The Coleman Foundation has a long-standing commitment to funding cancer care service. It has contributed over $30 million to support cancer treatment and patient services in the Chicago area over the past 36 years.

Recently, national cancer organizations such as the Institute of Medicine and the Commission on Cancer recognized the outsized role supportive oncology can play in improving cancer care and recommended supportive service delivery. This affirmed the Coleman Foundation’s long-held belief that supportive oncology services improve patients’ quality of life, improve quality of care, and frequently lead to reduced costs of care and to patients living longer. The time was right to launch a major initiative.

The Foundation convened Chicago-area cancer-care providers to learn what gaps prevented all cancer patients from receiving supportive services. This work led to the Supportive Oncology Collaborative, which Coleman funded to pursue the important work of designing and testing process improvements, creating screening tools and training, and advocating with payers to cover supportive care services.

Coleman initiated a Pediatric Supportive Oncology Collaborative one year later to work towards improving supportive care services for children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer.

A shortage of professional medical team members trained in primary palliative care led the Foundation to create a Palliative Medicine Training Program. This is a unique collaborative program that has trained over 100 professionals across 25 local institutions, most of them members of the SOC. The program focuses on the interdisciplinary team — training and mentoring physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains.

The Coleman Foundation was established in 1951 by the original owners of Fannie May Candies. The Foundation also supports programs for people with developmental disabilities and entrepreneurship education programs.