The Health Support Network, Inc. (Center for Building Hope)
5481 Communications Pkwy
Sarasota FL 34240-8476

The Center for Building Hope offers free information, programs and services to cancer patients, caregivers and family members, while connecting them with others who are undergoing a similar experience.

CEO/Executive Director TBD Executive Director
Board Chair interim Carol Ann Kalish
Board Chair Affiliation Sarasota Memorial Hospital
General Info
Organization DBA
Center for Building Hope
Brides Against Breast Cancer
Supported Organization
Former Names
Cancer Support Community Florida Suncoast
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1994
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Sept 2015
State Registration Yes June 2017
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $1,000,000.00
Projected Expenses $990,000.00
Impact Statement

Compassion, high standards and rock-solid governance provide a solid foundation for the Center for Building Hope to make a life-changing impact on the lives of millions of people anywhere impacted by cancer.

No longer will anyone have to face cancer alone. is now providing free programs and services to cancer patients, along with their caregivers and other family members.

High-quality online videos are based on extensive research and are produced in collaboration with multiple partners in the medical community. Programs include content relevant to multiple types of cancer – nutrition, exercise, stress reduction techniques, etc. – as well as up-to-date cancer-specific information.

All programs will be available anywhere, anytime on any web-based device. The programs are currently aimed at the 14 million cancer survivors living in the United States, plus their family members and other caregivers. This number is projected to grow to nearly 20 million cancer survivors in 10 years, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Although in-person support provides optimum benefits to those impacted by cancer, modern technology offers other advantages. For example, there is now overwhelming data that better self-care increases life quality and causes positive changes even at the molecular level. The latest video animation capabilities actually demonstrate the impact of stress reduction, proper nutrition and exercise inside the human body.

The Center for Building Hope is the production and content management provider for the The Health Support is working with great partners to deliver the latest evidence-based cancer support content, and it will continue to partner with world class health care providers to extend the quantity and quality of cancer information and resources.

All those impacted by cancer deserve the best cancer information and support available regardless of their situation or location. It is now available at

Needs Statement

Currently, the five biggest needs of the Center for Building Hope include:

1. Extend awareness of our free services globally in order to touch the lives of more cancer patients, and expand our existing programs.

2. Retire our debt

3. Build a reserve

4. Expand our content and distribution for the Health Support Network to provide education, support to people impacted by cancer anywhere, on demand.
Background Statement

The Center for Building Hope is a non-profit organization that provides FREE psychological, social and educational services for cancer patients, their loved ones and caregivers. With professionally-led support groups and educational workshops, people impacted by cancer learn vital skills to restore hope regardless of the stage of their disease. Our free programs include: support groups for cancer patients, families of patients and caregivers, programs for children, networking groups, individual counseling, workshops with physicians and other experts, exercise programs and nutritional programs.  Our recent affiliation with the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital, a world leader in the study, advancement, and clinical practice of mind/body medicine, supports those principles and is the foundation of our programs. 

Our state-of-the-art facility is an optimal healing environment for people affected by cancer.  Surrounded by healing gardens, it is a model facility that serves thousands of program participants, as well as being an educational site for green architecture, that combines healing arts, design and nature.


Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
FL- Charlotte
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Health Care
Secondary Org Type Human Services
Tertiary Org Type Human Services
Cancer, Cancer Support, Health Support Network, Health Network, Brides Against Breast Cancer, Brides, Cancer Education, Children & Family Support, CSC, Wellness
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

The Center For Building Hope has the remarkable mission of providing the highest quality programs and services to people affected by cancer, free of charge.  We help build and sustain a community whose activities range from nutrition counseling to exercise to health information and numerous other programs that improve well-being.  The unifying thread of these services is that we offer a place where all are welcome, and where all can find and share a spirit of hope.  We are privileged to share this journey with all who come here.

None of this would be possible without the support and encouragement of our donors and volunteers.  Thank you.  Nor would it be possible without the dedication and efforts of our staff, both clinical and administrative, who continue to amaze us with their talent, energy, creativity and determination.  Thank you.

