Vol 9. Issue 38 /December 14, 2009
Elizabeth M. Fago Gives $1 Million to Scripps Florida
By Eric Sauter
Elizabeth M. Fago, a successful Palm Beach Gardens business executive and philanthropist has donated $1 million to Scripps Florida, it was announced today.
This is the second million-dollar gift that Fago, one of the earliest and strongest supporters of the institute, has given to Scripps Florida. In 2004, she was the first to pledge $1 million to support Alzheimer's disease research there.
In recognition of her generous gifts and her longstanding support, Fago gains the title Scripps Florida Founder, and the library in the new biomedical facility will be named The Elizabeth M. Fago Library.
The announcement of the gift and the library naming was made by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush today at a seminar sponsored by the Scripps Florida Council, an independent fundraising group dedicated to helping the Jupiter biomedical research facility seek support throughout the state and nation. She is a charter member of the Council.
"From the moment I first became involved with Scripps Florida, I have been impressed not only with the power of its research, but also with the quality of its leadership," Fago said. "From Richard Lerner to each individual scientist working in Jupiter today, the people of Scripps Research represent the best hope we have of changing medicine in ways that will one day help save lives that could otherwise be lost to disease and despair. Everyone should support the tremendous work of Scripps Florida."
"We have all been touched and inspired by Elizabeth's deep commitment to Scripps Florida," said Richard A. Lerner, president of The Scripps Research Institute, which is headquartered in La Jolla, CA. "This latest gift will expand the opportunities here in Jupiter to continue to develop what all of us believe will be the most exciting and most innovative biomedical and biotechnology center in the state. The Fago Library is a key part in our work."
Elizabeth M. Fago
Fago, an accomplished business executive and an active participant in numerous civic organizations and causes, has had a special interest in health care and long-term care facilities. In 1991, she acquired a number of struggling long-term care facilities and quickly turned them into a thriving business that eventually grew to more than 70 properties and more than 8,500 employees throughout the southeastern United States. The company had annual revenues of more than $450 million when it was sold in 2007.
Since then, Fago has invested in Palm Health Partners, which is developing three clinical centers in Florida that will integrate innovative health care, advanced technology, and state-of-the-art research and development.
In 2001, she was one of only 50 successful women to attend the Women Business Leaders Forum at the White House.
In 2002, she was appointed by then-Governor Jeb Bush to the Florida Council of 100, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that advises the governor's office on key Florida issues from a business perspective.
As chairman for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 8th Annual Gala in 2005, she helped raise over $1.2 million to fight these related diseases.
After Governor Bush appointed her to the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation in 2003, she quickly became Scripps Florida's most enthusiastic supporter and fund-raiser. The corporation oversees the state funds that have helped to support the Jupiter campus's startup.
Of her first million-dollar donation, Fago said that her gift was to raise the bar for all Scripps Florida fund-raising events.
"I just did it, and I think it will make people say, 'You know what? Let's do it, too.' "
The Elizabeth M. Fago Library at Scripps Florida
The Elizabeth M. Fago Library at Scripps Florida is a dramatic space filled with natural light. Its growing collection of scientific material, complemented by state-of-the-art computers, makes it a comfortable place for research, writing, or simply escaping the busy confines of the laboratories for quiet thought.
The library, which will work closely with the Kresge Library on the La Jolla, California campus, will offer excellent online resources, with a wide collection of scholarly journals and e-books available to support Scripps Florida's' research and educational efforts. The library offers access to multiple databases from government and commercial publishers as well as to collections of major libraries throughout the United States and the world through a vast library network.
Recently, Scripps Florida joined the University of Florida and other institutions to develop the VIVO network, which has been likened to a "Facebook for scientists," a project funded by the National Institutes of Health. It is designed to allow scientists to identify those in the scientific community who share similar interests and to help encourage quick and efficient collaboration.
The Elizabeth M. Fago Library at Scripps Florida and the Kresge Library at Scripps California expect to be among the first to fully adopt this new resource.
Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu
"We have all been touched and inspired by Elizabeth's deep commitment to Scripps Florida."
—Richard A. Lerner