SAINT JOHN’S HEALTH CENTER FOUNDATION
ROGER WACKER TAKES THE HELM ON THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES PACIFIC NEUROSCIENCE INSTITUTE
AN EAR, NOSE AND THROAT DOCTOR TRACKS HIS PATIENTS’ RECOVERY—AND THEIR SATISFACTION PROVIDENCE SAINT JOHN’S HEALTH CENTER
T H E M A G A Z I N E O F S A I N T J O H N ’ S H E A LT H C E N T E R F O U N D AT I O N Summer 2022
NEW ADVANCES TO TREAT PELVIC FLOOR DISORDERS
Special Delivery Saint John’s physicians help a cancer patient give birth to a healthy daughter.
SAINT JOHN’S CANCER INSTITUTE
THANK YOU BRENDA AND ALAN BORSTEIN for your generous support of Saint John’s Cancer Institute
We will never forget the impactful gift made by Brenda and Alan Borstein, in support of melanoma research with the establishment of the Borstein Melanoma Program. When you give a gift to Saint John’s Health Center Foundation, you can help fund the kind of innovative care that results in cures and improves quality of life. Your gift will make a lasting change, helping others for generations to come.
Please give now at SaintJohnsFoundation.org or call 310-829-8424, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
4 . Welcome from the Foundation 6 . Health for a Better World 8 . Saint John’s Adds a Surgical Breast Fellowship
10 . Q&A: Roger Wacker Talks About the Foundation Board of Trustees 34 . Planned Giving: A Devoted Daughter Honors Her Parents 36 . Proudly Announcing Our New Trustees 40 . Events
FEATURES 12 . Following Her Lead
Annie Clausen wanted to have a baby and beat cancer. Saint John’s physicians have helped make that possible.
16 . Not Only Treatable But Curable
A range of new solutions can help women plagued by pelvic floor disorders.
20 . Seeking to Make an Impact
A gift from the Borstein family will fund nextgeneration research on melanoma.
24 . The Big Payoff
Early work at Saint John’s on cancer immunotherapy has led to astonishing advances.
28 . A Focus on Seniors
Support from the Community Impact Fund helps WISE & Healthy Aging do what they do best.
32 . Learning From Patients
Otolaryngologist Evan Walgama conducts research to improve the patient experience.
On the Cover: Annie Clausen, who is being treated for colorectal cancer, cherishes family time.
EDIT OR IA L ST A F F President and CEO, Saint John's Health Center Foundation
Robert O. Klein Chief Executive, Providence Saint John's Health Center
Michael Ricks Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Saint John's Health Center Foundation
If you have a change of address or no longer wish to receive SJHC Foundation communications, please let us know by calling 310-829-8424, faxing 310-315-6127, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to Director, Data Management, Saint John's Health Center Foundation, 2121 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404.
VP, Branded Media: Emily S. Baker Creative Director: Ajay Peckham Editor: Shari Roan Copy Editor: Laura Watts Contributors: Patrick J. Kiger, Nancy Steiner, Nancy Brands Ward Photographers: Phillip Graybill, Michael Neveux, Matthew Smith Managing Partners: Charles C. Koones, Todd Klawin
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WELCOME FROM THE FOUNDATION
“It’s a miracle!” That phrase is used so casually nowadays that we don’t always appreciate the magnitude of those words. At Saint John’s Health Center Foundation, we see the impact of miracles thanks to dedicated medical professionals, new technologies, generous donors and brave patients who make saving, improving and prolonging lives possible. In this issue, we share inspirational stories about medical pioneers and those benefiting from the life-changing science that makes modern-day miracles happen. In 2019, four months pregnant with her second baby, Annie Clausen received the heart-wrenching news that she had stage IV colon cancer. “Saving Two Lives” tells the remarkable story of Clausen’s strength and determination to save her life as well as her baby’s. Saint John’s gastrointestinal cancer surgeon Anton J. Bilchik, MD, developed the protocol to help Clausen receive vital treatments and deliver her baby girl. Clausen’s diagnosis, when she was only 34 years old, is an example of an alarming trend of colon cancer being detected in younger adults. Philanthropy helps Dr. Bilchik and his research team fund investigations and encourage early detection. Three decades ago, faced with the grim diagnosis of metastatic melanoma, Jack Bellevue sought to find doctors who would improve his chances for survival. His quest led him to Donald L. Morton, MD, at Saint John’s. “Pioneers in Immunotherapy” is a fascinating story demonstrating how Dr. Morton was ahead of his time using immunotherapy to treat cancer. Now at age 92, Bellevue encourages funding to continue the extraordinary research that saved his life and the lives of many others. You can also read about helpful tips for staying healthy while traveling this summer, new advances for women to treat pelvic floor disorders, and how WISE & Healthy Aging in Santa Monica helps seniors with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. We spotlight new research from otolaryngologist Evan S. Walgama, MD, and introduce some of our philanthropists as well as nine new trustees. Please read our interview with the new chairman of the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation board of trustees, Roger Wacker. While summer is a great time to get away, relax and enjoy the sunshine, rest assured that with your generosity, the professionals at Saint John’s will keep working to discover lifesaving miracles.
ROBERT O. KLEIN
President and CEO, Saint John’s Health Center Foundation
Chief Executive, Providence Saint John’s Health Center, Saint John’s Cancer Institute
Chair, Saint John’s Health Center Foundation Board of Trustees
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L to R: Robert Klein, Michael Ricks, Roger Wacker
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HIT T H E R OA D After two years of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, this summer stands to become one of the busiest travel seasons in recent memory. But should you travel? Is it safe? Here’s a short guide with advice and helpful resources. • Delay travel until you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. • Check your destination’s COVID-19 infection rates and restrictions. • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth may be required in indoor areas of public transportation. • Do not travel if you’re sick, test positive for COVID-19, haven’t ended isolation, have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 or are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. • If you are not up to date on your COVID-19 vaccination and must travel, get tested before and after your trip. • Prepare to be flexible, as restrictions may change during your trip.
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DID YOU KNOW?
HEALTH FOR A BETTER WORLD
THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION ADVISES PEOPLE NOT TO TRAVEL UNTIL A FULL 10 DAYS AFTER THEIR SYMPTOMS STARTED OR THE DATE THEIR POSITIVE TEST WAS TAKEN IF THEY HAD NO SYMPTOMS.
INT ERNAT IO NAL T O URIST ARRIVALS +3.8% 2020
Source: World Tourism Organization
* If you are flying, wear an N95 mask.
INT E R N A T ION A L TR A VE L ADVICE • Be fully vaccinated. • Follow all CDC recommendations before, during and after travel. • Make contingency plans, as you may find yourself having to remain in a foreign country longer than originally planned. • Check your destination’s COVID-19 situation and travel requirements before traveling. Countries may have
T H E A RT O F HEALING An art consultant has come on board to obtain and select artwork to decorate the rooms and corridors of Providence Saint John’s Health Center.
Variety of form and brilliancy of color in the objects presented to patients are actual means of recovery.” —Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing
FACT Several studies have shown that the presence of art correlates with patient satisfaction and even some health outcomes, such as the length of a hospital stay and reduced physical discomfort.
their own entry and exit requirements. • When you travel to the United States by air, you
Specialists at Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center became the first in the nation to treat a patient with recurrent glioblastoma—an aggressive form of cancer in the brain—with a treatment called electronic intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). IORT allows radiation oncologists and surgeons to deliver radiation treatment to the patient during the same surgery meant to remove the tumor. It substantially accelerates the access to radiation treatment that would normally start several weeks after surgery. SAINT JOHN’S IS PART OF A NATIONWIDE PHASE II CLINICAL TRIAL OF THE TECHNOLOGY WITH SANTOSH KESARI, MD, PHD, SERVING AS LEAD INVESTIGATOR. DR. KESARI IS A CHAIR AND PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSLATIONAL NEUROSCIENCES AND NEUROTHERAPEUTICS AT THE SAINT JOHN’S CANCER INSTITUTE.
are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before you board your flight. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
PIO NEERING WO RK ON B RAIN T UMO RS
all hospitals, hospices and nursing centers invest in paintings and sculptures. Source: American Hospital Association
Treating a patient suffering from glioblastoma with IORT is an incredible achievement for everyone involved, especially for PNI and our Saint John’s Cancer Institute, which work tirelessly to push the boundaries of innovation in the medical field.” —Michael Ricks, chief executive, Providence Saint John’s Health Center
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A Super Showing at Pacific Neuroscience Institute Half of the Pacific Neuroscience Institute faculty has been named a Super Doctor or Rising Star, according to ratings released earlier this year. Super Doctor Awards recognize health care providers for outstanding excellence in their area of focus. These awards are the highest-ranking doctor awards in the nation. Less than 5% of doctors in a state or region make the list annually. The evaluation consists of an extensive review of a physician’s years of experience, fellowships, board certifications, publications, lectures, honors, awards, academic achievements and hospital appointments. Since PNI’s founding in 2016, physicians have regularly received Super Doctor Awards. This year, 14 PNI experts were named on the 2021 Super Doctor list. Congratulations to Dr. Garni Barkhoudarian, Dr. David M. Butler, Dr. William G. Buxton, Dr. Jose Carrillo, Dr. Natalie Diaz, Dr. Barbara S. Giesser, Dr. Chester F. Griffiths, Dr. Keith Heinzerling, Dr. Daniel F. Kelly, Dr. Santosh Kesari, Dr. Howard R. Krauss, Dr. Jean PhilippeLangevin, Dr. Verna R. Porter and Dr. Naveed Wagle, and PNI-affiliated physician recipients, Dr. Lisa Chaiken, Dr. Marisa Chang and Dr. Kian Karimi. The Rising Stars Award is only awarded to candidates who have been active and fully licensed for less than 10 years. No more than 2.5% of doctors in a state or region are named to the Rising Stars list annually. This year, 10 PNI physicians received the prestigious Rising Stars award. Congratulations Dr. Abbas Anwar, Dr. Jian Guan, Dr. Amit Kochhar, Dr. Omid Mehdizadeh, Dr. Melita Petrossian, Dr. Akanksha Sharma, Dr. Walavan Sivakumar, Dr. Jason Tarpley, Dr. Courtney Voelker and Dr. Evan S. Walgama.
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Saint John’s Adds a Surgical Breast Fellowship Continuing a tradition of training the next generation of surgical oncologists, the Saint John’s Cancer Institute has launched a Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship program. The fellowship is designed to expand the training of post-residency graduates with real-world training and experience in breast cancer risk assessment, breast cancer screening, diagnostic workup, cancer treatments and survivorship strategies. At the end of the program, each fellow will be a competent surgeon with specialized knowledge in the field of breast cancer care and benign breast disease. “At Saint John’s Cancer Institute, we believe that providing the highest level of care to patients includes teaching the next generation of physicians all the novel surgical approaches and innovative treatments available here at the Margie Petersen Breast Center,” says Janie Grumley, MD, director of the comprehensive breast program at the center and associate professor of surgical oncology at Saint John’s Cancer Institute. “We are excited to work closely with our fellows to provide them with diverse and comprehensive experience in all aspects of breast cancer care so they can become future clinical and research leaders in breast cancer.”
PNI Launches Cochlear Implant Program Courtney Voelker, MD, PhD, has been named director of the otology/ neurotology-lateral skull base surgery and adult and pediatric cochlear implant programs at Pacific Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Voelker is an otolaryngology, head and neck surgeon who takes care of adult and pediatric patients, seeing a wide range of inner ear and skull base conditions. Highly accomplished in the clinic and in research, she is committed to offering top quality, compassionate care to all her patients. Prior to joining PNI, Dr. Voelker practiced at Keck School of Medicine of USC as division chief of otology, neurotology and lateral skull base surgery, and the director of the pediatric cochlear implant program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She has conducted leading-edge research on the physiology and diseases of the inner ear at Brown University, the University of Oxford, Washington University and the National Institutes of Health. She is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the American Neurotologic Society.
Study Examines a Strategy for Brain Health
Nonsurgical Thyroid Treatment for Benign Thyroid Tumors Saint John’s Cancer Institute surgeons have successfully completed the first thyroid radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for a benign thyroid tumor. This is the first time this surgery has been performed at a Providence hospital. The minimally invasive procedure is designed to reduce the size of noncancerous nodules. Melanie Goldfarb, MD, director of the Center for Endocrine Tumors and Disorders at Saint John’s Cancer Institute, conducted the surgery in October at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. RFA uses radio waves to systematically burn and kill unwanted tissue. As of now, this technique is only approved for benign nodules that are symptomatic, growing and/or of cosmetic concern. Dr. Goldfarb used technology developed by Taewoong Medical. “There’s a lot of potential for this technology,” says Dr. Goldfarb, noting benign thyroid growths are common. “This procedure isn’t widely available yet, and it won’t be appropriate for everyone, but it gives patients a really reasonable alternative to surgery. It’s so exciting to bring RFA to Saint John’s and to our community. Our community can greatly benefit by having this option available to them.”
Research has hinted that physical exercise combined with simultaneous mental stimulation can have positive, synergistic effects on the brain. A multicenter clinical trial is now underway in the United States to test that concept, and Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center has joined the research effort. The study, dubbed iPACES, involves people older than 50 with mild cognitive impairment. Researchers plan to study the connection between exercise and brain health with iPACES, a specialized and patented neuro-exergame. Clinical trial participants will be tasked with using a tablet to complete cognitive challenges while following a virtual cycling pathway and pedaling on an under-desk elliptical to maintain an exercise-level heart rate. “Through this clinical trial, we hope to shine a light on all the positive effects exercise can have as a treatment modality for a multitude of conditions,” says Stella Panos, PhD, director of neuropsychology at the Pacific Brain Health Center. “iPACES is a fully remote trial that can be completed from the comfort of one’s home.” During this clinical trial, participants are asked to use iPACES three to five times per week for six months and undergo regular videoconference assessments. All equipment and materials for trial participants are provided without cost via funding provided by a grant from the National Institute on Aging. Those interested in learning more about iPACES or applying to be part of the clinical trial can do so by visiting myipaces.org, emailing email@example.com or calling 737-747-2237.
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Keeping A Promise to Give Back Roger Wacker takes the helm as chairman of the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation board of trustees. BY SHARI ROAN / PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILLIP GRAYBILL
Saint John’s Health Center Foundation has welcomed a new chairman of the board of trustees: Roger Wacker. Wacker is a longtime trustee and true friend of Providence Saint John’s Health Center. He and his wife, Angelle Grace, have generously supported the hospital’s growth and advancements. Wacker has more than 45 years of experience as an investment advisor and is involved in numerous charitable endeavors. We asked him for his views on the health center and his goals as chairman of the board.
You have a long history with Saint John’s. What do you most admire about the health center that has warranted your solid support? Our standards of excellence, which are driving advancements in technology, as well as research and having a strong focus on extraordinary patient care.
You and your wife have an extensive record of philanthropy and giving of your time and talent. Why is that important to you? My wife and I have always been very active in our careers and deeply involved in numerous philanthropic causes. It was a decade ago when Angelle Grace was rushed by ambulance to the Saint John’s emergency department, shaking with a 104.7 fever. After witnessing
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the highest level of patient care, which saved Angelle’s life, we knew we wanted to become donors to the health center. I also promised myself and God that if she survived, I would give back to the hospital.
Why is the foundation well positioned to provide the health center with what it needs? The cooperation between the foundation and the health center is very strong and synchronized. Under the leadership of Michael Ricks, chief executive of the hospital, and with the help of Bob Klein, foundation president and CEO, and the highly motivated foundation staff, trustees, benefactors and donors, I am convinced we can collaborate to promote higher gifting.
What are the strengths of the foundation trustees? Our trustees have a shared passion for Saint John’s and work tirelessly with the foundation staff to vision, plan, initiate and maintain structured programs of support for the health center and to carry forward its mission of compassionate care. We continue to focus on events and activities to bring the trustees closer together and help foster strong relationships.
Why are you taking on this added responsibility of serving as chair of the foundation board of trustees?
I want to continue the comprehensive transformation initiated by the Power of Partnership campaign to revolutionize health care on every level. Through increased fundraising, we will become much stronger, even more collaborative and better able to innovate as industry leaders.
Do you have specific goals you would like to accomplish? We will aim to advance the patient experience by integrating personalized care, data, targeted therapies, systems and procedures to provide a seamless continuum of care.
What gives you confidence about the mission of the foundation? My credo in wealth management is: It’s easy to make the right decision when you’re guided by advice that you trust—advice that focuses on what matters most to you. Angelle Grace and I certainly trusted the clinical excellence of the ER team at Saint John’s just over a decade ago and continue to do so. I have learned a great deal and am appreciative of all the hard work and accomplishments of our medical teams, staff and foundation board of trustees. I’m thankful for Bob Klein, all the development officers and our former chair Mary Flaherty. It is with great honor that I have proudly accepted my new role as chair of the board of trustees.
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SAVING TWO LIVES S AI N T J OH N ’ S C A R E GI V E R S W O U L D ST O P AT NOT H IN G T O H E L P A Y O U N G W O M A N CO NQ UER C AN C E R AN D H A V E A H E A L T H Y B A BY . BY SHARI ROAN / PHOTOGRAPHED BY MATTHEW SMITH
astrointestinal cancer surgeon Anton J. Bilchik, MD, will never forget the day he met Annie Clausen. He was needed for a consult—the way he is needed almost every day at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. But this case was unusual, a nurse told him. The colorectal cancer patient was a young woman who was pregnant. “The combination of hearing that a young person, being diagnosed with colorectal cancer, who was four months pregnant, was a day I’ll never forget because then it occurred to me that we have two lives to save,” says Dr. Bilchik, who is chief of general surgery, director of the gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary program, and director of the gastrointestinal research program at Saint John’s Cancer Institute. Dr. Bilchik is also co-director of the Digestive Health Institute at Saint John’s. The three years that followed that day in 2019 have been a story of determination, courage and success as Saint John’s caregivers rallied around a remarkable woman and her family. Today, Clausen, 37, is the mother of two healthy young children and is grateful for the treatment that has allowed her to move forward with her life. “For me, survival was about staying positive and having confidence in my doctors and my team. It takes a village,” the Calabasas resident says. “There really aren’t any other words than just ‘thank you.’ Dr. Bilchik played such a huge role in getting me to where I am today and making me feel comfortable.”
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“It would never have crossed my mind that at 34 years old, I would have stage IV colorectal cancer. Never in a million years.” SAINT JOHN'S MAGAZINE
The case captures many of the factors that Dr. Bilchik has worked to develop at the renowned gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary program at the institute: leading-edge surgical techniques, compassionate multidisciplinary care, novel treatments, and an exploration of the perplexing rise of colon cancer rates in people ages 45 and younger. Ongoing research at the institute is attempting to address colorectal cancer prevention and early detection in young people. According to the American Cancer Society, from 2012 to 2016 colorectal cancer rates rose 2% per year in Americans younger than age 50 while falling in people older than age 50. More research is needed to understand this disturbing trend and the risk factors involved in the development of the disease. Few young people expect to be diagnosed with latestage colon cancer. Clausen didn’t expect it either. Both of her parents were cancer survivors, and she had one grandparent who had developed colorectal cancer. But she says, “It would never have crossed my mind that at 34 years old, I would have stage IV colorectal cancer. Never in a million years.”
SAVE THE BABY Annie and Rick Clausen had a toddler, Quinn, and had just learned they were expecting their second baby when Annie’s obstetrician, Emily Sikking, MD, a board-certified OB-GYN at Saint John’s, discovered a mass on her ovary in November 2019. Clausen had not been feeling well—she was nauseated, had stomach aches and was anemic—but she attributed those annoyances to early pregnancy. Dr. Sikking suspected ovarian cancer. Clausen quickly had surgery to remove the mass. The pathology report, however, showed the tumor did not originate in the ovary. A colonoscopy nine days later revealed a large tumor in the colon. Dr. Bilchik was summoned and performed surgery on Clausen to remove the tumor and a large section of her colon. But before that surgery took place, heartbreaking questions had to be confronted.
For more information on supporting colorectal cancer research at Saint John’s, contact Pam Solomon at 310-829-8644 or pamela.solomon@ stjohns.org.
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“Annie didn’t hesitate. She wanted to have a healthy baby, and she didn’t want cancer to get in the way of having that healthy baby.”
A multidisciplinary team of physicians convened at Saint John’s to discuss whether Clausen could be treated while still protecting the pregnancy. “Annie’s story is a great example of the institutes at Saint John’s working collaboratively to save lives, rather than in silos,” says Tiffany B. Grunwald, MD, director of the Women’s Health and Wellness Institute at Saint John’s. That teamwork is essential for complex cases, Dr. Bilchik says. “It’s one of the most challenging situations for a physician to be in, and even tougher for Annie to be in,” he recalls. “But Annie didn’t hesitate. She wanted to have a healthy baby, and she didn’t want cancer to get in the way of having that healthy baby. The challenge for Annie and for us was how do we accomplish both and do it successfully.” Clausen was adamant about keeping her baby. If it had not been for routine testing during pregnancy, it’s possible the cancer would have remained undetected for many more months, Clausen says. The baby saved her. Now, she reasoned, she would save her baby. “It was important to me to fight for her and make sure I did everything I could to keep the baby,” she says. “With the help of some amazing doctors, I realized I could keep my little baby and still go through treatment at the same time.” Clausen’s courage continued to be tested, however. She underwent nine rounds of chemotherapy during her pregnancy. At 35 weeks gestation, she gave birth to Cody Grace. “We gave her the middle name Grace because we just felt like she was here by the grace of God,” Clausen says. “She’s
Annie Clausen had surgery for cancer before giving birth to Cody Grace at Saint John’s. Annie and Rick Clausen also have another daughter, Quinn.
TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT THE DIGESTIVE HEALTH INSTITUTE: 844-834-4378 our little miracle baby. She’s spunky and fierce and full of life.” Clausen praised Dr. Sikking for navigating the challenging birth without having to perform a C-section. A C-section would have complicated Clausen’s recovery and delayed her return to chemotherapy. Cody spent five days in the neonatal intensive care unit, with only Clausen able to visit the baby due to COVID-19 restrictions. But the baby has since thrived. “She was such a little fighter from the moment she was born,” Clausen says. “It’s a miracle that she’s here.” Clausen continued with chemotherapy, but in the summer of 2020, scans showed the cancer had spread to her pelvic area. She had radiation therapy and was prescribed a targeted therapy drug. However, another scan showed the cancer in her liver. In June 2020, Dr Bilchik performed surgery to remove 30% of her liver and her gallbladder.
EYEING THE BIG PICTURE Clausen has continued with chemotherapy—about every two weeks—since then. “It’s manageable,” she says. “With the help of family and friends and a village, we’re getting through it all. I just had to block out all the negativity, all the what-ifs and all the questions. I didn’t go down the rabbit hole and go to that dark place. I stayed positive, and I stayed confident in what we were doing and in our game plan. I took it one day at a time.” Clausen’s determination and ability to look at the big picture have both impressed and humbled her caregivers, Dr. Bilchik says. “Annie made it so easy for us. She’s just such a delightful person and had such insight into her life and to
what she wanted to do and just made us feel comfortable, as treating physicians, to get her better and move forward.” Both Dr. Bilchik and Clausen ponder the randomness of the illness and the fact that a seemingly healthy young adult could develop stage IV colorectal cancer. Clausen underwent genetic testing. In some families, specific genetic mutations are present that dramatically increase the risk of certain types of cancer. However, Clausen’s tests did not reveal specific genetic risk factors. Both doctor and patient will not rest until answers emerge. “No one thinks of looking for colon cancer in someone in their early 30s,” Dr. Bilchik says. Researchers at the Digestive Health Institute are examining not only the incidence of colorectal cancer in younger people but the higher rates of incidence and colorectal cancer death in people of color. Philanthropic funding, including a recent gift from music legend Berry Gordy, has ignited important research projects directed toward these underserved populations. Clausen encourages her family and friends to be attuned to unusual symptoms, to know their family’s cancer history and to undergo colonoscopy when recommended. “Colonoscopy is not that bad, I promise. Given what I’m going through now, I would have given anything to just have had a colonoscopy when I was young enough to catch this early,” she says. “We don’t know why I developed cancer. But I’m determined before I die to have an answer to that—to have an answer to why this disease is happening in younger people.” SAINT JOHN'S MAGAZINE
PELVIC FLOOR DISORDERS D E BIL IT A T IN G C O N D I T I O N S C A N B E RESO LV ED RAT HER T HAN END URED . BY NANCY SOKOLER STEINER
ail “Goldie” Westheimer had a problem that most women, understandably, don’t like to talk about. But given how treatment from her Providence Saint John’s Health Center physicians changed her life, she wants other women who may be suffering to know that help is available. Westheimer had pelvic organ prolapse—the descending or drooping of the pelvic floor organs. This can occur with weakening of the group of muscles supporting organs including the bladder, rectum and reproductive system. Heredity, age, childbirth and straining from constipation may contribute to developing pelvic organ prolapse. For Westheimer and many other women suffering silently from pelvic floor problems, the compassionate health professionals at the Women’s Health & Wellness Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center have the skills and tools to change lives. Initially, Westheimer experienced a prolapsed cervix— meaning that her cervix had started to fall, and its placement interfered with urination. A retired hospital nurse, Westheimer wanted to avoid surgery and chose to endure the problem. But over time the condition worsened, and her bladder eventually protruded outside her body. Meanwhile, she developed a prolapse of the rectum. That led to incontinence and a constant feeling of pressure. The condition was also painful. “It got so intrusive in my life,” says Westheimer. “I was spending most of my time in the bathroom. Between taking so long to go to the bathroom and the pain I experienced when I walked, I ended up spending all my time in the house.”
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Pelvic floor disorders affect
1 in 5 U.S. women.
4 in 10
women 65 and older have urinary incontinence. Source: Office on Women’s Health, DHHS
3 and 8U.S.million women may Between
have bladder pain syndrome.
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Dr. Lauren A. Cadish and Dr. Tracey R. Childs provide treatments for women’s pelvic floor disorders.
TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT THE WOMEN’S HEALTH & WELLNESS INSTITUTE: 888-432-5464 Normally, Westheimer likes to walk a couple of miles a day. The 76-year-old lives in Westport, California, about 200 miles north of San Francisco. She enjoys walking along the coast and enjoying the sight of redwoods, mountains and the ocean. She often visits her children and six grandchildren, who live in San Mateo and Houston. But walking—and certainly travel—were out of the question.
AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH Westheimer regularly travels to Los Angeles for her specialty medical services. When mentioning her problem to her neurologist, the physician referred Westheimer to Lauren A. Cadish, MD, a
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urogynecologist fellowship-trained in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. In January 2019, shortly before COVID-19 hit, Dr. Cadish examined Westheimer and discussed her options. Then pandemic restrictions prevented Westheimer from traveling back to Saint John’s for treatment. By the time she was able to return to Dr. Cadish in June 2021, her condition had worsened considerably. Dr. Cadish assessed Westheimer and arranged for her to see Tracey R. Childs, MD, the same day. Board-certified in both general and colorectal surgery, Dr. Childs shares an office with Dr. Cadish, and the two collaborate closely. “Patients experiencing vaginal
prolapse are referred to one type of doctor, while those with rectal prolapse are referred to another,” says Dr. Cadish. “But both types of prolapse stem from the same physiological problem.” For that reason, Dr. Cadish and Dr. Childs have teamed up to address the problem. When Dr. Cadish sees a patient with bladder or vaginal prolapse, she always checks whether they might also be experiencing rectal prolapse. Dr. Childs does the same for her patients with rectal prolapse. When a patient has both types of prolapse, the two physicians collaborate to perform both surgeries in a single operation. That is how they treated Westheimer. “The procedure involved placing
“Ignoring it won’t make the condition go away. This is not only treatable but curable.” mesh inside to hoist her organs up,” says Dr. Childs. “To do this, we use robotic-assisted surgery and make four small incisions in the abdomen through which we insert small instruments to perform surgery.” Dr. Cadish performed a sacrocolpopexy, using mesh straps to reinforce the front and back walls of the vagina and attaching them to a strong ligament overlying the sacrum, thereby lifting the vagina. With the same incisions and instruments, Dr. Childs performed a ventral mesh rectopexy. She secured the same mesh to the rectum and sacral ligament, holding the rectum in place. In effect, they created a kind of support to hold up the pelvic organs. This collaboration meant that Westheimer did not have to undergo two separate procedures. “Rectal prolapse used to involve bowel resection or open surgery, which meant a four- to six-day hospital stay and a six-week recovery process,” says Dr. Childs. “With robotics, we can visualize, dissect and sew with better dexterity, all laparoscopically. Patients recover quickly, and there is no disruption to their eating, activity or urination and bowel movements.” Westheimer stayed in the hospital just one night. “I felt better almost immediately,” she says. Prior to her surgery, there was one thing Westheimer wanted to do more than anything: attend her grandson
For more information on supporting the Women’s Health & Wellness Institute, contact Meghan Chereck at 310-829-8394 or meghan. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evan’s bar mitzvah. “That involved a 4½ hour car ride, and I just didn’t know if I’d be able to make it,” she says. “It would have broken his heart if I couldn’t go. We’re very close.” Dr. Cadish and Dr. Childs scheduled Westheimer’s operation in sufficient time for her to go to the bar mitzvah. Westheimer says she was still recovering but was well enough to attend and enjoy the milestone event—even doing a few steps of the hora at the reception. A few weeks after the bar mitzvah, Westheimer needed to see Dr. Cadish for a post-op visit. “Since I still wasn’t allowed to lift anything over 10 pounds and had to travel from Northern California, I took Evan with me,” she says. “We had such a wonderful trip visiting family. No more embarrassing half-hour visits to the bathroom!”
A FIXABLE PROBLEM “You would not believe how common this is,” Dr. Childs says about pelvic organ prolapse. “As in Gail’s case, many women suffer with the condition, feeling like they can’t go anywhere and can’t do anything.” “Ignoring it won’t make the condition go away,” adds Dr. Cadish. “This is not only treatable but curable. It’s very gratifying for me to be able to fix a problem that may have plagued a patient for years—in a few hours.” As part of Saint John’s Women’s Health & Wellness Institute, Dr.
Cadish and Dr. Childs treat a range of pelvic floor disorders in addition to offering multiple types of treatments for pelvic organ prolapse. These include urinary or anal incontinence, obstructed defecation and pelvic pain. They may refer patients to Saint John’s gastroenterologist Claudia Sanmiguel, MD, for anorectal manometry, a test that measures how well the rectum and anal sphincter are working, as well as for biofeedback training. They hope to identify funding to bring in-house pelvic floor physical therapy—exercises to strengthen muscles for continence. “Philanthropic support would help us maximize the reach of this program,” says Dr. Childs. She and Dr. Cadish would like to see a nurse navigator brought on board to coordinate care and provide patient education, freeing them up to concentrate on clinical care. “We have a limited ability to see the many patients who have these issues,” says Dr. Cadish, whose appointments are currently booked five months ahead. “Philanthropy could allow us to better meet demand.” That would mean a great deal to people like Goldie Westheimer, who says the two physicians transformed her life. Recently returned from a trip to Houston, she marvels, “I never thought I could be back to normal again, but I am. And others can be too.”
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MEET THE BORSTEINS
Funding the Best
The Borstein family’s gift bolsters Saint John’s Cancer Institute’s melanoma program.
BY PATRICK J. KIGER / PHOTOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL NEVEUX
hen the Borstein Family Foundation chose to provide a major gift to support melanoma research at Saint John’s Cancer Institute, the decision was based partly upon recognition of the institute’s groundbreaking work in combatting the most aggressive and dangerous form of skin cancer, which causes 7,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Saint John’s “has one of the best-known programs in the world,” explains family patriarch Alan Borstein, who says the family was also attracted to the institute’s efficient scale and lack of excessive bureaucracy, which enables it to move more quickly in its work than some of the larger, university-based medical research centers that the foundation also supports. “Saint John’s is a different story,” Borstein says. “Los Angeles has world-class hospitals, but one of the problems with having that is you’ve got the bureaucracy that unfortunately grows up around major hospitals. Saint John’s is not overly bureaucratic. That makes for a more direct and personalized experience.” The new gift is the family’s latest donation in 15 years’ worth of contributions to the institute. But there was also a personal motivation. Alan Borstein says that both he and his wife, Brenda, “have some personal experience, unfortunately, with melanoma.” He shares that in both their cases, the cancer was caught early by their dermatologists and successfully treated. In recognition of the family’s contribution, the Saint John’s research effort has been renamed the Borstein Family Melanoma Program. “The Borstein family has been a loyal and generous friend to Saint John’s for many years,” says Robert O. Klein, president and chief executive officer of the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation. “We applaud the Borsteins for their thorough and thoughtful philanthropy, and we thank them for making it possible for us to do even greater work to mitigate a dangerous disease.”
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The Borstein family’s gift will help fund research to explore the spatial immune characterization of tumors, says Maria L. Ascierto, PhD, director of translational immunology at the Saint John’s Cancer Institute. These studies focus on how the environment of the tumor may influence its growth. The research is considered “the next frontier in gaining insight into immunotherapeutic success or failure and will lead to the development of better-informed treatment strategies,” Dr. Ascierto says. Alan Borstein, a New Jersey native who came to California in the 1960s, is chairman of Borstein Enterprises, a real estate development and investment company. He’s also a founding member of the Center for Real Estate Development at his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also serves as a board member of the University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate. Borstein and his wife are cofounders of the family’s 20-year-old foundation, whose mission includes supporting the advancement of medical research and care and providing educational opportunities. In addition to gifts to major health institutions such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, City of Hope and UCLA-Mattel Children’s Hospital, in recent years the foundation has provided grants to social service organizations such as the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and the Los Angeles Jewish Home, according to the foundation website. The Borsteins’ three sons also are involved with the family’s foundation. Eric Borstein is the owner of EB Ventures, a real estate development
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MEET THE BORSTEINS
company. He is also a member of the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation board of trustees. Craig Borstein, a member of the family foundation’s board of trustees, is president of the income properties division at Borstein Enterprises. Loren Borstein, who is also a board member, is president of Borstein Enterprises. The Borsteins’ approach to philanthropy focuses on carefully choosing institutions where their donations can move the needle the most, Alan Borstein explains. “We have to limit our donations and emphasize being impactful.” The family saw that sort of opportunity in the melanoma research effort at Saint John’s, which was launched in 1991. The program’s founder and early leader, the late Donald L. Morton, MD, is renowned for devising a procedure called the sentinel node biopsy, which enabled doctors to determine whether the melanoma has spread beyond the primary tumor into the patient’s lymphatic system. Prior to Dr. Morton’s development of the procedure, surgeons treating melanoma routinely had to remove all of a patient’s lymph nodes as a precaution, explains Richard Essner, MD, director of surgical oncology and codirector of the melanoma and cutaneous oncology research program at the institute. He oversees the research program along with Kim Margolin, MD, who serves as medical director of the melanoma program. But that often became unnecessary. “A study that was performed at Saint John’s and completed with the help of other research institutions around the world, demonstrated that you don’t have to take out all the secondary lymph nodes—just taking out the node with the cancer is all you need to do,” Dr. Essner says. As a result, sentinel node biopsies have eliminated unnecessary surgeries, reduced patient suffering and, in the process, also saves the nation’s health care system an estimated $3.8 billion each year in costs. The melanoma program has been involved in other advances that have helped improve the survival rate for melanoma, even as the incidence of the disease has risen. “In the last 10 years, we’ve seen significant gains in understanding of the immune system and development of immunotherapy,” Dr. Essner says.
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Today about 70% of patients are cured by excision of their tumor. Another 30% see a recurrence. While new treatments have improved their survival rate, about half of the patients with recurrences—15% of the total cases—still ultimately die of the disease, according to Dr. Essner. One of the most frustrating problems for doctors is that once they diagnose patients with melanoma, they can’t predict which patients will relapse, Dr. Essner says. If they had that prognosticative ability, those patients might be targeted for more aggressive treatment from the start. And while immunotherapy has shown benefits for melanoma patients, doctors aren’t yet able to target it as precisely as they would like. At present, “immunotherapy works by turning off the brakes in your immune system, to allow it to attack the melanoma,” Dr. Essner says. “That explains partly why the drugs are not universally successful, because they only turn off one of the system’s brakes. It may be that there are multiple breaks that need to be shut off so that you can attack the melanoma cancer cells in particular.” To make matters more complicated, that process may work differently in various individuals. “That’s why some people get a great response— the cancer will disappear, and they’ll do amazing. Other people get no response—you give them the drugs, and nothing happens with their cancers. Others get a mixed response, in which some tumors grow and others shrink.” It may also be that not all the tumors are the same, he adds. Targeted therapy, in which a drug exploits a genetic mutation that’s found in about half of melanoma cases to turn off cell growth, has also shown some value. “But unfortunately, these drugs are less successful because the cancer cells can learn how to evade it,” Dr. Essner says. Those are all important research areas where the Borstein Family Melanoma Program might make an important contribution and help even more patients survive the disease. Some of the studies supported by the Borstein funding, for example, may seek to use fragments of genetic material in blood and tissue samples to predict which patients are likely to have their tumors return so they can be given different treatments. Other work may investigate deficits in immune function that make immunotherapy less effective and to try to get a better understanding of how immune cells enter tumors, in order to guide therapy. Dr. Essner says that the financial impact of the Borstein family’s gift could pay significant dividends well into the future. That’s because
some of the money will be used to fund early-stage research and produce results that, in turn, could attract additional backers. “To get grants from the big funding agencies, like the National Institutes of Health and some large foundations, you need to have preliminary data to submit,” Dr. Essner says. “You can have a great idea, but unless you have some data to support it, you’re never going to get funded. The Borstein family
grant allows us to continue to work on some of these seed projects and allows us time to create data that we can use to get this other funding.” That’s all in keeping with the Borsteins’ objective of helping win the war against melanoma. “You always have a hope of eliminating a disease in one form or another— making the treatment safer and quicker,” Alan Borstein explains. “There’s an awful lot of research to be done.”
“The Borstein family grant allows us to continue to work on some of these seed projects and allows us time to create data that we can use to get this other funding.”
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IMMUNOTHERAPY D E C ADE S BE FOR E C A N C E R IMMUNOT H E R A P Y B E C A M E W I D E L Y AV AIL ABL E , SA IN T J O H N ’ S W A S C U R I NG PATIEN T S U SIN G N O V E L T R E A T M E N T S. BY NANCY BRANDS WARD / PHOTOGRAPHED BY MATTHEW SMITH
ore than three decades ago, Jack Bellevue’s surgeon advised him to go home and get his affairs in order. The physician had excised a melanoma skin cancer from Bellevue’s back and removed 12 lymph nodes under his right arm that indicated the cancer had spread. The diagnosis was metastatic melanoma. The survival statistics weren’t good. The oncologist didn’t hold out hope that additional treatment could prolong Bellevue’s life past six months. As he does when he tackles any problem, the successful Prudential insurance salesman and member of the Million Dollar Round Table set to work researching. He and Mary Ann, who is now his wife—he wouldn’t ask her to marry him until four years into their relationship when he felt certain he’d defeated his cancer—hit the library at Stanford University School of Medicine near their home. They learned of Donald L. Morton, MD, and his pioneering work in immunotherapies and vaccines at the John Wayne Cancer Institute—now Saint John’s Cancer Institute—that Dr. Morton cofounded. It was a wise decision. Bellevue became an early example of the tantalizing possibilities of curing cancer with immunotherapy. “The institute was at the forefront of immunotherapy research in an era when there
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wasn’t a lot known about the potential of this approach,” says Kim Margolin, MD, medical director of the melanoma program at the institute. Dr. Morton became an early advocate of immunotherapy research around 1960 while working at the National Cancer Institute. He had been struggling to design a vaccine for melanoma using modified melanoma cells. Vaccines are a type of immunotherapy; they take advantage of the body’s natural ability to recognize
and attack harmful substances such as infectious organisms or damaged cells. The problem with cancer cells is that the immune system doesn’t recognize them as harmful to the body. Sometimes they’re crafty enough to hide from the body’s natural immune system. Dr. Morton questioned whether another substance could stimulate the
immune system to attack the cancer cells. He proposed giving cancer patients partially-inactivated Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG)—a bacterial preparation related to tuberculosis that used to be used as a TB vaccine and is still instilled in the bladder for very early stages of bladder cancer. Many bacteria contain substances that stimulate important cells of the immune system,
and they have been incorporated as part of most cancer vaccines. Dr. Morton suggested BCG therapy. In 1990, Bellevue began BCG therapy which, during clinical trials led by Dr. Morton, consisted of injections in the skin near the major lymph nodes. He received monthly BCG treatments and nine different cancer vaccines and was followed by Dr. Morton for six years. SAINT JOHN'S MAGAZINE
Jack Bellevue, with wife Mary Ann, enjoys his good health.
“We were both very hopeful that it was going to be effective,” says Mary Ann Bellevue. “Jack visualized this therapy as eating up the bad cells—like the Pac-Man game.” Thirty-two years later, Bellevue is 92, semi-retired and living in Santa Barbara. He believes the treatment worked; his melanoma never returned. Bellevue and his wife praise Dr. Morton, who died in 2014, and everyone they came in contact with at Saint John’s. “I’m still alive!” he says, noting that his melanoma has not recurred over the three decades since he received immunotherapy and vaccines. Did the experimental treatment work for Bellevue? Or was he one of the lucky people who happened to land on the upside of the survival odds? “His original doctor wasn’t wrong about his prognosis—he was quoting a statistic that there was a high risk of the cancer coming back,” Dr. Margolin says, adding that the clinical trial was an important step to take. “Some people do well despite the odds. That’s why it’s so important to support research and offer patients
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the option of innovative treatments.” About 10 years after Bellevue received immunotherapy at Saint John’s, Dr. Morton tested a refined vaccine called CancerVax. In the clinical trial, the outcomes were similar for vaccine with BCG and BCG alone. Around the same time, Dr. Morton, a surgical oncologist, was reporting on the sentinel lymph node evaluation procedure he developed that revolutionized surgical treatment of melanoma and breast cancers. With the technique, a blue dye is injected into the site of a patient’s tumor, and the dye travels to the most prominent lymph node, called the sentinel node. This node is most likely to be affected if the cancer has spread. Research at Saint John’s, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that removal of excessive tissue or lymph nodes—a tactic that had been routine to try to control cancer spread—didn’t prolong survival. The possibility of avoiding the removal of multiple lymph nodes is a significant benefit to patients, reducing their recovery time, reducing infection
and sparing them the risk of future lymphedema (lifelong swelling caused by the removal of lymph nodes). Various forms of immunotherapy are now the standard of care after surgery to treat melanoma and several other cancers, and immunotherapy agents are also used alone, in pairs or with chemotherapy for patients who relapse. “Melanoma is one of the few diseases that can be cured with immunotherapy after it has spread even as far as the brain,” Dr. Margolin says. The role of immunotherapy in other cancers remains more limited but is advancing rapidly, particularly in lung, colorectal and kidney cancer as well as in some hematologic (blood) malignancies. There are many immunotherapy agents that work via different mechanisms to augment the numbers and functions of immune cells and thus enhance their ability to identify and attack cancer cells. In the mid-2000s, the advent of checkpoint inhibitors—an immunotherapy that prevents cancer cells from evading the immune
“The institute was at the forefront of immunotherapy research in an era when there wasn’t a lot known about the potential of this approach.”
For more information about supporting immunotherapy research, contact Jeanne Goldsmith at 310-582-7344 or email@example.com.
response—was an important turning point. A surge of approvals of other immunotherapy drugs followed, and the varied mechanisms of these agents as well as the diseases in which they showed activity reflected the astonishing advances in the field. Much more research remains to fully understand the power of immunotherapy—even decades after Dr. Morton’s early work. Dr. Margolin sees research efforts heading in many directions, with none yet identified as a single obvious path for all malignancies. Adoptive cell therapy, where cells taken from the body or tumor are modified and injected back into the patient’s bloodstream, is a complex but highly promising approach, currently available for hematologic malignancies but likely to be perfected soon for solid tumors, she says. The complexity of cancer and its treatment is pointing researchers
more and more toward personalized care, she says—this is defined as selecting the optimal therapy for each individual patient based on factors unique to their tumor and, if possible, unique to their immune response. Stimulating an effective response of the body’s immune system against cancer might depend on a number of factors, including, for example, certain mutations in the DNA of a patient’s cancer cells, inborn genetic characteristics of the T-cells of their immune systems, and the cells and chemical makeup of the microenvironment of a tumor (including which organ the tumor has spread to). Researchers at Saint John’s Cancer Institute are conducting clinical trials to identify factors that have prognostic value for customized or personalized immunebased cancer therapies. Exceptional laboratory research also continues at the institute, thanks in part to Dr. Morton’s prioneering work decades ago that included the storage of frozen blood samples, tumor and other tissue samples from cancer patients that could be used to study the immune response. The specimen repository, one of the oldest and largest melanoma tissue banks in the United States, links directly to patient records and outcomes that can be correlated with their tissue samples. It’s possible today for researchers to thaw and study decadesold samples. Dr. Margolin and others collaborate with laboratory investigators to discover what they can learn from melanoma tissue specimens to enable them to select
the most effective therapies. Additional research on immunotherapy at Saint John’s Cancer Institute takes place at the Rosalie and Harold Rae Brown Immunotherapy Cancer Research Laboratory under the direction of Maria Ascierto, PhD. Saint John’s Cancer Institute has remained steadfast in the belief that translational science that links investigational therapy with laboratory science, while sometimes discouraging, is the basis for extraordinary scientific discoveries and clinical advances. However, there is more work to be done before doctors will be able to predict when and how cancer will occur, recur, be treated or be cured. “Everything we know about cancer is statistical—the likelihood that cancer will recur or that a specific treatment will be effective is a probability,” Dr. Margolin explains. Research today, she says, focuses on methods to more precisely match individuals and groups of patients to effective therapies. That brings the story full circle to patients like Jack Bellevue who have beat the statistical odds, living cancer-free and without longterm toxicities from treatment. Dr. Margolin suggests that studies to determine the characteristics of long-term survivors could provide an understanding of how individual patient and tumor factors plus characteristics of therapies would enable doctors to match patients with effective treatments. That’s personalized cancer immunotherapy, and it’s here to stay. SAINT JOHN'S MAGAZINE
FOCUSING ON THE NEEDS OF SENIORS WIS E & H E A L T H Y A GI N G HE L PS OL DE R A D U L T S AND T H E IR C A R E GI V E R S U NDE R ST AN D T H E I R C H O I C E S . BY SHARI ROAN
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THE GIFT OF HEALTH The Community Impact Fund (CIF) was established by Saint John’s Health Center Foundation to support our local health care partners in improving the health of our community. Each year the CIF committee reviews applications and makes grants to entities, striving to improve the health of local residents. In this issue of Saint John’s, we describe the services of one of our grantees: the region’s premier provider of services for seniors.
hen Carla Alvarado’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she faced the fact that her father’s illness might also mark the end of her career as a specialist in student disabilities at Santa Monica College. Isidro Alvarado, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2010, was no longer able to remain alone in his home by 2013. Carla, however, was referred to the Adult Day Care Service Center at WISE & Healthy Aging in Santa Monica. She and her father toured the facility and enrolled in the program. Now nine years later, Isidro, 84, is lovingly cared for while Carla is at work. “A lot of people who have a family member with Alzheimer’s disease take a leave of absence from work or stop working to care for their loved one,” Carla says. “That was going to be my next choice.” The center’s experts helped her realize she had other options. Enrolling her father in adult day care resulted in a solution that benefited everyone. “The people at WISE & Healthy Aging have so much love for all the people who attend the center,” Carla says. “I’m able to go to work and not have to worry.” Over the years, WISE & Healthy Aging has also assisted Carla with other aspects of caregiving. “I’ve never found a place that focuses on so many different aspects of what is needed for my dad,” she says. The needs of the Alvarado family are exactly what the leaders at Saint John’s Health Center Foundation had in mind when they awarded WISE & Healthy Aging a 2022 grant from the CIF. Grace Cheng Braun, president and chief executive officer of WISE & Healthy Aging, says the agency and Providence Saint John’s Health Center have been partners for almost 50 years, dating back to the agency’s founding.
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“I’m particularly touched by this year’s grant because this is our 50th year of service, and through all of this, Saint John’s has been with us,” Braun says. “Sister Marie Madeleine Shonka, the former president and chief executive officer of Saint John’s, was there with us from the beginning. She was instrumental in encouraging the grassroots movement that led to WISE & Healthy Aging.” She adds, “Over the years there has always been Saint John’s grant support to reach those seniors or caregivers who are of limited financial means, and resources to help them with case management and access of services.”
THE COVID-19 IMPACT Today the nonprofit organization, which serves older adults residing in either long-term care facilities or their own homes, has more demands than ever as society emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides offering a range of programs to seniors via a 78-person staff, WISE & Healthy Aging provides ombudsman services and elderly abuse prevention in the city and county of Los Angeles. The pandemic took a unique and costly toll on seniors, Cheng Braun says. The death toll was highest among older adults. Many other seniors became more isolated during the pandemic. “When COVID-19 hit, the elderly were severely impacted because they are one of the most at-risk populations,” she says. “Our ombudsman and elder abuse work went into high gear. We worked with families to advocate for them when they called us over issues such as the rights of families during lockdowns and what facilities could
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and could not do during COVID.” The Santa Monica-based organization also quickly pivoted to deal with restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. They began offering drive-through and homedelivery meal programs. They moved exercise groups and book clubs to Zoom. They counseled overburdened caregivers. “The major issues we were dealing with were social isolation and food insecurity,” she says.
GIVING SENIORS CONTROL WISE & Healthy Aging is unique in its thoughtful emphasis on providing its clients with choices to help them make decisions for themselves, Cheng Braun says. The organization serves older adults at all stages of their lives—from preretirement through the elder years. It receives income from private-paying clients as well as government, corporate and philanthropic sources. WISE & Healthy Aging includes a division that investigates claims of elder abuse and neglect, advocates for the rights of seniors in long-term care facilities, offers adult day care in Santa Monica and Woodland Hills, and provides multiple programs to aid seniors and caregivers. These programs include peer counseling, mobility services, transportation services, and helping seniors complete paperwork for health insurance, the CalFresh supplemental nutrition assistance program and other services they may be eligible to receive. Many seniors desire to remain in their homes as long as possible, Cheng Braun says. “When I look at nonprofits that serve seniors, many will emphasize independence. I think, in some ways, that’s
NUMBER OF CLIENTS SERVICED ANNUALLY BY WISE & HEALTHY AGING
1 IN 14
FOOD INSECURE Source: Feeding America
THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU PROJECTS THAT
BY 2034 OLDER ADULTS
WILL OUTNUMBER CHILDREN. AGE 65 AND OLDER:
77 MILLION AGE 18 AND YOUNGER:
76.5 MILLION Source: Census.gov
misleading. It’s not about maintaining independence or having more independence. It’s about giving older adults a sense that they still control their lives and have choices. The reality is that very few are able to stay fully independent toward the end of their life journey. We want to help coordinate all the resources out there to support the individual to have good quality of life in their homes. At whatever point that is not feasible, they have a choice at looking at other options.” Seniors, however, are sometimes reluctant to ask for help, and society can sometimes overlook their needs, she says. “Our society is focused on bringing forth and giving opportunities to the next generation. It’s interesting that our older adults or seniors are some of the strongest advocates for youth and children. They are often quite humble and make do with what they have. We are also a society that looks to do for ourselves. This notion for independence comes back to bite us.” The flexibility and range of services provided by WISE & Healthy Aging can break through some of those barriers. The CIF grants help support some of the programs that might otherwise falter in times of funding shortages, she says. “Saint John’s has always had this deep value of community service and taking care of the vulnerable, whether it’s children or the elderly. We’ve been very fortunate to benefit from this over the years,” Cheng Braun says. “In times of government funding cuts to our programs, CIF has helped augment our programs to help us serve more. We have been very grateful to receive this ongoing funding.”
NEARLY OF ADULTS AGED 65 AND OLDER ARE SOCIALLY ISOLATED. Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)
67% OF FAMILY CAREGIVERS REPORT CONFLICTS BETWEEN CAREGIVING AND EMPLOYMENT. Source: Caregiver.org
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CLINICAL RESEARCH FOR HEAD AND NECK TUMORS
S URG E ON E VAN W A L GA M A ’S W O R K HELPING HIS PAT IENT S MAKE DE C ISION S S T E E R S H I S R E S E A RCH PURSUIT S. BY PATRICK J. KIGER
hen Evan S. Walgama, MD, sees a patient at Saint John’s Cancer Institute, he goes beyond just treating the immediate condition. Part of his mission as a head and neck surgeon is to explore the larger picture surrounding each patient’s treatment: What was the patient’s experience during treatment, and was that individual satisfied with the result? Dr. Walgama, who recently joined Saint John’s and is also on staff at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute, believes patient decision-making and quality of life are critical metrics in medicine. “I try to let my clinical work inform my research efforts as much as possible and to ask questions that are relevant to my patients or to their outcomes or to the health care system that treats them,” he says. He has built a tumor registry for patients with head and neck cancer that focuses on cancer outcomes alongside the decision-making process that all patients face. Every patient in his practice is offered the choice to participate through surveys about their quality of life, cancer
staging and treatment outcomes. “We’ll put that information together with how the patients feel about their choices as they go through treatment and after it,” Dr. Walgama says. “I think what we learn can help providers and patients in the future make better decisions about the difficult problems that they face. When you know how something has affected patients in the past, you’re able to provide better guidance.” For example, he says, patients who have human papillomavirus-related cancers that affect the tonsils and tongue base often can choose either surgery or nonsurgical treatment using radiation-based therapy. “For both pathways, the outcomes are generally good, but the problems that patients may face after treatment are different,” he says. “So I’m really trying to go after the thirdorder question: How do they feel about the decision they made and everything that they went through? Would they have done something differently? We’re interested in what stress the process puts on patients and their families—everything from
For more information on supporting research on tumors of the head and neck, contact Pam Solomon at 310-829-8644 or pamela.solomon@ stjohns.org.
financial stress to whether they have trouble with their teeth or with swallowing post-treatment.” While head and neck surgery presents physicians with interesting challenges—many tumors of the head and neck involve sensitive areas that can impact hearing, speech, swallowing and other key functions—Dr. Walgama says he chose the specialty because of the potential impact he could have on patients’ lives. “This is a very consequential moment in a patient’s life,” he says. “I’m dealing with patients in that difficult time and trying to be
Dr. Evan S. Walgama
a resource for them, to help them through the process of finding what they perceive to be in their best interest and what I think will give them a good outcome.” Dr. Walgama is among a large group of Saint John’s physicians who combine research into clinical practice. He has authored more than 30 articles in medical journals, including studies on costeffectiveness of treatments, health economics, decision analysis and also clinical outcomes. He is now focused on oncology clinical trials. Offering patients access to clinical trials, which often feature promising
new therapies that are not usually available to patients at non-research institutions, is a central goal of the practice, he says. “I’m hoping to build a culture here at Saint John’s in which patients with head and neck tumors are offered the best available trials that might benefit them,” Dr. Walgama says. “One thing we’re looking at is incorporating immunotherapy clinical trials. Immunotherapy helps activate the patient’s own immune response against the tumor.” He says he has found at Providence Saint John’s Health Center an atmosphere in which both excellence
in clinical practice and research are supported. He hopes to secure funding for several critical goals, including establishing a research fellowship for medical students and improving the dissemination of new findings via conferences and virtual meetings. “Philanthropy makes this research possible and ultimately improves the quality of care,” Dr. Walgama says. “My goal is to offer state-ofthe-art head and neck cancer care at Providence hospitals in Southern California. We can be the tide that raises all ships by having a strong head and neck program and by raising awareness and sharing resources.”
MEET LORRAINE FOX
Family Values A couple’s dedication to philanthropy is embraced by their daughter. BY SHARI ROAN
n January 2021, only weeks before a vaccine for COVID-19 became available in the U.S., Robert Fox, 92, and his wife, Valerie, 87, fell ill with the virus. The Pacific Palisades couple, lifelong Los Angeles residents, struggled with their symptoms at home before being admitted to the hospital. They died within days of each other. The couple’s daughter, Lorraine Fox, was stunned and devastated by the sudden passing of her beloved parents. But in the months that followed, she found solace in carrying out her parents’ final wishes. That includes remembering Providence Saint John’s Health Center in her estate plans. Robert and Valerie had often expressed appreciation for the care they received at Saint John’s over the years. They had meetings with Andy Trilling, vice president of principal gifts at Saint John’s Health Center Foundation, to discuss a gift to Saint John’s in their estate plans. However, the couple died before they could complete the paperwork, Lorraine says.
