ITHACA, N.Y.—Cayuga Medical Center has announced a big boost to its cancer center, with former area resident Thomas Seaman pledging a donation of $1 million over multiple years.

According to the announcement, the money will be used to fund “equipment that improves the patient’s experience during diagnosis or treatment.” Imaging and surgical treatment enhancements are also potential uses for the money. Medical Director for Oncology Services at Cayuga Health Dr. Timothy Bael said that the investment will help the hospital maintain suitable equipment and facilities for patients.

“This generous gift, one of the largest ever made to Cayuga Health, will support the facility and equipment needs of the CCC and was made in loving memory of Mr. Seaman’s wife, Jean Seaman,” read a release from the hospital. Jean Seaman passed away in 2021 at the age of 89.

Thomas Seaman worked for Borg Warner during his career, living in Tompkins County originally in 1959 and then returning in 1969. Seaman was general manager and was in charge of the opening of the Lansing Borg Warner plant location, and has been involved in real estate development since leaving the company in 1983, according to the hospital’s announcement. Seaman splits his time between Vero Beach, Florida and Trumansburg, where he and his wife raised their four kids.

The donation, one of the largest ever received by the hospital, comes during a booming year for Cayuga Health System. The medical care provider recently absorbed Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services and Family Medicine Associates in Ithaca, and also announced plans for a stabilization center at the hospital’s location at the Shops at Ithaca Mall, which was awarded $1.5 million from the Tompkins County Recovery Fund.

A quote included from Seaman makes note of his wife’s passing as well.

“Enhancing the capabilities of Cayuga Health, particularly its cancer care, to better serve the community is a worthwhile goal, and one that the Seaman family is pleased to contribute towards,” Seaman said. “This is a way to honor Jean’s memory in a manner that supports the health system’s efforts to care for a community and region that is so important us.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief at The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at