Our mission continues.We will continue to strive to support those impacted by cancer with greater clarity, purpose and ambition.  Many billions of dollars will continue to be spent to advance the science of diagnosis and treatment of cancer.  As a society, we need to continue those efforts.  At the same time, while scientists and clinicians battle the disease in laboratories and hospitals, we focus on people and how we can empower them to live their lives to the fullest in every aspect of their daily life.

The resources devoted to helping the real lives of people are, unfortunately, woefully short. Now we are focused on how we can deliver our services to a broader community, well beyond the bricks and mortar boundary of our present footprint.  With the tools of video and high speed internet, we have prepared our first steps down that path, The Health Support Network Online.  There will be much learning along the way about how we can most effectively deliver programs and services, but we are committed to that path because that is where the need is.

We all know people impacted by cancer, both those with the disease and their spouses, parents, children, siblings, and other loved ones whose lives are affected by it.  Beyond the walls where those diagnoses get made, there is usually fear and many questions.  There is also joy and hope.  We see it every day at the Center for Building Hope.  We invite you to visit and learn more about the important work we do and the lives we touch.  Learn also how you can help.  We welcome all who share this journey of hope.

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

We offer 150 FREE monthly programs and services that provide urgent and critical support and information to adults, families and caregivers dealing with cancer. Programs include weekend overnight camps, Healing Hearts Bereavement Camp for children who have lost a loved one to cancer and F.L.I.G.H.T. (Families Laughing In Groups Healing Together) for children who have cancer. Additional programs include nutritional, educational, individual and family counseling and exercise programs (yoga, qigong, tai chi and cancer recovery) crucial to all issues pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment and support for people impacted by cancer. Participants learn vital skills needed to restore health and hope regardless of the stage of their disease. All programs are supervised by licensed mental health counselors. Programs are held at our main Sarasota campus or at satellite sites in Newtown, Bradenton, Venice, Port Charlotte and Longboat Key.
Budget $283,000
Category Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served People/Families of People with Cancer Families Families
Short Term Success
  • Immediate sense of connection
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced sense of isolation
  • Improved sense of hopefulness
  • Empowered with knowledge
Long Term Success
Success is measured by Participant Surveys.  Participants are surveyed in a number of categories and all categories are compiled and evaluated for any needed adjustments.  
Program Success Monitoring
Annual Census Outcome Management System
Program Success Examples

Based on these measures, it is clear that our model is very successful in providing the services needed by cancer patients. We presently serve approximately 200 first-time visitors every month.  Our hours of support grew from 1,600 hours per month in 2011, to 2,650 hours per month in 2013. Another indicator of our impact is a rise in the number of sessions offered from 264 in 2011 to 343 in 2013.  Some of our participants visit a few times a month, others come several times per week.  The growth of our organization speaks to the success of our ability to create a supportive, educational community for those impacted by cancer.


Health Support Network Online (HSN Online) is designed specifically for people in Sarasota County, seasonal participants, and people throughout the country who are dealing with cancer. HSN Online is a series of high quality videos on cancer education, nutrition and exercise delivered via the internet and available anytime, anywhere and on any device. Videos can be viewed at

Budget $150,000
Category Human Services, General/Other Human Services, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served People/Families of People with Cancer Families US& International
Short Term Success Our short term success is gauged by increasing the distribution of program materials to anyone impacted by a cancer diagnosis anywhere. Success is monitored by the growing number of people receiving materials from our organization that help to enhance their quality of life.  It is measured by the number of times people watch our videos, visit our website and by the number of videos we produce.
Long Term Success Our long term success would ensure that no one has to face cancer alone. Success would be tracked by analytics of the Health Support Network website.
Program Success Monitoring The success will be measured by the number of visits to the website and self-purported survey questions.
Program Success Examples

The Health Support Network provides educational materials for people impacted by cancer globally, and promotes awareness through the National Tour of Gowns. Consumers participate in yoga, tai chi, qigong and meditation to enhance the quality of their lives.  Additionally, they are making educated decisions pertaining to their care and nutritional choices. We are currently working on this data.

