Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) announced the largest single donation in its nearly 150-year history, a $400 million gift from Kenneth C. Griffin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Citadel and Founder of Griffin Catalyst, and David Geffen, Founder of The David Geffen Foundation.
It will serve as the cornerstone of MSK’s foundation for the future and will be instrumental in extending the power and potential of cancer care and treatment to people across New York and around the world as MSK continues to advance cutting-edge research and new cancer treatments.
“The long-standing commitment that Mr. Griffin and Mr. Geffen have shown to innovative philanthropic initiatives will greatly contribute to the advancement of cancer care at MSK,” said Scott M. Stuart, Chair of MSK’s Board of Trustees. “This extraordinary gift will support MSK’s physicians and scientists as they make life-changing discoveries that will lead to new cancer therapies and improved treatments, not only for our own patients but for people across the globe. As we build upon MSK’s foundation for the future, we are profoundly grateful for the partnership of Mr. Griffin and Mr. Geffen.”
Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, FACS, President and CEO of MSK, added, “I offer my heartfelt thanks to both Mr. Griffin and Mr. Geffen, whose leadership and generosity will extend the reach and broaden the impact of MSK’s innovative, pioneering approach to cancer treatment and patient care. For more than a century, our commitment to exceptional patient care has put the MSK community in the unique position to lead the world toward better access to care, treatment options, and outcomes. We are very grateful for their support of our mission to end cancer for life.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 2015 and 2050, the number of people with cancer in the United States will increase by nearly 50% as a result of the growth and aging of the population. The support from Mr. Griffin and Mr. Geffen ensures that MSK can build upon and expand its clinical services and learnings and bolster the institution’s ongoing efforts to establish more robust prevention and surveillance programs. It will also enable the continued development of advanced technology to deliver critical insights about patients from early detection through active treatment to survivorship, which is necessary to meet the growing need for cancer care.
“The MSK team is leading the world’s effort to defeat cancer,” said Mr. Griffin. “David and I are honored to support MSK’s incredible physicians and scientists advancing breakthroughs in research and treatment and the outstanding nurses and staff who dedicate their lives to providing compassionate care to those impacted by this disease.”
“I’m pleased to join my friend Ken Griffin in supporting the groundbreaking, patient-centered care at MSK,” Mr. Geffen added. “It’s our sincere hope that this combined gift will inspire others and enable MSK to continue to build on its reputation as one of the top cancer care providers and research centers in the world.”
Historically, bold investments in MSK’s clinical enterprise have had consequential results, extending the lives of people with cancer and transforming worldwide standards of care. The first chemotherapy drugs, the first immune-based treatments, and many of the most effective targeted therapies against cancer began at MSK — made possible in part by philanthropic support.
MSK’s global vision is directly linked to its initiatives to improve care and increase access throughout the New York City region. The recently launched Memorial Medical Care, PC, a practice of MSK physicians in Flatbush, Brooklyn, as well as MSK’s collaboration with MediSys Health Network to enhance cancer care in Queens, are two examples of MSK’s commitment to expanding access to its world-class care. Mr. Griffin and Mr. Geffen’s gift will support other patient care and access initiatives across New York and around the world.