In an effort to elevate care, research, and outcomes for patients battling breast cancer, the Braman Family Foundation recently announced a $2.5 million gift to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.
The gift enhances Sylvester’s ability to recruit and retain world-class researchers, physicians, and scientists, as well as all nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, technicians, and staff needed to continue life-saving work at the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute.
“At our family foundation, we value the partnership we have with Sylvester, built over the years in our collective battle against breast cancer,” said Debi Wechsler, whose parents, Norman and Irma Braman, created the foundation. “We believe in Sylvester’s commitment to outstanding patient care and top-level research. Hopefully, together we can eradicate the suffering of thousands of breast cancer patients.”
The Braman Family Foundation has long had a transformative impact at Sylvester in the fight against breast cancer. In 2002, they made a formative $5 million gift to launch the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute, and usher in a new era in research, clinical trials, and world-class care. The vision then remains the same today — to develop new means of prevention, diagnosis, and research breakthroughs that lead to powerful treatments for patients, with the help of compassionate support programs, all within one cancer center.
A "substantial act of generosity"
“This substantial act of generosity will have a profound impact on our work in the field of breast cancer,” said University of Miami President Julio Frenk. “The Braman Family Foundation’s commitment reflects the kind of vision that helps us build the talent, progress, and innovation required to deliver the best patient care and most advanced treatment options for our patients.”
The family and their foundation have been longtime supporters of the University of Miami. Their generosity to UM also includes enhancing student life. The Braman Family Foundation partnered with the Miller family to rebuild the Hillel building on campus, which was renamed the Braman Miller Center for Jewish student life.
Their dedication to fighting breast cancer stems from watching Irma’s sister battle the disease for almost 20 years before succumbing to it. Since then, it has been their family’s mission to find ways to better detect and treat breast cancer, which will impact an estimated one in every eight women in their lifetime.
Since its inception, The Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute has made huge strides in the way physicians assess breast cancer risk, diagnose the disease in its earliest stages and predict which treatments will be most effective for each patient. In 2010, a state-of-the-art laboratory was dedicated so scientists could work collaboratively while discovering new clues to fight breast cancer.
To complement the work being done in the laboratory, a gift from the estate of the late Gail S. Posner led to the Gail S. Posner Pavilion for Breast Cancer Care at the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute. The pavilion provides a caring clinical environment for patients and families, specially trained patient care coordinators, and support services to alleviate patients’ stress and travel time while ensuring their comfort and privacy.
“The generosity of the Braman Family Foundation is extraordinary,” said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of Sylvester, the Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, and professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology at the Miller School. “This very generous gift will enhance our ability to continue to provide the finest patient-centered care; it will enable our physicians and our scientists to provide innovative patient care and conduct promising cancer research.”
The gift accelerates Sylvester’s role as one of the nation’s elite cancer centers. In 2019, Sylvester earned a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation, the only NCI-designated cancer center in South Florida, and one of only two in Florida. Today, Sylvester combines the strength of more than 300 cancer experts and researchers to discover, develop and deliver more targeted therapies, providing the next generation of cancer care to each patient.