By Staff Writer - May 04, 2018
Pioneer. Visionary. Survivor.
Those are just some of the many words that describe H. Lee Moffitt, who, as founder of Moffitt Cancer Center was honored with the Sapphire Award and a $50,000 grant for his significant contributions to community health. The award, given by Florida Blue on May 3, recognizes individuals and organizations for excellence and innovation in community health.
"I know I speak for all 6,000 Moffitt team members in saying we could not be more proud of Lee — for this award and his leadership in health care," said Moffitt President and CEO Dr. Alan List. "Lee’s tenacity and courage to bring world-class cancer care to all Floridians has provided hope to the hundreds of thousands of patients we’ve served throughout the state."
The recognition comes nearly 32 years after Moffitt Cancer Center opened its doors in 1986 and more than 40 years since as a state legislator, H. Lee Moffitt started his historic push for a world-class cancer center in the Sunshine State. H. Lee Moffitt was motivated to bring cancer care to Florida after he lost several close friends to cancer. He was also struck by the fact that each of these friends had to seek sophisticated cancer treatment outside of the state.
Former Senator Connie Mack said in his letter of support for this accolade, "Lee Moffitt is a visionary and a pioneer who has spent more than 40 years seeking to bring the latest advances in cancer research and treatment to the citizens of Florida. Cancer research and treatment in Florida will never be the same because of the vision of one man — H. Lee Moffitt. His innovative efforts and tremendous work to win the fight against cancer will impact generations to come."
This marks the 13th year the Florida Blue Foundation has presented the Sapphire Award. Founded in 2001, the foundation’s mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. Through this program, the foundation strategically allocates grants toward philanthropic, community-based solutions through its focus areas and programs that focus on health solutions.