The Grand Gala Benefits Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health

The Grand Gala Chairs Lourdes Jofré-Collett, Karel Foti and Leonard Kalman, M.D., with Brian E. Keeley, president and CEO of Baptist Health
In one unprecedented and glamorous evening, the community celebrated a new milestone in healthcare at The Grand Gala. More than 900 people attended the Gala to benefit the newly opened Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health.

“It’s hard to believe that just a little over two years ago, many of us were standing on this same location for the groundbreaking ceremony of Miami Cancer Institute,” William H. Banchs, Baptist Health Foundation CEO, told the gathering.

“Years of planning went into bringing Miami Cancer Institute to reality,” said Baptist Health president and CEO, Brian E. Keeley. “We watched people leave our community for cancer services at faraway, specialized centers. We knew there had to be a better way.”

Organizing the memorable event was a “labor of love” for the gala committee, led tirelessly by Co-chairs Karel Foti, Lourdes Jofré-Collett and Leonard Kalman, M.D.

Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, receives the Baptist Health Inspiration Award from Bill Banchs (left), CEO of Baptist Health Foundation, and Brian E. Keeley, president and CEO of Baptist Health

As part of the evening, Nancy Brinker, who founded the Susan G. Komen organization in memory of her sister who died of breast cancer, was honored with the first Baptist Health South Florida Inspiration Award. In addition, actor Andy Garcia, who graduated from Miami Beach High and attended Florida International University, was named the inaugural Baptist Health South Florida Ambassador.

Also spotlighted were the two Grand Gala Diamond Sponsors: Robins & Morton, which helped construct the Miami Cancer Institute facility, and Flightserve, the official aviation transport partner of Baptist Health.

“It’s been an honor to be involved with this important undertaking,” said Michael Zinner, M.D., Miami Cancer Institute CEO and executive medical director. “What a meaningful experience it is to have such an incredible show of support in the fight against cancer.”

For more information about Miami Cancer Institute, contact
Annie Martinez-Lopez, at

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