Health and Wellness

Tom Golisano Gifts $30 Million to Special Olympics to Expand Critical Health Services Globally for People with Intellectual Disabilities

September 16, 2021– Special Olympics announced that it has received $30 million, its largest single private gift in the organization's 53-year history from Tom Golisano. This is Tom's third major gift to Special Olympics and his largest single gift to any organization. Funds will used to expand the Special Olympics Healthy Communities program, which provides health services globally for people with intellectual disabilities (ID), a population that has been critically underserved, especially during the pandemic. “I am pleased to continue financial support for Special Olympics’ extraordinary health work, which is giving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities improved access to health services and the opportunity to live happier, more productive lives,” said Golisano. “Special Olympics’ impact on the health of people with ID is impressive – as is its strategy on how to build on this success over the next several years. The focus on measurement, standardization of practices, early diagnosis, a trained workforce, and health systems that demonstrate inclusive policies, will effectively position Special Olympics to further our mutual goal of health equity.”  Read more

Golisano Center for Special Needs Opens at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital

Syracuse, NY -- April 27, 2021-- Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital has opened the Golisano Center for Special Needs, designed to streamline autism care for children in the region.The center encompasses several departments and specialty areas located at a handful of Upstate locations. The newest is a fully renovated space inside Madison-Irving Medical Center. It provides comprehensive, coordinated and scientifically-based medical and behavioral care for children and adolescents with many types of intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Tom Golisano donated $3 million for the center and the Upstate Foundation continues to raise funds to support and expand its services. Read more

Golisano Medical Oncology Center

Niagara now has another Golisano Center – one in which lives will be saved and where inclusive health is a priority. Tom Golisano committed $1.5 million on November 20, 2019 to support the new $2 million medical oncology center at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center to improve access to cancer treatment for people in Niagara County. The new center was dedicated in a virtual ceremony on July 16, 2020 and is open to patients. The Center is operated by Memorial in affiliation with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the top cancer centers in the United States. The $2 new Golisano Medical Oncology Center makes Roswell’s expertise – including immunotherapy, hematology, chemotherapy infusion, clinical trials and the newest cancer curing drugs – readily accessible to those who live and work in Niagara County. The 6,085-square-foot facility is located on Memorial’s fourth floor. The new Center also provides cancer care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a population that often falls through the cracks of complex health care systems, and specialty care including early detection, cancer screening and treatment. Read more

Golisano Training Center at Nazareth College

Nazareht College Logo

On October 21, 2019 Nazareth College, Special Olympics New York, and the Golisano Foundation announced the grand opening of the Golisano Training Center at Nazareth College. The three organizations have partnered to create the first of its kind collaboration of inclusion, fitness, and wellness for athletes of all abilities. Nazareth is poised and ready to be a national model of “Wellness for All” as the only college or university that has ever developed an inclusive training center that levels the playing field for athletes of all abilities and ages.

Tom Golisano made a gift of $7.5 million toward the new center. Nazareth first broke ground on the 108,000-square-foot training center on June 14, 2018.  People with intellectual disabilities were considered in every aspect of the design and construction of the facility. The Genesee region's more than 3,000 Special Olympics athletes participate in more than 30 regional competitions annually. Appropriate space for training and competitions has been an ongoing challenge for Special Olympics New York. The Center brings together the strengths of Nazareth College, Special Olympics, and the Golisano Foundation to create a new model of inclusion, fitness, and wellness for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Golisano Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness Center

URMC Golisano Childrens Hospital Logos

The Golisano Behavioral Health and Wellness Building opened on June 18, 2020 with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony. This two-story, 36,000 square foot facility immediately doubles the available space for outpatient and partial hospitalization services for the Golisano Children's Hospital (Rochester, NY) Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness Program, and will help the Hospital meet the increasing demand for child behavioral health services in the Finger Lakes, New York region. It will also bring outpatient and partial hospitalization services under one roof, and is constructed to add more intensive outpatient services that will allow children to receive a higher level of care than traditional services, while still attending regular school and living at home. The facility will also include the only partial hospitalization program of its kind in the state west of the Hudson River.

Tom Golisano announced his donation of $5 million toward this new center in October 2017 to provide the greater Rochester community this new, critically-needed home base for child and adolescent behavioral health services. The new center broke ground in spring of 2019. It is located on teh Al Sigl Science Parkway Campus adjacent to the new Golisano Autism Center, which opened in 2019.

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Golisano Autism Center

Golisano Autism Center Logo

On September 12, 2019 Tom Golisano was on hand to cut the ribbon and officially open the new Golisano Autism Center, which is transforming the delivery of autism services by co-locating and coordinating resources offered by multiple autism providers, each of which, has specialized areas of expertise.  The opening followed two years of planning and construction. The innovative one-stop autism hub offers a multitude of educational, social, recreational, and therapeutic supports and services for children and adults. Open 12 hours daily, seven days a week, the Center is a collaborative community of more than fourteen autism service providers, led by founding partners Al Sigl Community of Agencies, AutismUp, and CP Rochester. The new 33,000 sq. ft. building is named for Tom Golisano who along with the Foundation donated $3 million toward the launching of the Center in May 2017. Read more

Tom Golisano announced on May 16, 2017 that he was making a matching challenge grant of $2.5 million to help build the Center. The Golisano Foundation also contributed $500,000. Groundbreaking on the new Center was held March 29, 2019.

Special Olympics Inclusive Health

Special Olympics transforms lives through the joy of sport, every day, everywhere. It is the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities: with more than 5 million athletes in 172 countries -- and millions more volunteers and supporters. It is also a global social movement and the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities, a population that lacks access to adequate healthcare and faces significant health disparities.

Tom Golisano's support for Special Olympics inclusive health work began with a gift of $150,000 to Special Olympics International in September 2010 to expand training and increase the number of health care professionals capable of providing healthcare services to people intellectual disabilities.

Then on September 23, at the opening of the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, former President William J. Clinton announced that Tom Golisano would provide $12 million to expand Special Olympics’ health-related services to people with intellectual disabilities to enable the launch of the new Healthy Communities initiative.

On July 15, 2015 at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, USA, Golisano Foundation Executive Director Ann Costello, announced that due to the success of Healthy Communities in its first three years, Tom Golisano would commit an additional $25 million to expand Special Olympics’ health services globally for people with intellectual disabilities. This was the largest single gift Special Olympics has received in its 47-year history. This gift and $12 million given in 2012 brings Mr. Golisano’s total giving to Special Olympics to more than $37 million, the most he has given to a single organization and the largest gifts from an individual ever received by Special Olympics.

See more information on our work to promote inclusive health around the world with Special Olympics Global Health initiative.

Niagara Falls Medical Center - Golisano Center for Community Health


On September 17, 2014, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center received a $3.5 million gift, the largest in its history, from businessman and philanthropist Tom Golisano to support construction of an innovative new Golisano Center for Community Health. The Center will provide comprehensive integrated health care services to adults with special needs and their families, breaking down barriers to care, preventing individuals from falling through the cracks and helping them live with dignity. It is one of the few centers of its kind in the country. The new Center was dedicated June 9, 2016.

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida at Lee Health


  • Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida is a state-of-the-art, family-centered, full-service children's hospital. This stand-alone facility located on the HealthPark Medical Center campus is dedicated to the unique health care needs of children.
  • More than 70 pediatric specialists who have advanced training to treat children and adolescents and their families.
  • The region’s only state-designated Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center (Level II and III Neonatal intensive Care Unit) has achieved the No. 1 ranking in the state of Florida based on the outcomes of premature infants. 
  • Established: 1994
  • Type of Facility: Pediatric Acute Care
  • Number of Dedicated Pediatric Beds: 128
  • Number of Patients Seen Annually: 22,000+
  • Number of Pediatric Providers: 500+
  • Number of Pediatric Specialists: 70+
  • Number of Pediatric Specialty Areas: 22
  • Number of People Helped Through Child Advocacy Programs: 95,000+

On December 10, 2013 Lee Memorial Health System Foundation celebrated a community commitment of more than $80 million in donations and pledges toward its $100 million Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida capital campaign goal with a Ceremonial Groundbreaking, the new hospital is being built in Ft. Meyers. Tom Golisano donated $20 million to launch the campaign.

On October 30, 2012 Tom Golisano was revealed as the donor of a $20 million matching gift to build a new children’s hospital, which will be named Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Part of the Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida is the only comprehensive children's hospital between St. Petersburg and Miami.

Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center


  • With more than 200 pediatric specialists it provides a spectrum of care that spans more than 40 specialty areas, serving the more than 85,000 children and their families each year.
  • With 124 beds, Golisano Children’s Hospital is the area’s only children’s hospital, and serves as the referral center for all seriously ill or injured children from the 17-county Finger Lakes region.
  • Over the past decade, Golisano Children’s Hospital has been ranked as a Top 50 children’s hospital by US News & World Report in 6 out of 10 categories (endocrinology/diabetes, gastroenterology, neonatology, nephrology, neurology/neurosurgery, and orthopaedics).
  • 21,300 pediatric surgeries per year covering numerous sub-specialties, including the only WNY center offering pediatric cardiac surgery.
  • 27,000 pediatric emergency room visits per year.
  • Approximately 1 in 12 babies born in the region start their lives in our NICU, which is the only Level IV NICU in the region.
  • The largest pediatric ICU in western and central NY, which averages 825 admissions per year.
  • The first children’s hospital in the country with an integrated PET/MRI, designed to look like a pirate ship to put our patients at ease.

