“We do not live in isolation but as an integrative whole. Sheri and I feel strongly that this cancer center is an extension of that philosophy.”
—Roy P. Disney
Treating Mind, Body, and Spirit
By Rob Luke
On the morning of Wednesday, January 27th, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center physicians, staff and benefactors saw the unveiling of the newest, most comprehensive cancer treatment center in Southern California, the much-anticipated Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center. This four-story, 55,000-square-foot outpatient center is set to officially open this spring and caps a dream of physicians, patients and donors that spans over 25 years.
Spectacular in design, every inch of this center is dedicated to treating, not simply cancer but, the whole person comprehensively. As its credo states, the Disney Family Cancer Center is dedicated to “Treating Mind, Body, and Spirit.” With that in mind, this $36-million center will house the broadest possible panoply of treatment applications.
With the goal of treating body, mind and spirit, the Sheri and Roy P. Disney Center for Integrative Medicine will offer, in addition to utilizing the conventional radiation, chemotherapy and surgery options with the very latest technology, a complete floor reserved for complimentary Eastern-style therapies such as herbal medications, yoga, meditation, massage, nutritional counseling, meditation, acupuncture, tai chi, Qi Gong and guided imagery.
“By giving patients access to a broad range of proven therapies, we ultimately give them more control over their own destinies. We also hope to contribute to the increasing body of research that demonstrates patients using integrated therapies experience improved quality of life and better outcomes compared to patients receiving conventional therapies alone” said oncologist Lisa Schwartz, M.D., program director.
Among the host of physicians who developed the vision of this grand facility, none were more influential than Dr. Raul Mena. Fittingly, Dr. Mena will serve as the center’s medical director, co-director of its Adolescent & Young Adult Program and will lead the oncology team in clinical trials. When asked about how he first envisioned such a thorough & comprehensive cancer treatment center, the unassuming Dr. Mena referred to the many patients he has treated through the years. “This treatment facility is by no means my vision or my dream. Not at all. Rather, this facility is the vision and dream of what I heard so many of my patients tell me they wished they had, both during and after their treatment. So really, this place was designed, in a sense, by cancer patients themselves.”
Roy P. Disney, one of the center’s primary advocates as well as someone whose life has been recently impacted by cancer’s cruelty, spoke to the sheer necessity of the center for the broader So Cal area. When referring to the number of cancer patients diagnosed each year as compared to the number of cancer facilities in the Los Angeles area, he explained: “The need is simply greater than the supply… We hope this new center will serve as a beacon of hope and comfort to families facing the daunting challenge of cancer.”
“The Disney Family Cancer Center is the realization of a 25-year dream,” said Patricia Modrzejewski, president of the Providence Health & Services Foundation serving the Valley. “Without the generous support of our community and the strong leadership and participation of our Foundation Board of Governors, we would still be thinking of the cancer center as a future possibility. Instead, today, it is a reality. We just can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to the wonderful people who have supported this vision.”
Members of the Providence Saint Joseph Guild, a volunteer group, raised $1 million for the cancer center.
The new Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center is located at 181 S. Buena Vista St. If you or a loved one would like to learn more, visit www.TriumphOverCancer.org or call (888) 432-5464.