Gayle and Tom Benson Give $20 Million for Cancer Care, Research

Ochsner Health System has announced a $20 million gift from New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owners Gayle and Tom Benson to expand cancer care services and advance clinical research in the Gulf region.

The largest gift in the history of the New Orleans-based health system will support an expansion of the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center, which was established in 2010 with a $5 million gift from the Bensons. The expansion plan includes a more than doubling of the square footage of the center's oncology clinics as well as support for a full spectrum of specialty-trained physicians; a comprehensive approach to urologic, gynecologic, and surgical oncology for all cancer types; and a clinical cancer research program featuring clinical trials for cutting-edge drugs, new agents, and anti-cancer agents.

"When we first opened the cancer center, we knew that our partnership with Ochsner would allow us to help so many people in our region," said Tom Benson. "For years, too many of our local and state-wide residents needed to seek cancer care away from home, and we needed to address that. Gayle and I could not be more pleased that so many patients today are receiving world-class cancer treatments right here in our hometown. We are proud of our association with Ochsner and the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center. There is much more work to be done as the number of new cases continues to grow each year. This gift will help ensure that we can offer the best services possible to our residents of Louisiana and the Gulf South."

"One in three Americans will have an invasive cancer in their lifetime. There is growing need to provide more specialty services so that patients can stay within our state and closer to their families," said John Cole, vice chair of medical specialties, Ochsner Cancer Institute. "The expansion of the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center will allow us to offer continued multidisciplinary care, strengthen our cancer clinical research, and provide more patients with easier and earlier access to exceptional and innovative cancer care."

"New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owners Gayle & Tom Benson Donate $20 Million to Ochsner." Ochsner Health System Press Release 11/10/2015. Jed Lipinski. "Tom Benson Gives $20 Million More to Ochsner Cancer Center." Times-Picayune 11/10/2015.