April 2002 - Mr. Golisano contributed $14 million to Strong Children's Hospital in Rochester, NY, enabling the hospital to begin a comprehensive fundraising campaign. In honor of the gift, the hospital, which is part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, is now known as Golisano Children's Hospital. Mr. Golisano's gift was the largest ever given to the Children's Hospital or the University of Rochester Medical Center by a living donor.

July 2011 - Mr. Golisano provided a $20 million gift to expand and modernize the existing Golisano Children's Hospital enabling the University of Rochester Medical Center to construct a new next-generation hospital for children. This gift along with a previous gift of $14 million in 2002 totals $34 million to the Children's Hospital in Rochester.

September 10, 2012 - Groundbreaking for new Golisano Children’s Hospital. The Medical Center announces plans to build a new $145 million children’s hospital dedicated to the care of sick and injured youngsters.

May 27, 2015 - The new Golisano Children's Hospital was dedicated. Mr. Golisano was honored at the event and spoke.

Golisano Center for Restorative Neurology and Rehabilitation at Rochester Regional Health


In April 2010, Mr. Golisano supported the creation of a new Center for Restorative Neurology and Rehabilitation at Unity Health System in Rochester, NY, with a gift of $10 million. The Center will serve adults and children in need of both inpatient and outpatient care for conditions that range from brain and spinal cord injuries to joint replacements to diseases such as multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.

Golisano Hope Lodge and Hospitality House

In June 2008, Mr. Golisano announced a gift of $4 million to the American Cancer Society and Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School to establish the new Golisano Hope Lodge and Hospitality House to accommodate cancer and transplant patients and their families from area and regional hospitals. The American Cancer Society Golisano Hope Lodge Hospitality House offers free or low-cost lodging for cancer, trauma and organ transplant patients and their caregiver, in a supportive environment.

Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital


On September 27, 2019 in Syracuse, New York, The Upstate Foundation announced a gift of $3 million from Tom Golisano to establish the Golisano Center for Special Needs at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. The center will provide comprehensive, coordinated and scientifically based medical and behavioral care for children and adolescents with all types of intellectual and developmental disabilities. The center will act as the umbrella, creating a framework to increase collaboration resulting in better patient care. The announcement was made by Golisano Foundation Executive Director Ann Costello at the hospital's 10th birthday celebration. Read more

In November 2005, Mr. Golisano donated $6 million to Central New York Children's Hospital at University Hospital in Syracuse, NY. In honor of the gift, the hospital was renamed the Golisano Children's Hospital of Central New York at University Hospital. Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital opened in 2009, with the mission to provide safe, effective, innovative and family centered care for children in the Central New York region.

Today the hospital serves children and families across 17 counties and treat over 100,000 pediatric encounters per year.

  • It is the Region’s only Level 1 Trauma and Burn center, offering a complete range of health care services for children from birth to 19 years of age.

  • The dedicated pediatric providers and staff care for patients in an inpatient setting that consists of General Pediatrics, Pediatric Surgery Unit, Hematology/ Oncology, and the only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in our large referral area and the only dedicated pediatric Emergency Department between Rochester and Vermont.

  • Golisano Children’s Hospital offers full spectrum of ambulatory services including primary care and several nationally recognized specialty medical care programs.

B. Thomas Golisano Pavilion and Emergency Center at Rochester General Hospital

Golisano ED RGH

In 2005, Mr. Golisano continued his commitment to health care with a $9 million gift to Rochester General Hospital, helping to establish the B. Thomas Golisano Pavilion and Emergency Center, which opened in October 2009. The Emergency Department was built from the ground up to take full advantage of the latest innovations in emergency and cardiothoracic medicine, this 88,000+ square-foot facility nearly doubles the space devoted to these areas. While significantly larger, this impressive space is also designed to bring patients, medical personnel, and vital resources closer together - proximity that will both enhance and streamline patient care and safety.

Golisano Center for Emergency and Diagnostic Medicine


In November 2002, Mr. Golisano donated $5 million to Thompson Health in Canandaigua, NY. The gift will be used to create the Golisano Center for Emergency and Diagnostic Medicine.

Mercy Flight

Mercy Flight Logo

Mr. Golisano donated $1.5 million to Mercy Flight Central of Canandaigua, NY, helping to kick off the drive to purchase a new Mercy Flight helicopter. Now Mercy Flight Western New York, the independent, not-for-profit provider of emergency and non-emergency air and ground medical transport and supporting services; ensures rapid, safe and cost effective delivery of expert response teams.  Established in 1981, it has safely completed more than 26,000 patient missions over 36 years and provides around the clock care servicing all of Western New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania, Canada and beyond.