Growing Healthcare Philanthropy Needs in our Community

SRQ Story Project Spotlight


Establishing an outstanding community healthcare system requires much more than just a hospital. Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation (SMHF) was established 40 years ago to serve the needs of the community and the growing hospital and now serves as a guiding force in extending the reach of its services. As Sarasota grows, so does our need for excellence in healthcare. The Healthcare Foundation plays a critical role in supporting external healthcare organizations that reach every area and demographic the community, such as Tidewell Hospice, Shapiro Children’s Clinic, Good Samaritan Pharmacy, Cancer Support Communities and Suncoast Blood Bank.

Through an expanding map of urgent care facilities, Sarasota Memorial Hospital is able to reach more patients and provide care in Sarasota and Manatee counties, made possible in part through funding by SMHF. The foundation continues to support the addition of new facilities and expansions as needed to service the needs in neighborhoods throughout the region.

In the 40 years that SMHF has been a supporter of community health, over $6 million dollars have been allocated to furthering the education of Sarasota Memorial Hospital doctors and nurses. Beginning in 2017, the hospital will host a residency program in partnership with Florida State University College of Medicine. With nearly two-thirds of newly graduated doctors leaving the state due to a shortage in residency slots, SMH will provide 13 residency positions. The residency program will serve as a powerful tool in enhancing the internal medicin needs for which there is a shortage.

Critical funding by SMHF helped Sarasota Memorial Hospital in its efforts to become a provisional Level II Trauma Center in 2015. Victims of life threatening accidents and injuries can now receive acute medical care in Sarasota, rather than being airlifted to other trauma centers across the state, increasing critical, life-saving minutes. Through the dedication of the SMHF, over $3.5 million dollars was invested into the emergency facilities at Sarasota Memorial Hospital to be prepared for the distinct needs of trauma care, an investment that has already saved lives.

One of the most rewarding facets of the foundation’s work is recognizing a need and making it a reality, from conception to ribbon cutting. Opening in late 2017, a state-of-the-art Rehabilitation Pavilion will support patients on the road to a healthy recovery after life altering medical events. The Foundation is fully focused on bringing the Rehabilitation Pavilion to fruition through the help of our generous donors. As special events are planned to assist in funding, SMHF is developing a virtual tour and naming opportunities to honor donors who are invested in the mission of restorative recovery.

The Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation (SMHF) is a 2016 SRQ Story Project partner and the featured non-profit organization this January. To learn more about the mission and valuable enhancements the healthcare foundation has made to the medical community in Sarasota County, visit them online at The SMHF Board of Trustees is pictured above.

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