Breast Cancer Care and Substance Abuse Awareness and Education to Benefit from Posner Trust

Two generous contributions totaling $4.675 million are being made to the University of Miami from the 2008 Revocable Trust of Gail S. Posner, who was a longtime resident of Miami Beach. These contributions will go a long way in helping both breast cancer patients and those battling substance abuse.

A gift of $3.3 million will create the new Gail S. Posner Pavilion for Breast Cancer Care at the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute in the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. In addition, an endowed gift of $1.375 million will create the “Tina Posner Substance Abuse Education and Treatment Fund” to improve treatment and awareness of substance abuse through the Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education in the Division of Student Affairs. The contributions are in support of Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.

The Posner Trustee, Sanford J. Schlesinger, designated the University of Miami to receive these gifts to carry out Gail Posner’s wishes to support both breast cancer treatment and public education and, in memory of her daughter, Tina, the provision of drug treatment to young people. “Gail Posner had a deep and very personal interest in both of these causes,” said Schlesinger. “The programs at the University of Miami that will be funded by these gifts are impressively innovative, and carefully designed to make a real difference in people’s lives and promise to be a living legacy of Gail’s generosity and charitable purpose.”

The pavilion will be a 10,000-square-foot facility dedicated entirely to breast cancer care and prevention, and brings all of the necessary support services to one area. Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, said that the new facility will support Sylvester’s efforts to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary cancer care for all of its patients.

“This very generous gift will significantly advance our efforts to provide the finest patient-centered care: compassionate and effective treatments driven by innovative research. Our focus is on delivering exceptional care to the patient, as we aggressively treat their cancer. This facility will also improve our efforts to prevent cancer or to detect it when it is curable,” said Nimer, who is a professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology.

The pavilion will be an essential element in efforts to accelerate the advances made by world-renowned physicians at the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute, and to help translate discoveries made in the laboratory into more effective treatments for breast cancer patients. “We are trying to change the face of breast cancer research and treatment,” said Joyce M. Slingerland, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, Associate Director of Translational Research and Director of the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute. “Every day we are moving closer to finding effective ways to halt the proliferation of cancer cells, and generating new forms of treatment.”

When patients arrive, they will find a comfortable reception area that is equipped with Wi-Fi access, refreshments, and television. Also planned are multiple consultation, exam and treatment rooms, a mammography suite with several imaging rooms, private dressing and waiting areas. There will also be a “Look Good Feel Good” boutique for specialized items, including surgical bras, prostheses, swim wear, head coverings, and clothing. The goal of the new pavilion is to ensure the comfort and privacy of patients, and alleviate their stress and anxiety.

The new facility will also focus on support and education for patients, caregivers and their loved ones. Genetic counseling will be offered to patients and those family members who may be at an increased risk of getting cancer.

The “Tina Posner Substance Abuse Education and Treatment Fund” will benefit the mission of the Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education to better educate students about the negative consequences of alcohol and drug use, and lower the rate of substance abuse. One of the tools educators will use is peer education.

“The gift to establish the Tina Posner Substance Abuse Education and Treatment Fund will greatly benefit our mission at the Center,” says Patricia A. Whitely, Ed.D., UM’s Vice President for Student Affairs. “As the needs of our students evolve, so do our goals as we strive to provide increased peer education, prevention, and intervention. Peer education is a growing movement on college campuses, and we are most grateful that this incredible gift will allow the University to enhance its efforts and remain a leader in drug and alcohol education and awareness.”

Education through social media and student web resources will also be used to reach students who may feel less comfortable seeking help in person, don’t have access to the Center, or desire anonymity.

In order to help the Center develop more effective substance abuse prevention programs, there will be increased collaboration between student leaders from the Center and faculty researchers at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine. Led by Ihsan M. Salloum, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, a team of faculty advisors will assist the Center in creating better assessment measures for its programs.

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