$18 million gift will support UCLA's expansion of integrative psychosocial cancer care

$18 million gift will support UCLA's expansion of integrative psychosocial cancer care

An $18 million commitment from the Simms/Mann Family Foundation, led by Dr. Victoria Mann Simms and Ronald Simms, will support UCLA's expansion of integrative psychosocial care for people with cancer and their families into communities throughout Southern California. The gift to UCLA Health will fund an endowment to sustain and expand the Simms/Mann–UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, which provides psychosocial care -; usually free of charge -; to patients and families dealing with the emotional, psychological and physical burdens of cancer and its treatment. It is the lead gift in a new campaign by UCLA Health to create a $50 million endowment for the center. Psychosocial treatment at the center involves a wide range of individual, family and group therapy -; not only psychiatric care, but also educational programs in nutrition, spiritual care, qi gong and meditation; and workshops such as healing through art and preparing for surgery. The center's mission is to empower patients and families with support that enhances their overall well-being as they go through the many challenges of a cancer diagnosis. The center's whole-person approach to care is embedded throughout the medical care provided by UCLA Health oncologists and nurses. Vicki and Ron Simms learned firsthand about the struggles that face cancer patients and their families when Vicki's father, Ted Mann, suffered from cancer and was treated at UCLA. The Simms family have long been passionate about advancing integrative medicine, an approach that cares for the patient as a whole person: mind, body, and spirit. Their 20-plus years of national experience on the topic was the catalyst for funding the Simms/Mann–UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, as well as creating the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center at Venice Family Clinic, the first-ever integrative medicine center at a free clinic. In the years since its inception, the center has grown to become a nationally recognized model for integrative oncology care. Among its offerings is an acclaimed training program that prepares providers from around the U.S. in integrative psychosocial care. The endowment will enhance that training program; as well as strengthening patient care at UCLA Health facilities at the main UCLA campus and in Santa Monica; and expand the center's psychosocial and integrative services into UCLA's community oncology clinics, which currently number 16 and are expected to expand to 20 by 2021. The commitment will also create the Simms/Mann Family Foundation Chair in Integrative Oncology, which -; once approved by the UCLA Academic Senate -; will be held by the center's medical director. The center's invaluable work relies on public–private partnership. UCLA has the clinical footprint and the expertise to deliver counseling alongside its best-in-class cancer care. We are grateful for UCLA'S commitment to expand access to care, enabling patients and families to receive services close to home from a truly integrated team of professionals." Ron Simms, a California real estate developer Vicki Simms said, "This is truly an exciting and timely opportunity to inspire and train patient-centered leaders and professionals to work together to transform the delivery of cancer care to our communities. This partnership with UCLA reflects our mutual belief: Everyone should have access to excellent health care services that focus on the whole person." Johnese Spisso, CEO of the UCLA Hospital System and president of UCLA Health, said: For decades, the Simms–Mann family have been tireless advocates for a team approach to patient and family-centered care. Vicki's and Ron's pledge is further evidence of their commitment to world-class cancer care by addressing the psychological, social and physical well-being of patients and their loved ones during intense treatment. We are so grateful to have their visionary partnership in our impactful work." Related Stories



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