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Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation, Inc.

A History of Caring and a Partnership of Excellence

aka Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation, Inc.   |   McAllen, TX   |  www.vanniecook.org

Mission

The mission of the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation, Inc. is to serve the needs of South Texas residents by supporting cancer-related patient services, programs, research and education. Since 2000, the sole purpose of the foundation has been to provide financial and in-kind support to the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children's Cancer and Hematology Clinic to ensure that local children who suffer from cancer and blood diseases receive the most up-to-date care and treatment, close to home, and regardless of ability to pay.

Ruling year info

1972

Executive Director

Ms Laura Martinez Ilgun

Main address

101 W. Expressway 83

McAllen, TX 78503 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7175760

NTEE code info

Cancer (G30)

Cancer Research (H30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 2000, the leadership of the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation, Inc., realized a critical need for quality pediatric cancer and hematology care in the Rio Grande Valley region of South Texas. Parents had little option up to this time other than to leave the comfort of family and friends to seek treatment hundreds of miles away. The majority of local children diagnosed with cancer and serious blood disorders in the region came from low-income households, unable to pay for the costly care and treatment that would give their seriously-ill child a chance to survive. No one ever imagined the demand for local childhood cancer services would be so great and in response the Vannie Cook Clinic opened in 2001, in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital. In that first year, it was projected that 100 patients would be seen when in fact over 400 were treated and the numbers continue to grow at an alarming rate each year.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Access to Pediatric Cancer and Hematology Care and Treatment, Close to Home

In 2000, the leadership of the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation, Inc. realized a critical and unmet need in South Texas for pediatric cancer and hematology care and treatment. In 2001 and in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas, the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children's Cancer and Hematology Clinic was opened in McAllen, Texas to address this void in local healthcare services. Prior to opening, children battling these life-threatening diseases were treated in centers hundreds of miles away, just for a chance to survive. The Clinic remains the premier pediatric cancer facility in the region. Four full-time, board certified, pediatric oncologists/hematologists care for hundreds of children each year. More than 11,500 children, primarily of Hispanic heritage and low-income, have been seen at the Clinic and not one has ever been denied care for their families ability to pay.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Baylor College of Medicine & Texas Children's Hospital 2000

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation's primary goal is to provide all patients seen at the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children's Cancer and Hematology Clinic in McAllen, Texas, and soon in Brownsville, Texas, with the high-quality care and treatment they need for a chance to survive; without the need to leave home and regardless of their family's financial capacity to pay. In addition, the Foundation is committed to providing free use of the 28,000 square foot state-of-the-art medical facility; pay all expenses related to building maintenance, utilities and housekeeping; maintain a dedicated Board of Directors, strong management and leadership; and, strive to improve its financial position so that it can make significant monetary contributions to the Vannie Cook Clinic for operations, patient programs and services.

To achieve these goals with effective results, the Foundation has aligned with the some of the best healthcare institutions in the country - Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, both in Houston, Texas. Baylor is one of the leading private medical schools in the southern United States and Texas Children's Cancer Center is ranked #2 in the United States for pediatric cancer care and treatment and research. It's medical director, Dr. Susan Blaney, also oversees patient services and operations at the Vannie Cook Clinic, guaranteeing care and treatment for local children that is second to none. With financial assistance from the Foundation, the Board and other donors and supporters, the Vannie Cook Clinic has been able to grow and remain in operation for over 20 years. The full-time, board-certified pediatric oncologists/hematologists have seen over 11,500 young patients and to date not one child has ever been turned away or denied care. To remain true to the goals, meet the objectives and continue to achieve positive outcomes, the Foundation maintains strong relationships in the non-profit, medical, civic and corporate sectors of the community and focuses on fundraising to secure support through major gifts, donations, grants and planned gifts remains a top priority.

The Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation has a long, fifty- year history in south Texas. Its mission has always been to provide the best care available for the treatment of cancer and serious blood disorders, initially for adults but since 2000 for children and youth. Its mark on the community has had an important and significant impact, improving healthcare overall and attracting skilled and compassionate physicians, nurses, technicians and leadership. One of its greatest assets throughout the years has been its dedicated Board of Directors, comprised of prominent community leaders with the connections and resources to oversee the Foundation's finances, partnerships, policies and procedures and to insure excellence in its operations in order to advance its mission. To strengthen the work on the Foundation, in 2019 it engaged the services of a non-profit consulting firm to assist with strategic planning, an operations plan and fundraising efforts for the purpose of planning for the future, long-term growth and financial sustainability.

In 2001, the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation, Inc. helped open the first, and still only, facility in the Rio Grande Valley dedicated to caring for local children who have cancer or serious blood diseases. Prior to the opening of the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children's Cancer and Hematology Clinic, children battling these life-threatening diseases were treated in centers hundreds of miles away, just for a chance to survive. In instances where parents could not leave their families and homes and jobs behind to travel with a sick child, these children were often left untreated and eventually succumbed to their devastating illness. This is no longer the case and now all children are given a chance to receive life-saving treatment for a chance to survive.

The Clinic, with significant support from the Foundation, has become the premier facility in South Texas for the care and treatment of pediatric oncology and hematology. In addition to diagnostic services and leading-edge therapies for pediatric cancer, the Clinic provides other programs vital to positive outcomes for children and their families including a Psychosocial Support Program; a Long Term Survivor Program; In-House Laboratory Services; COG Clinical Trials; Flow-Cytometry and Childhood Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research. In its seventeen years of operation, the Clinic staff has cared for more than 10,000 patients - more than four times the patient demand originally anticipated when the Clinic first opened. The high number of patients seen accounts for more than 93,000 total patient visits. Eighty-five percent of all the Vannie Cook Clinic patients are low-income or indigent and more than ninety percent are of Hispanic heritage. Patients come from all over the Rio Grande Valley, northern Mexico and as far away as Laredo, Texas.

As a result of significant philanthropic support, even during the Covid pandemic, prudent investments and transparent accountability to our donors, the Vannie Cook Cancer Foundation has been able to remain true to its mission and purpose.

Financials

Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 03/06/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mrs Kathy Collins

Rioco/Mayfair Minerals

Term: 2024 - 2025


Board co-chair

Mr James Brown

Retired/JC Brown, Inc.

Term: 2024 - 2025

Jack Ewing

Ewing, Lara LLP

Stephanie M. Wilson

Realtor- Keller William Realty

Ana Bergh

Retired Attorney

Patty Fallek

Community Volunteer

Mary F. Francis

Liason/Doctor Hospital Renaissance

Juan A. Garcia, Jr.

Wealth Advisor - North Securities, Inc.

Jennifer Garza, MD

Pediatric Surgeon

Daniel G. Gurwitz

Attorney

Shannon Honrubia

Community Volunteer

Melissa L. Jalomo

Business Owner - Sports Training Facility

Edward Requenez, MD

Pediatric Anesthesiologist

Alicia C. Vela

Community Volunteer

Patricia G. Vela

Educator-Our Lady of Sorrows

Jennifer Yarto

Community Volunteer

S. Foss Jones

Retired Business Owner

Ronnie Tavarez

Wealth Advisor - Frost Bank

Bennie Thompson

Community Volunteer

Juan Carlos Bernini, MD

Physician - Vannie Cook Children's Clinic

Rodrigo Erana, MD

Physician - Vannie Cook Children's Clinic

Melissa Martinez-Smith

Business Owner

Dru La Mantia

Community Volunteer

Mark Magnon

Commeriacal Leader/ Banker

Melissa Mikulk

Business Owner

Jennifer Collins Stone

Community Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes