• Cancer

    Mayo Clinic Receives $100 Million Gift to Support Proton Beam Therapy Program

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic today announced long-time patient and philanthropist Richard O. Jacobson has given a $100 million gift to help establish the multi-site Mayo Clinic Proton Beam Therapy Program. This is the largest outright gift in the clinic’s history, as well as the largest gift Mr. Jacobson has made to any single institution. An outright gift is made by a living person.

Mayo’s program will include new facilities on the Rochester and Phoenix campuses; the Rochester building will be named in Mr. Jacobson’s honor.

“What a profound demonstration of trust and passion for Mayo Clinic,” says John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic president and CEO. “Mr. Jacobson’s awe-inspiring generosity will benefit adults and children from all walks of life. Our new facility will be a lasting legacy to honor his gift.”

Proton beam therapy represents an advance over traditional radiotherapy to treat some cancers. Its beam is targeted only to a tumor, sparing surrounding tissue and nearby organs, and can therefore be used at higher therapeutic doses. Mayo’s program will use the most advanced intensity-modulated technology known as pencil beam scanning, which few centers now use. With it, patients may experience fewer short- and long-term side effects.

“My dream has always been to establish a major new facility for Mayo Clinic,” says Mr. Jacobson. “I began going to Mayo for my care when I was a child and continue to get my care there. Mayo Clinic makes a profound impact on people.”

A Belmond, Iowa native, Mr. Jacobson is a successful entrepreneur and a leading philanthropist in the state of Iowa. He is founder of Jacobson Companies, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, which has grown to be one of the largest privately-owned warehouse companies in the United States. Prior to this gift, his philanthropic generosity has included more than $60 million to empower youth, enhance education and expand medical research. Jacobson’s goal for this gift is to enable Mayo to expand its research capabilities while providing a medical complex to perform life-saving techniques. His past gifts to Mayo have included funds to establish the Richard O. Jacobson Professorship in Molecular Medicine currently held by Stephen J. Russell, M.D., Ph.D.
“I trust Mayo to do work that truly matters. I feel fortunate to help the clinic with this new endeavor that will provide innovative treatment for patients with cancer,” says Mr. Jacobson.

Mayo estimates that 1,240 patients annually will be treated with proton beam in the Richard O. Jacobson Building in Rochester, and about 2,480 patients when both the Rochester and Phoenix facilities are fully operational by early 2016.

“Our goal is to reduce the burden of cancer for patients and family members,” says Robert Foote, M.D., chair of Mayo Clinic’s Department of Radiation Oncology. “We want to preserve normal organ function and optimize patients’ quality and length of life.”

The Richard O. Jacobson Building will be located in downtown Rochester, just northeast of Rochester Methodist Hospital (corner of Second Street Northwest and First Avenue Northwest). The 110,000-square-foot facility will be designed to allow future growth. Combined, the Rochester and Phoenix facilities have a total cost of more than $400 million. Mayo will seek support from other philanthropists to complete these capital projects as well as to contribute to cancer-related research and education programs.

The new Proton Beam Therapy Program will be fully integrated into Mayo Clinic’s three-site cancer program. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, has locations in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Rochester. More than 20,000 patients receive cancer care at Mayo Clinic each year.

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About Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic is a non-profit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life.