USF Foundation launches Pandemic Research & Response FundDonations being accepted

Tampa philanthropist and USF alumna Mary T. Pipino has made a generous gift of $25,000 to kick off the new USF Health Pandemic Research & Response Fund. She urges others to join her in making additional donations to help USF Health fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has affected the lives of millions.

83 Degrees e-mailed 3 questions to Pipino about her decision to donate. Below are the questions and her answers:

Why did you decide to do this? 

"As an alumna of USF, my passion for health and wellness and USF Health. Our health care professionals need all the support we can give them right now to conquer this most devastating virus.''

Why through USF? 

"USF Health, under the exemplary leadership of Dr. Charles Lockwood, provides great patient care with a focus on continually improving care through research and education. Dr. Lockwood and Dr. Moseley are solutions-oriented healthcare leaders and want to support their efforts to conquer this virus and prevent future devastation such as this.''   

Do you have a vision for what the fund could mean long into the future?

"Yes,  through research and education; the prevention of viruses and diseases such as this and treatments for illnesses that may not be preventable that are accessible to those who need it.''

Pipino is Executive VP, President Real Estate Risk Management for Beecher Carlson, a large account risk management broker. Formerly, she was President and CEO of the Donald P. Pipino Company, a premier real estate risk management and insurance firm started by her father in 1952. She is also a certified fitness instructor, owner of Fitnesst Enterprises and founder and owner of Featherss dark chocolate. She graduated from the University of South Florida in 1979 with a degree in marketing.

A news release from USF says donations to the USF Health Pandemic Research & Response Fund will "help purchase additional equipment and material needed for patients, protective equipment such as masks, gloves, gowns, and face shields for health care employees and other rapid-response activities to COVID-19.''

Follow these links to donate to the USF Health Pandemic Research & Response Fund and for more information about Beecher Carlson or Featherss.

Read more articles by Diane Egner.

Diane Egner is an award-winning journalist with more than three decades of experience writing about the Tampa Bay region. She is a member of Leadership Florida and the Athena Society, and serves on the board of The Institute for Research in Art (Graphicstudio, the Contemporary Art Museum, and USF’s Public Art Program) Community Advisory Council. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism, she won the top statewide award for editorial writing from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors while at The Tampa Tribune and received special recognition by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists for creative work as Content Director at WUSF Public Broadcasting. Past accomplishments and community service include leadership positions with Awesome Tampa Bay, Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Alpha House of Tampa Bay, Florida Kinship Center, AIA Tampa Bay, Powerstories, and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. She lives in South Tampa, is the mother of two adult daughters and grandmother to two amazing grandchildren, and travels whenever possible with laptop in tow.
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