Friday, April 12, 2013

Cancer Center fellowship program receives $1M gift

IMPORTANT GIFT: From left, Garcia, Slavin and Moran

The MGH Cancer Center has received a $1.05 million gift from Sovereign Bank, N.A., a division of Santander Holdings USA, in support of its Hematology/Oncology Research Fellowship Fund. On April 3, the banking group’s president and CEO and other company representatives joined MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD, for a special ceremony in the Trustees Room to recognize the gift.

Santander, the largest bank in the eurozone, recently acquired Sovereign Bank, its first retail bank in the mainland United States. The group has a long history of social action around the globe and also has previously donated funds to aid academic, research and technology projects in New England, including programs at Harvard and MIT.

“This is truly a wonderful event in our hospital’s history,” Slavin said. “I am very grateful that Sovereign|Santander is partnering with us. This relationship will encourage innovation, advance the goals of our Cancer Center and advance community leadership for both of our organizations.”

Sovereign Bank will also become an “Innovative Supporter” of the Friends of the MGH Cancer Center, a volunteer organization committed to enhancing the quality and experience of cancer patients and their families through activities, lectures, symposiums and innovative programs.

During the ceremony, David Ryan, MD, chief of Hematology/Oncology, expressed his gratitude for the donation and explained how the fellowship aids physicians at a critical point in their profession. “This fellowship is extremely special and this relationship is a wonderful opportunity for all of us at the Mass General Cancer Center and all of us in the biotech community,” Ryan said. “It’s going to help future fellows at an important time in their lives – when they are in the lab and the questions are crystallized. It’s a time when they are really going to have a great impact.”

Jorge Moran, Santander U.S. country head and president and CEO of Sovereign Bank, said while the company has a global presence, it is important that they create strong relationships within their local communities. “What you are doing here is amazing,” Moran said. “Not just what you are doing now, but what you are doing for the future. You are giving hope to so many people.”

The event concluded with Slavin presenting white coats to Moran and Carlos Garcia, chief of staff and chief corporate affairs and communications officer at Sovereign Bank. The jackets were emblazoned with their names and the phrase “Partners in Innovation.” Moran then provided his own unique thank you to the MGH leadership in attendance – bottles of olive oil from centuries-old trees on the land where the company’s headquarters is located in Madrid, Spain.

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