Tampa General Hospital board member and well-known Tampa businessman and philanthropist Blake Casper has made a $5 million donation to the TGH Foundation.
The donation will support the construction of the planned on-campus Surgical, Neuroscience and Transplant Pavilion at the academic health system's flagship campus on Davis Islands, hospital officials say in a news release.
Casper's contribution kicked off the TGH Foundation's five-year capital campaign, "Elevating Excellence," an "ambitious $100 million goal that will fund the expansion, technologies and programs that will continue transforming the academic health system and the region's healthcare landscape," Tampa General officials say.
"Our organization has experienced significant growth over the last several years thanks to the support of Blake and his fellow board members and our journey is just getting started," says John Couris, hospital president and CEO, in the release. "This exceptional gift will provide meaningful support to our team as we pivot from foundational to transformational work as one of the country's leading academic health systems."
Casper, a multigeneration Tampa Bay native, joined the Florida Health Sciences Center board of directors in 2015, currently chairing the finance committee. He previously served as the chair of the investment committee, the hospital says.
He is CEO of the Caspers Co., a hospitality management organization that owns, operates and supports hospitality concepts, including hotels, clubs, full- and quick-service restaurants, and behavioral health clinics. Caspers Co. also specializes in residential and commercial design services. Its most notable enterprise was McDonald's: The Casper family was one of the fast-food chain's most prominent and longest-serving franchisees for decades, until it sold its holdings back to the fast-food giant last year.
The Surgical, Neuroscience and Transplant Pavilion is a cornerstone of Tampa General's master facility plan. Hospital officials say the $550 million capital commitment is already transforming patient care "and creating a new epicenter of innovation, health and healing in Tampa Bay."
As part of the plan, the new 13-floor pavilion will include 136 additional in-patient beds, a shell floor to allow for future growth and a new education and conference center.
"Tampa General Hospital holds a special place in my heart, and I know the same can be said by so many throughout our community," says Casper in the statement. "As a board member, I have been especially fortunate to witness the remarkable care and dedication of their team across the entire health system. As someone who entrusts the health of my own family to TGH, this gift is our way of giving back and ensuring the organization is well positioned to continue driving excellence, innovation, and the well-being of our community in the future."
Tampa General is a 1,040-bed, nonprofit academic health system. It is one of the largest hospitals in America and is the region's only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn car center.