Letter from the Volunteer Chairman
Let me share with you my vision for Jacksonville as it relates to RITA. I believe our city will become the Southeast’s center for cancer research and treatment.”
This was my statement when I started The RITA Foundation in the late 1990’s. There have been significant advances with respect to cancer programs during these 20 years. The Baptist Health System has become associated with M. D. Anderson, probably the premier cancer program in the country. Their new cancer center opened in late 2018 at their downtown campus. The M. D. Anderson cancer treatment protocols will be rolled out to include all Baptist hospitals in our area. Mayo Clinic continues to expand both their cancer research and treatment. The new Mangurian Cancer Center opened in 2019, bringing state of the art equipment and treatment to our area. UF Health’s Breast Cancer Center and Proton Beam therapy programs also have national recognition. St. Vincent’s Cancer program has partnered with Mayo Clinic to use their knowledge, protocols and expertise.
This increased focus covers the many forms of cancer; from solid tumor to leukemia / lymphoma. Add to our local progress the new Shands Gainesville Genetic and Cancer Research Building and new Cancer Hospital in Gainesville. Jacksonville has truly become a medical destination for the Southeast and, even, nationally.
How is RITA helping? Our contributions to these local programs continue to grow. We donated the first digital mammography machine to Mayo Clinic several years ago at a cost of $ 400,000.00.
We continue to be one of the most fiscally responsible non-profit organizations in the country. Not only do we donate 100% of the net proceeds from our special fund raising events, but do so without any salary or overhead costs.
RITA has been funding Dr. Al Copland’s cancer research lab at Mayo Clinic for the past 10 years. His lab has discovered a cancer gene that is overexpressed in aggressive cancers and developed a therapy against this gene. Currently, Dr. Copland is working toward beginning a clinical trial.
We have also created some Cancer Endowments. The Baptist Health System had a Matching Program for new Endowments and in the past 8 years created 19 fully funded and matched Endowments totaling over $ 1,330,000.00. There are another 5 that will be funded and matched in the next two years. At Mayo Clinic, we have two RITA Cancer Endowment with over $ 300,000.00 and a SenioRITAs Cancer Endowment with $ 74,500.00 toward their $ 100,000.00 minimum.
Research Is The Answer to help cure the many forms of cancer. Research and treatment take new technology……and both research and technology are expensive. RITA is dedicated to help fund our local research efforts and bring the newest technology and research initiatives to our area.
Thank you for your interest and support of The RITA Foundation where Research Is The Answer.
Charles R. Jantz
Founder and Volunteer Chairman
Fed. I.D. 59-3614273 State of Florida CH11001
**Donations can be done on this website, click HERE.
**Or by check, payable to The RITA Foundation, marked in the memo “Mayo”
Mail to :
The RITA Foundation
8334 Amherst Hills Lane
Jacksonville, FL 32256.