Sandra and Leon Levine are change makers. Over the years, they have embraced and nurtured the Charlotte community, providing philanthropic support that has changed the face of the arts, religious facilities, medical science research facilities and educational facilities.

No matter where you are, you can look up and likely find a building with their name on it or a charitable organization that would not exist without their generous support.

In 2010, the Levines took the first step in changing the course of cancer care with a $20 million leadership gift to establish the Levine Cancer Institute. This commitment from the Leon Levine Foundation – its largest to date – is also the largest gift ever received by Carolinas HealthCare System. To honor this extraordinary support from the Levine family, Carolinas HealthCare Foundation and community volunteers have pledged to raise $5 million in endowment funds in support of the Institute – representing a total commitment of $25 million.

The formation of Levine Cancer Institute is part of a compelling new vision to foster major innovations in cancer treatment by working closely with CHS-affiliated organizations to enhance the quality and convenience of cancer care for patients across the Carolinas.

Leon Levine, Founder and Chairman of Family Dollar Stores, shares this vision: “Cancer is a disease that touches virtually every family in the United States. It is important for us to take a national leadership role in building a research and treatment model that provides enhanced benefits and offers more hope to more people.”

To help carry out the vision, CHS recruited a nationally renowned physician, Derek Raghavan, M.D., Ph.D., to lead LCI. In addition to building a medical team, he will help initiate new programs and protocols that will significantly improve the quality of services available at community-based CHS hospitals throughout North and South Carolina.

Initial funding will also be used to create a headquarters facility in Charlotte on the campus of Carolinas Medical Center, where clinical activity will focus heavily on rare and complex cancer conditions, in conjunction with extensive research and educational endeavors.

In terms of outreach, the Institute will build upon the achievements of cancer treatment centers already established throughout CHS. It will serve as the catalyst for sharing preventive strategies and best practices on a system-wide basis and foster easier access to clinical trials and shared access to the latest clinical research.

Patients will no longer have to travel long distances to receive comprehensive and highly sophisticated care.

“Levine Cancer Institute is a true landmark event in our organization’s history,” said Michael C. Tarwater, CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System, “and it would not be possible without the generosity of Leon and Sandra Levine.”

Because of the Levines’ leadership and vision, the change is underway. For years to come, families in the Carolinas will benefit from their philanthropic spirit, as they find medical expertise, hope and inspiration at Levine Cancer Institute.