Sarasota Memorial Hospital announces $25 million gift for new research institute
The facility will support clinical trials and “transformative” research, and offer hands-on training for doctors, nurses and med students with the goal of drawing "top-tier" health workers.
Sarasota Memorial Hospital says it has received a $25 million gift that will go toward a new research and education institute, which is expected to open in 2025.
Sarasota Memorial broke ground on the Kolschowsky Research and Education Institute in June, with the opening schedule for 2025.
With Florida State University as its academic partner, Sarasota Memorial provides residency and fellowship training programs that help attract and retain physicians to our community. The hospital also collaborates with nursing education programs throughout the state.
As part of the retention goal, the $75 million institute will support clinical trials and “transformative” research, and offer a range of education programs that expand hands-on training for physicians, nurses and medical students, according to the hospital.
Nearly half of the resident physicians who completed training at Sarasota Memorial have stayed and established practices in Southwest Florida, and nearly 70% have remained in the state, according to the news release issued Thursday.
Sarasota Memorial says its research and graduate medical education programs have tripled in size in recent years, with more than 50 active studies under way and thousands of physicians competing for residency and fellowship opportunities each year.
The $25 million contribution comes from longtime donors Jerry and Karen Kolschowsky and their family foundation, which has been financially assisting the community-owned health system for nearly 20 years.
The family, which lives part time in Sarasota, began its support 15 years ago, after Karen Kolschowsky was successful treated for cancer by Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Fiorica and the hospital’s cancer team.
“Literally I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Dr. Fiorica,” she says.
By lending their name to the new building, the Kolschowskys hope to inspire other philanthropists to fund community hospital research.
“You don’t always understand how important clinical research and advanced therapies are until they save your life, or the life of someone you love,” foundation president Tim Kolschowsky says.
Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder adds that the Kolschowskys’ support over the years has already led to changes that elevated the hospital’s quality of care.
“The whole community benefits from the transformation taking place in our health system,” Verinder says in the news release.