CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Fifth Third Foundation and Fifth Third Bank are giving $7.5 million and $2.5 million, respectively, to support the fight against cancer. This generous $10 million gift will help families across the region by supporting the Cincinnati Cancer Consortium, a collaboration of the University of Cincinnati, UC Health and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. This investment will recruit and hire researchers dedicated to accelerating the progress of cancer research.
The gift is a critical step in supporting the community-wide effort to achieve a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation for the Cincinnati Cancer Consortium. An NCI designation leads to more research funding, economic growth and better outcomes for cancer patients.
“I’m extremely proud of our ongoing commitment to serving our communities through philanthropy,” said Fifth Third Bancorp President and CEO Greg Carmichael. “We believe our contribution represents an important step in designating the Cincinnati Cancer Consortium as a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. Greater Cincinnati is home to more than 7,000 Fifth Third Bank employees and their families, and we want what is best for them and our community.”
“Not only is Fifth Third’s gift extremely generous,” said Richard Lofgren, MD, president and CEO of UC Health, “it also will help save lives. We’re grateful for Fifth Third’s leadership, which will help make certain fewer people suffer from cancer and help those who are affected experience better outcomes.”
The three partners have launched a fundraising campaign to fund the research and multi-year application required for NCI designation. Centers with NCI status have 25 percent better mortality rates at one year, regardless of cancer type, according to a Dartmouth College study. They also receive more federal dollars, possibly millions, in research grants, which can result in better treatments for saving lives. Despite the excellent cancer care available, Cincinnati is one of only two of the nation’s largest cities without an NCI-designated center.
“We want everyone across the lifespan—from the youngest kids to older adults—to receive the most innovative cancer treatments and care in Cincinnati,” said Michael Fisher, president and CEO of Cincinnati Children’s. “To do this, we need to invest more in research, and continue to work closely together across our community. Fifth Third’s inspirational gift shows a commitment that could help us move closer to an NCI designation here, which would attract more top talent and dollars, leading to even better care.”
“Fifth Third’s generous gift will help advance cancer care in the Cincinnati region and the important work of the partners in our Cincinnati Cancer Consortium,” said UC President Neville G. Pinto. “This gift demonstrates a commitment to our efforts and to the health of our community.”
Teresa Tanner, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Fifth Third Bancorp, knows the importance of having good care close to home. Her 25-year-old daughter had leukemia as a toddler. She was treated locally and recovered, but Tanner said she met people who had traveled for care and were far from their families. Fifth Third Bank, she said, feels a responsibility to help.
“When someone you love gets cancer, you say, ‘How do I get them the best care possible?’” she said. “We want to continue to answer that locally, so we’re building on the great health care assets we already have.”
The Cincinnati Cancer Consortium was established in 2011 when UC, UC Health and Cincinnati Children’s joined forces to leverage the strengths of all three organizations in order to achieve NCI designation and provide the best possible cancer diagnostics, research, treatment and care for the people of Cincinnati. Through integration of discovery science, translational research, clinical trials and prevention strategies, its mission is to reduce the burden of cancer in our nation, with a focus on southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.
“Our faculty, consisting of research professionals and dedicated practicing physicians/scientists, and staff are committed to delivering the most advanced cancer care in the region informed and made possible by cutting-edge research,” said William S. Ball, MD, senior vice president for health affairs, Christian R. Holmes Professor and dean of the UC College of Medicine. “Top research translates into improved patient outcomes, so an NCI designation is crucial for personalized care in our region.”
“We are so grateful to Fifth Third for this extremely impactful gift and demonstration of commitment to our community,” said John Barrett, co-chair of the community-wide effort to secure NCI designation and chairman, president and chief executive officer of Western & Southern Financial Group. “The enhancement of cancer care through the UC Cancer Institute and research through the CCC is the most important project in Cincinnati.”
“We all know that cancer does not discriminate and impacts all of us. The Fifth Third Foundation has a responsibility to help improve the health outcomes in our community,” said Heidi Jark, managing director of the Office of the Fifth Third Foundation and a 33-year cancer survivor. “This is the time and the place to do what we can to make a difference and we hope that our gift will serve as a catalyst to encourage other corporations, foundations and individuals to join us in this critical initiative.”
Jark will join the cabinet of community leaders helping drive the NCI project.
About Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of March 31, 2017, the Company had $140 billion in assets and operated 1,155 full-service Banking Centers and 2,471 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. As of March 31, 2017, Fifth Third also had a 17.8 percent interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of March 31, 2017, had $323 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $33 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust, Brokerage and Insurance businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.
About The Fifth Third Foundation
The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank administers charitable giving for Fifth Third Bancorp. Fifth Third Bank is proud to serve as trustee, co-trustee or agent for over 70 private and corporate foundations. Additionally, the Foundation Office oversees philanthropic giving through the Fifth Third Foundation. The respective committees review all grant requests for which Fifth Third Bank serves as trustee, co-trustee or agent. Grants for programming in education, the arts, community development, and health and human services are considered, in addition to the specific funding interests originally identified by the individual benefactors.
About the Cincinnati Cancer Consortium
The Cincinnati Cancer Consortium is a joint effort of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and UC Health. The Center seeks to be a leading institution with world-class scientists and clinicians to provide the best possible cancer diagnostics, research, treatment and care for the people in the Tri-State region and the nation.
About the University of Cincinnati Foundation
Established in 1975, the University of Cincinnati Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and is the private sector fundraising entity for the University of Cincinnati and UC Health. The foundation supports UC’s aspirations through philanthropic collaboration with the colleges, the Academic Health Center, UC Health and other units to maximize private support. The foundation’s advancement efforts promote the development of productive, enduring relationships with alumni, friends, colleagues, students, foundations, corporations and the Greater Cincinnati community. For more information, please visit uc.edu/foundation.