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Business Observer Thursday, Jul. 29, 2021 2 months ago

Former CEO of local nonprofit returns as board member

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Michael Cuffage established the Federal 340B Drug Discount Program during his time as CEO at CAN Community Health.

SARASOTA — The former president and CEO of CAN Community Health, Michael Cuffage, will return to the organization as a board member. 

Sarasota-based CAN is one of the largest nonprofits nationwide focused on helping people with HIV, Hepatitis C, STDs, and other diseases. During Cuffage’s tenure, he established the Federal 340B Drug Discount Program for CAN, according to a statement. Under 340B, pharmaceutical companies sign an agreement with the government to provide discounts of at least 50% on medications to pre-approved agencies and health care providers, like CAN. In addition, Cuffage created business models that allowed CAN to grow sixtyfold and continue its growth after retiring, the release states. 

"As a respected member of our community, Michael has an unparalleled passion for the work we do at CAN,” CAN Interim President & CEO Dr. Rishi Patel,says in a press release. “We are truly honored to have him rejoin our CAN family as an influential board member, and I know the entire CAN family is looking forward to working with him in serving our mission.”

Cuffage has over 21 years of parliamentary procedure experience and has served on various boards and committees, including finance, budget, strategic planning, federal audit, fundraising, and event planning. 

"We are not only gaining a new board member but welcoming back a dear friend and family member of CAN that we all love and respect,” Jackie Rogers, board chairwoman, says in the release. “We are all so thankful for the path that Michael paved for CAN and will continue to assist in growing our incredible organization. Michael is a difference-maker in people's lives, which is so important to our mission."

 Cuffage's announcement is effective Aug. 1. The nonprofit organization’s assets total $111.79 million.

"I have observed this organization from just about every possible angle. As Margaret Mead once said, "Never underestimate the ability of a small group of dedicated people to change the world,"” Cuffage says in the statement. "Everyone I have served within this organization displays that dedication to its mission and values. I am very excited to be re-engaged with this valuable and incredible organization."

Cuffage's appointment comes as CAN faces a lawsuit from its former CEO, Rick Carlisle, who alleges wrongful termination, among other allegations. Officials have declined to comment on the lawsuit. 

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