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Scripps Florida Gets $1M Gift

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Scripps Florida will rename its library for a longtime benefactor who recently donated to the research institute her second $1 million gift in five years.

Elizabeth Fago, a businesswoman and philanthropist from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., said her gift reflected continued confidence in the leadership of Scripps Florida, which in February officially opened its $187 million, 350,000-square-foot campus in Jupiter, Fla., next to Florida Atlantic University.

"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," Fago said in a statement.

In addition to the, the institute is honoring its benefactor by designating her a Scripps Florida Founder.

The $1 million will be used toward research at Scripps Florida and at the Scripps Research Institute's headquarters in La Jolla, Calif., as well as naming rights for the Elizabeth M. Fago Library at Scripps Florida, Scripps spokesman Keith McKeown told GenomeWeb Daily News today.

The donation was announced Tuesday by former Florida governor Jeb Bush during an address at Scripps Florida to the Scripps Florida Council, an independent fundraising group of which Fago is a charter member.

The brother of former president George W. Bush played a key role in persuading Scripps Research Institute to open an East Coast campus intended to complement its La Jolla, Calif., headquarters campus, by crafting for Scripps Florida a more-than-$600 million package of tax breaks and other subsidies by the state and Palm Beach County

As part of the deal, Bush created a state entity, the Scripps Florida Funding Corp., to oversee the $310 million in state funds committed to the institute. In return for the state and local incentives, Scripps Florida has promised to create at least 545 jobs by 2013.

Scripps currently has 352 employees and 30 graduate students at its Florida institute, McKeown said.

Bush appointed Fago to the funding corporation upon its creation in 2003. A year later, she donated $1 million toward Scripps Florida's Alzheimer's disease research. She resigned from the corporation in 2005.

During the 1990s, Fago grew Home Quality Management Inc. into a 70-property, 8,500-employee chain of long-term care facilities that had revenues of $450 million when she sold the company in 2007. Since then she has invested in Palm Health Partners, a manager of three Florida clinical centers designed to integrate nursing and other post-acute healthcare with R&D.

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