York organ collection agency, nation’s second-largest, threatened with closure

New York organ collection agency, nation’s second-largest, threatened with closure

The government is threatening to close one of the country’s largest "organ procurement organizations" for poor performance, a rare move against a nonprofit group that collects kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs used in transplantation.In a lett...
Published: 07/11/18
Retirement communities turn their sights on a once-invisible group: LGBT seniors

Retirement communities turn their sights on a once-invisible group: LGBT seniors

In 2016, as Kenneth MacLean was about to turn 90 and was looking to move to a retirement community, he had a question for Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, Maryland."I asked, ‘Would there be many gays here? Would gays be welcomed?’ " MacLean,...
Published: 07/09/18