$18 million gift will expand whole-person care for patients and families facing cancer

IMAGE: Dr. Victoria Mann Simms and Ronald Simms have actually long been enthusiastic about advancing integrative medication, a technique that cares for the client as an entire individual.
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Credit: Brian Liebman

An $18 million dedication from the Simms/Mann Family Foundation, led by Dr. Victoria Mann Simms and Ronald Simms, will assistance UCLA‘s growth of integrative psychosocial care for individuals with cancer and their families into neighborhoods 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 supplies psychosocial care — generally complimentary of charge — to patients and families handling the psychological, mental and physical problems of cancer and its treatment. It is the lead gift in a brand-new project by UCLA Health to develop a $50 million endowment for the center.

Psychosocial treatment at the center includes a vast array of specific, household and group treatment — not just psychiatric care, however likewise curricula in nutrition, spiritual care, qi gong and meditation; and workshops such as recovery through art and preparing for surgical treatment. The center’s objective is to empower patients and families with assistance that boosts their general wellness as they go through the numerous difficulties of a cancer medical diagnosis.

The center’s whole-person method to care is ingrained throughout the medical care supplied by UCLA Health oncologists and nurses.

Vicki and Ron Simms found out direct about the battles that deal with cancer patients and their families when Vicki’s dad, Ted Mann, struggled with cancer and was dealt with at UCLA. The Simms household have actually long been enthusiastic about advancing integrative medication, a technique that cares for the client as an entire individual: mind, body, and spirit. Their 20-plus years of nationwide experience on the subject was the driver for moneying the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, along with developing the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center at Venice Family Clinic, the first-ever integrative medication center at a complimentary center.

In the years because its creation, the center has actually grown to end up being a nationally acknowledged design for integrative oncology care. Amongst its offerings is a well-known training program that prepares suppliers from around the U.S. in integrative psychosocial care.

The endowment will improve that training program; along with reinforcing client care at UCLA Health centers at the primary UCLA school and in Santa Monica; and expand the center’s psychosocial and integrative services into UCLA‘s neighborhood oncology centers, which presently number 16 and are anticipated to expand to 20 by 2021.

The dedication will likewise develop the Simms/Mann Family Foundation Chair in Integrative Oncology, which — as soon as authorized by the UCLA Academic Senate — will be held by the center’s medical director.

“The center’s invaluable work relies on public-private partnership,” stated Ron Simms, a California realty designer. “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.”

Vicki Simms stated, “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, stated, “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.”

To motivate other benefactors to support the center — especially its efforts throughout the varied geographical neighborhoods it will now serve — the structure’s dedication consists of a gift-matching fund of $6 million. Integrated with its generous previous presents, the structure has actually now provided more than $33 million to UCLA. In addition to their longstanding financing of the center, the Simms have actually supported other UCLA entities, consisting of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, and they are establishing advocates and board members of the Geffen Playhouse.

“Ron and Vicki are such tremendous partners,” stated Dr. John Glaspy, the center’s medical director and a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The family envisioned this center a quarter century ago, and ever since, they have played a vital role in ensuring families facing cancer have the psychological resources they need.”

The gift likewise enhances a chaplaincy in Glaspy’s honor.

“I am humbled and grateful for Vicki’s and Ron’s gift,” he stated. “It embodies their longstanding commitment — and UCLA‘s — to caring for patients and families, not just treating the symptoms of disease.”

Since its creation, the center has actually supplied care for more than 50,000 patients; held more than 310 lectures with more than 30,000 participants and online audiences from all over the world; and, because 2004, trained more than 100 fellows for oncology-based psychosocial care around the U.S.

“Our patients join us in being immensely grateful to the Simms family for their profound dedication to patient care,” stated Kauser Ahmed, the center’s director. “This incredible gift ensures that more patients and families will have the tools to maintain a sense of wellness while receiving the best medical care possible for their cancer.”


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