Bonita Expansion: Grant Bolsters Cancer Fight in Southwest FloridaCancer Care
Cancer care takes an extraordinary amount of teamwork, technology, expertise, and compassion. It also takes community partnerships – friends and neighbors willing to go the extra mile to provide encouragement, support, and resources.
The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation recently donated $1 million with an additional $1.5 million community challenge grant to expand cancer services at Lee Health Bonita Health Center. In recognition of this generosity, the facility will be named Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Cancer Clinic.
This means more cancer care services will be available closer to home for residents and visitors in south Lee County and Collier County. Lee Health plans to renovate space at the current Lee Health Bonita Health Center —3501 Health Center Blvd, Bonita Springs, FL 34135— to support a new cancer center with a 32-chair infusion center, four individual treatment rooms and 12 exam rooms.
The project’s estimated total cost is $10.4 million.
The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation challenge grant relies on community support. With donations from the Southwest Florida community, Lee Health Foundation must raise $1.5 million in donations for the Bonita Springs project to receive the $1.5 million grant from Schulze Family Foundation.
“I’m grateful for the leadership commitment given to the Lee Health oncology program by Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to expand our cancer services in south Lee County,” said Chris Simoneau, Lee Health’s chief development, marketing and communications officer. “My father passed away from lymphoma 10 years ago, and my mother is a breast cancer survivor, and that is what fuels my desire to elevate the level of cancer care being offered in Southwest Florida.
“This new cancer center will help many families get additional time with their loved ones.”
Patients receiving cancer treatment often have infusion several times a week. By early 2023, the Bonita Springs center will have the capacity to serve 30,000 infusions and 12,000 visits to the physician clinic annually, as well as provide access to patient navigation services and other care and support.
Best Buy Founder Dick Schulze created Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation in 2004 to give back to communities where he and his family grew up, including Minnesota, where Best Buy was founded, and Florida, where he now lives.
The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation supports human and social services, education, and health and medicine with a particular focus on diseases that hit close to home. In 2001, Schulze lost his wife Sandra six months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that affects the lungs.
“The Schulze family understands the challenges that families endure while battling a life-limiting disease,” said Mary Beth Geier, Florida director, Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. “Having treatment options close to home is essential and helps alleviate some of the difficulties patients and their families face. Our Foundation is proud to partner with Lee Health to improve local systems that support patients during the difficulties they face.”
In November 2020, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation issued a $200,000 challenge grant for Lee Health to build a pediatric hematology and oncology infusion clinic in Naples that would allow pediatric patients in south Lee County and Collier County to receive treatment closer to home.
Lee Health Regional Cancer Center (RCC)
Lee Health currently provides modern treatment and unending support for your inspiring journey at the Lee Health RCC outpatient location in Fort Myers, 8931 Colonial Center Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33905.
Treatments and services include:
- Diagnostic services
- Tests, screenings, and scans
- Breast Health Centers
- Treatments and Services
- Lung cancer screening program
- Cancer rehabilitation
- Palliative care
- Nurse navigators
The Lee Health RCC also provides support groups, nutrition counseling, genetic counseling, survivorship care, onsite mastectomy prosthetic center, Cookie’s Place boutique, meditation center, healing garden and outdoor labyrinth.
In addition, Lee Health RCC provides inpatient cancer care at Gulf Coast Medical Center as well as many other cancer care services throughout the region.
For information on Lee Health RCC, increased access to care for the Southwest Florida community, and how to contribute to the challenge grant, visit LeeHealthFoundation.org/ChallengeAccepted.