Giving - Office of Development and Alumni Relations

Tampa philanthropist, Mary T. Pipino, makes $25,000 gift to USF Health to create Pandemic Research & Response Fund, makes additional $25,000 gift for coronavirus research

Updated as of April 9, 2020

Tampa, FL (April 2, 2020) – Tampa philanthropist Mary T. Pipino has made a $25,000 gift to USF Health to support its research efforts and fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has affected the lives of millions. The gift will establish the USF Health Pandemic Research & Response Fund, which will support the immediate and long-term needs to prevent, treat and train for a pandemic response. On April 3, Pipino committed another $25,000 to the Pandemic Research & Response fund, designated specifically for COVID-19 research efforts at USF Health.

Mary T. Pippino

Mary T. Pippino

An alumna of USF, Mary T. Pipino is an Executive Vice President and President of Real Estate Risk Management for Beecher Carlson Insurance Services, LLC, a large account risk management company.  Formerly, Mary was President and CEO of the Donald P. Pipino Company, a premier real estate risk management and insurance firm started by her father in 1952.  Pipino is also a certified fitness instructor, owner of Fitnesst Enterprises and founder and owner of Featherss dark chocolate. Her passion for health and wellness, as well as her connection to USF, led her to support USF Health and the Tampa Bay community in this critical time of concern for public health.

“USF Health has great talent that can be leveraged to have significant impact on this most devastating virus under the exemplary leadership of Dr. Charles Lockwood,” said Pipino.

USF Health researchers, such as those in the Departments of Radiology and Infectious Diseases, are working tirelessly to fill the swab shortage for COVID-19 tests and have developed 3D swabs that will allow for the creation of testing kits, with hopes of manufacturing a few thousand in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, USF Health physicians and nurses are on the frontlines conducting COVID-19 testing at the Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare and the USF Health South Tampa Center for Advanced Healthcare.

“If there was ever a demand for grit, it’s right now, and it is to be able to see this as a challenge. We will overcome it and become better and stronger by the time it’s over,” said Dr. Charles Lockwood, Senior Vice President for USF Health and Dean of Morsani College of Medicine.

The creation of USF Health Pandemic Research & Response Fund will allow the university to more effectively combat the COVID-19 outbreak and allow Tampa Bay community members to lend a helping hand to frontline responders by making a gift to the fund.

“If you are interested in donating to conquer COVID-19 and its devastation, know that this is a very passionate and driven team that combines the talent and resources of the most highly respected and credentialed medical professionals with the interdisciplinary academic talent of USF and USF Health,” said Pipino.

Visit to help USF Health fight the coronavirus by making a gift of any size to its Pandemic Research & Response Fund.

-USF Health-

USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the Taneja College of Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, and the USF Physicians Group. USF Health is an integral part of the University of South Florida, a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. For more information, visit