Program Comments by Organization
Center for Building Hope's future is bright, we are a mission focused organization, providing non-medical related programs for people dealing with cancer.  Our ultimate goal is to take one of life's biggest challenges--a diagnosis of cancer--and turn the resulting fear into hope, the resulting confusion into knowledge and the resulting sense of isolation into a sense of community. We create an environment that offers an eternal symbol of health and hope and a bridge from diagnosis to recovery.
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director TBD Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Mrs. Jami Bickhardt Marketing Director
Ms. Fern Buchler Major Gifts
Karen Cubberley Special Events Director
Ms. Andrea Feldmar, LLPC Program Direcror
Ms. Laurel Healy, LCSW Clinical Specialist
Ms. Nancy Hendricks Operations Director
Troy Jones Office Manager
Ms. Amy Paulishak Senior Vice President
Mya Widmyer Communications Director
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 30
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 80
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 24
Volunteers 7000
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes

Center for Building Hope Collaborations

The Center for Building Hope works with numerous non-profits, medical institutions and community organizations.

Medical Organizations and Health Professionals

We rely on many physicians to provide medical educational programs. These physicians are often affiliated with Doctors Hospital, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Blake Hospital and Manatee Memorial Hospital.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital is a committed partner to Center for Building Hope. They provide staff who support a New Town group as well as leading a monthly networking group at the Center. Blake Medical Center also collaborates with Center for Building Hope by hosting educational and exercise programs on their site. In the past year, Doctors Hospital hosted Center for Building Hope educational programs at their site. Additionally, Center for Building Hope offers internship opportunities for FSU medical students as well as other graduate level students. More than a dozen local physicians serve on our medical resource council and provide cancer related educational workshops.

Program Partners

The following partners have donated personnel, materials and/or space to make Center for Building Hope programs possible: Saks Fifth Avenue, Manatee Educational Television, Tri Delta Alumnae Association, Aloe Organic Farms, Breast Investigators, Florida Cancer Specialists, Keetons, Clara’s Clay, Lasting Looks of Sarasota, Laughing Lunches, Moffitt Cancer Center, Legal Aid of Manasota, In the Pink, Walgreens, Publix, Renaissance Center, Jacaranda Trace, North Sarasota Library, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Longboat Island Chapel, Partners in the Healing Hearts Camp for children including Suncoast Kids, Children’s Cancer Center and Foundation of Dreams Camp.

Community Organizations

Multiple Sarasota and Manatee service organizations such as Rotary and Kiwanis provide ongoing financial support for programs and outreach opportunities. Other organizations include: Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Wilson Wood Foundation, Manatee Memorial Hospital Foundation, Sarasota Community Foundation, Sarasota Memorial Health Care Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation and Lakewood Ranch Community Fund.

External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
National Organizations Quality Assurance Review2006
Gold LEED Certified for New ConstructionU. S. Green Building Council2011
Florida Friendly Landscape Gold AwardUniversity of Florida2012
Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Non-Profit Organization of the YearThe Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce2013
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan Yes
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan Yes
Policies and Procedures Yes
Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Management Comments by Organization

A major theme of Center for Building Hope operations has been growth  growth in the number of people we serve and in the number of professionally-led programs and services we offer them.  Since the opening of our Lakewood Ranch facility in October, 2010, we have tripled our number of participants.  We now have about 2,000 individuals who attend one or more of our programs on a regular basis. 

We also have experienced a dramatic increase in the variety of free information and support we offer to cancer patients, their caregivers and other family members, particularly children.  We are offering even more cancer-specific support groups, exercise classes, nutrition programs and a wide range of creative stress reduction opportunities.  Of course, we continue to offer multiple education seminars in which medical professionals provide up-to-date information on research, treatments and medical trials.

All this growth and these free services are very helpful to families impacted by cancer.  However, the growth has been accompanied by the need for a substantial increase in funds.  And the current philanthropic environment and the enormous competition for donor dollars locally convinced us it was time to explore more non-traditional fundraising sources.  In the past year, this resulted in an increase in the number and types of fundraising techniques and events, as well as the acquisition of a national non-profit organization.

In December, 2011, we acquired most of the assets of Brides Against Breast Cancer (BABC) and moved the operation from Portland, OR, to a new location in Lakewood Ranch. BABC offered us a simple, mission-compatible business model:  Bridal gowns are donated by individuals, bridal shops, manufacturers and designers.  We sell these new and gently-used gowns – at significant discounts – at bridal shows around the country.

The revenue generated by BABC is making a significant contribution to our mission of delivering free services to hundreds more families locally.  We also partner with local cancer support organizations in the communities we visit, sharing revenues from bridal shows and expanding outreach services and information to families touched by cancer in those markets.

Like our foundation partners, we believe this approach offers a creative new model for non-profit support.  In fact, Gulf Coast Community Foundation provided a low-interest loan which covered the initial acquisition and start-up costs for BABC and in October, 2012, they provided a second loan which is allowing us to expedite expansion of our Tour of Gowns to 200 shows per year.  This is a true example of “multiplication philanthropy,” as each dollar of current capacity investment will be multiplied for years to come.

Finally, I would like to mention another important aspect of our growth this year – our professional growth.  Our mission requires more than just being able to meet the future demand for our free services.  Our board and staff are committed to being the best at delivering psycho-social support to individuals affected by cancer.  Thus, in May, 2012, we announced a new affiliation with Massachusetts General Hospital and its Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.

The training our clinical staff already is receiving from Harvard Medical School’s largest teaching hospital is helping us to further enhance the quality and range of our multiple mind-body programs and services.  Combined with new and continuing affiliations with local hospitals and medical practices, our collaborative approach will help ensure that we continue to deliver the best psycho-social support available anywhere.

Management Comments by Foundation
Board Chair
Board Chair interim Carol Ann Kalish
Company Affiliation Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Board Term Aug 2015 to Aug 2016
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. Gerald Biller Private Equity-Principle
Dr. Dwight Fitch 21st Century Oncology
Ms. Carol Ann Kalish Attorney at Law
Ms. Beth Knopik Femme Rouge Magazine
Mr. Brian Mariash Merrill Lynch
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Board Meeting Attendance % 70
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2015
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $1,000,000.00
Projected Expenses $990,000.00
Endowment Value
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Policy %
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years?
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$1,790,488$2,570,087$2,472,541
Investment Income, Net of Losses$206$90$1,519
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$634,144$230,187$185,552
Revenue In-Kind$1,049,085$1,982,003$1,658,881
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$3,109,542$2,558,174$1,668,598
Administration Expense$304,408$285,953$237,045
Fundraising Expense$634,543$519,294$492,559
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.810.961.14
Program Expense/Total Expenses77%76%70%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue26%18%19%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$8,831,834$9,636,956$9,078,317
Current Assets$2,451,063$3,018,199$2,570,077
Long-Term Liabilities$3,242,046$3,408,582$3,036,700
Current Liabilities$546,628$447,764$139,624
Total Net Assets$4,993,188$5,780,610$5,901,993
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $1,790,488Contributions, gifts, grants $2,570,087Contributions, gifts, grants $2,472,541
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountBABC Registration Fees $772,420Other $396,417Fundraising $185,552
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $634,144Fundraising $230,187Net income from sale of assets other than inventory $32,227
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities4.486.7418.41
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets37%35%33%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial figures are from IRS Form 990 and audit documents. Form 990s and audits reconcile. Foundation & corporate support taken from audited financial statements as these numbers are not separately stated on the Federal 990s.
Nonprofit The Health Support Network, Inc. (Center for Building Hope)
Address 5481 Communications Pkwy
Sarasota, FL 342408476
Primary Phone 941 921-5539