Simmons Cancer Institute Philanthropic Support
A generous philanthropic gift from SimmonsCooper LLC and the Simmons Family Foundation helped make the new cancer institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine a reality in 2006. Originally named SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at SIU, the name showed appreciation for the contribution and reflected the name of the law firm in 2006. The pledge of $10.2 million was announced in November 2005 by John and Jayne Simmons and Jeff Cooper.
In 2010, the facility was renamed Simmons Cancer Institute because of a change in the name of the law firm.
The law firm made the pledge to provide new resources to enhance cancer treatments and implement the continuing search for a permanent cure. Part of the donation was used to fund a new endowed chair at the Cancer Institute so that a nationally-known cancer researcher could be recruited.
In January 2012, K. Thomas Robbins, M.D. director of Simmons Cancer Institute, and professor of otolaryngology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine was named the recipient of the Simmons Cancer Institute Endowed Chair of Excellence in Oncology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.
The pledge is the largest single gift in the history of Southern Illinois University and established SIU as home to one of the leading cancer facilities in the United States. The total pledge amount reflects a donation by the firm as well as a significant personal contribution by John and Jayne Simmons through the Simmons Family Foundation.
Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd LLC, based in East Alton, Illinois, is one of the nation’s leading asbestos litigation firms. Many of the firm’s clients suffer from mesothelioma, a rare lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure.