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Jayne S. Malfitano Named a Health Care Hero

President of the Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation and daughter of philanthropist Harcourt M. Sylvester Jr., whose endowment established the cancer center, Malfitano is chair of Sylvester’s Board of Governors.

Jayne Malfitano

Advocacy comes naturally to Jayne S. Malfitano. The Board of Governors chair for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, carries the mantle her father started in the 1980s.

Malfitano is the daughter of Harcourt M. Sylvester Jr., whose multimillion-dollar gifts allowed the University of Miami to open Sylvester on the medical school campus in 1992. As the president of the Harcourt M. and Virginia Sylvester Foundation, Malfitano continues her family’s legacy of philanthropy and calls it an “honor and privilege.”

She now officially has a new title: Health Care Hero.

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) hosted the 25th Health Care Heroes Awards Luncheon on May 15, celebrating outstanding health care professionals’ extraordinary achievements and impact on the community. Malfitano received the Greater Miami Health Care Heroes Individual of Merit award.

“I am so proud of the people I work with and the caring and love of our patients,” said Malfitano. “I’m truly blessed by all of them.”

Continuous Philanthropy

As the head of the Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation, Malfitano is dedicated to enhancing Sylvester’s influence and extending its reach, notably to support people with limited access to screening and care. Through foundation endowments and contributions from The Pap Corps Champions for Cancer Research, the Sylvester Game Changer initiative was launched, deploying mobile screening units and establishing 10 satellite centers. Overall, the foundation’s contributions to the University of Miami in support of cancer research and the care of cancer patients exceed $62 million.

A member of Sylvester’s Board of Governors since 2001, Malfitano recently served as vice chair. Elected as chair in 2023, she will serve a maximum of three years.

“She wakes up every morning wondering how she can help to make sure the facilities at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center are top-notch and available to all,” said Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., the Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, via a video broadcast at the event.

Community Focus

In the video, Dr. Nimer, also the executive dean of research at the Miller School, listed Malfitano’s many accolades, including her involvement with the Dolphins Challenge Cancer event, which has raised $75,000,000 for cancer research at Sylvester. Malfitano and her family also created an endowed professorship in cancer survivorship and have helped with Sylvester’s Cancer Survivorship Symposium, which brings hundreds of people to Miami to learn how to help cancer survivors and caregivers. The symposium is a community event that features a scientific track for medical professionals and a patient and caregivers track that explores cancer support services and targeted therapies.

For Malfitano, bringing world-class services closer to those in need of care is paramount, whether through expanding Sylvester’s clinical network or providing cancer screenings in the community through the Game Changer mobile clinics. Malfitano remains active in the community and frequently visits staff. Her mission is to help patients feel supported, and she has said that “continuity of care makes a big difference to our patients and their families.”

Tags: Jayne Malfitano, philanthropy, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center