“My dad had several meetings with Andy and Foundation CEO Bob Klein,” Lorraine recalls. “He fully intended to make this gift, but he never signed the paperwork. I just wanted to do everything I could to honor my parents’ wishes. It’s what they would have wanted.” Robert and Valerie approached life by asking how they could do good in the world. They set up their estate and pursued meaningful philanthropy. Lorraine, who holds an MBA and is a partner with Aspiriant, a wealth management firm based in Los Angeles, helped her parents structure their estate. In recent years, however, Robert and Valerie expressed a desire to include Saint John’s in their plans after experiencing care for a variety of ailments. “My parents were very philanthropicminded,” says Lorraine, who lives in Palo Alto. “They thought a lot about the fact that money should have a purpose. They were very intentional about their gifts—the institutions to which they left money. So that is why they were very committed to doing something for Saint John’s to pay it forward. They both felt they wanted to give back after receiving such good care at Saint John’s.” Lorraine’s estate gift will be directed toward the Saint John’s Cancer Institute. Her parents grew to admire the work of the institute and saw promise in its research, clinical trials and state-of-the-art treatments. Estate gifts are an ideal way to leave a legacy in one’s hometown or community. “Estate planning is absolutely so important.
THE GRACE OF LEGACY GIVING Legacy gifts, such as bequests, are made through charitable estate planning and can have significant tax advantages for you and your heirs. There are many additional reasons to consider a legacy gift: • Charitable bequests are viewed as one of the most meaningful expressions of gratitude for the care received. • It allows you to leave a legacy in an area that may be close to your heart. • You may be able to make an impact greater than you thought possible. • Legacy donors may be eligible for special recognition and amenities. Our experienced staff can work confidentially with you and your financial advisors to help ensure your charitable wishes are fulfilled. Please contact Andy Trilling, vice president of principal gifts, at 310-449-5246 or Andrew.Trilling@stjohns.org.
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Lorraine Fox with her parents, Valerie & Robert
It’s not a document you do once and put on a shelf,” she says. “It should be considered a living document and reviewed periodically with an estate planning attorney. There should be an open conversation in the family about what is the purpose of money. My parents did that.” “We are moved by Lorraine’s
decision to leave a gift to Saint John’s in her parents’ honor,” Trilling says. “We were heartbroken by Mr. and Mrs. Fox’s passing, yet their philanthropic legacy will endure through the impact of this visionary gift. We are most grateful to Lorraine and the Fox family.” Lorraine says she takes comfort in knowing she will complete what her
parents started but were unable to finish. In doing so, she honors the way they lived. “One reason I wanted to follow through on this gift is my parents were two of the most loving and magnanimous people I’ve ever met,” she says. “I’m so fortunate to be their daughter.” SAINT JOHN'S MAGAZINE
Welcome to the New Trustees Saint John’s Health Center Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of nine trustees. Our ability to support Providence Saint John’s Health Center is due to the dedication and hard work of our trustees. We are grateful for their service.
JOHN C. BOWLIN
Kathy Barrett’s varied professional careers include banking, marketing, interior design and, most recently, psychotherapy. As a lifelong learner, Barrett returned to school at age 50 to earn a master’s degree in psychology. Recognizing the need for increased access to mental health resources, she created a private practice in Brentwood focused on providing long-term psychotherapy to clients needing a sliding scale or pay-whatyou-can fee schedule. Barrett recently retired from her practice and looks forward to traveling, spending more time with friends and family, and bringing her volunteer enthusiasm to the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation and the Healing Arts Committee. Her community volunteer efforts have centered around children and their families including a relationship of more than 20 years with the Venice Family Clinic. In addition to having chaired the Venice Art Walk, her philanthropic efforts with Venice Family Clinic have focused on increasing health equity, improving the health of children and their families, eliminating the stigma associated with mental illness and, most recently, reducing food insecurity in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Barrett resides in Pacific Palisades with Matthew, her husband of 38 years.
John Bowlin was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas and his MBA from Pepperdine University. Upon graduation from college, he served for five years as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. Bowlin and his wife, Jessica, have lived in Pacific Palisades for the past 30 years, working and raising three children. He is an entrepreneur with an array of interests ranging from consumer retail and financial services to commercial real estate. Bowlin is the cofounder and chief executive officer of Rent-AWheel/Rent-A-Tire, a leading national retailer specializing in an innovative approach to automotive retail financing. He and Jessica are dedicated volunteers in various philanthropic and educational endeavors in the Greater Los Angeles community. A longtime supporter of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and various outreach missions through St. Matthew’s Parish, they both enjoy giving their time to support local causes. Bowlin also serves on the alumni advisory board at the University of Texas department of economics.
Scott Cohen is a serial entrepreneur and investor with a demonstrated track record of building successful tech companies from startup to exit over the last two decades. Cohen has a passion for building great leadership teams to solve massive needs in large, addressable markets. He is a cofounder of Byte, which became the leading direct-to-consumer brand for oral care/invisible aligners. Byte was acquired in January 2021—less than three years since inception—by the world’s largest dental product company for more than $1 billion. Cohen was the founder and chief executive officer of 180fusion, a leading search engine marketing platform, and executive director of Currency, a fintech platform. From 2000 to 2010, Cohen led Silicon Valley software companies PSS Systems and Certus from start-up to market leadership positions. Cohen currently serves as an advisor and investor for several growth companies in the tech sector. He is also active in the nonprofit community and sits on the board of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, L.A. Chamber of Commerce, United Way and Jewish Graduate Student Initiative. In addition, he has started a charitable arm in each of his operating companies to give back locally and nationally. Cohen graduated from the University of Arizona and resides in Pacific Palisades with his wife and two children.
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Steve Gozini founded BH Management, Inc. (BH Properties) in 1994. From its modest beginning with a few properties, Gozini has built a diverse portfolio of approximately 100 properties in 19 states. He has more than 30 years of extensive experience in acquisitions, dispositions, note purchases and investments. His strength lies in his ability to close deals in record time and in transforming underperforming assets into highyielding returns. He is well-known for his expertise in evaluating potential acquisitions and in structuring deals that would ensure profitability. Gozini oversees and directs the strategic growth of BH Properties, identifying emerging markets and business opportunities that keep the company ahead of industry trends. Prior to founding BH Properties, Gozini was an accomplished international businessman with a background in Asian and Latin American commerce, imports and exports. He has a degree in mechanical engineering. He is also recognized for his philanthropy, involvement in the community and service on boards. He is a member of the advisory council of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. He and his wife, Farah, have three adult children: Nicole, Natalie and Allen.
Michael Hackman is the founder and chief executive officer of Hackman Capital Partners, a privately held real estate investment and operating company that focuses on studio, media, commercial and industrial properties in major U.S. markets. Founded in 1986, Hackman Capital has completed more than $8 billion in transactions across 41 states. HCP, together with its affiliate The MBS Group, has built a best-in-class and growing global studio media platform that includes some of the most iconic studios in the world. The MBS Group services over 380 soundstages throughout 65 locations and represents more than 400 productions a year worldwide. Hackman grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio State University in 1978 with a degree in real estate finance. He began his real estate career in 1978 at Majestic Realty, where he worked in land acquisition, development and leasing of industrial buildings in Southern California. Between 1983 and 1986, Hackman worked at CB Richard Ellis, where he focused on industrial real estate brokerage in Southern California. Hackman and his wife, Caroline, commit time and resources to many Jewish and secular organizations, including AIPAC, the Jewish Federation, American Israeli Educational Foundation, Birthright, Culver City Educational Foundation, Rhett Syndrome Research Foundation, The Help Group, Focusing Philanthropy and many other individual causes. Hackman is a past trustee for the Willows School in Culver City and Windward School in Los Angeles. He and Caroline ] reside in Brentwood. They are the proud parents of Justin and Gabrielle, who both work at Hackman Capital.
Blake Johnson has successfully founded and cultivated a variety of businesses, which currently exceed $1 billion in valuations. Both Currency Capital and IM Capital Access (companies of which he was the chairman and founder) were named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Best Places to Work, and several of his ventures have landed him on the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing privately held companies. His most recent enterprise, Byte, a direct-to-consumer dental aligner company, has achieved significant success expanding to Australia, Canada, Europe and Mexico. In 2020, Byte converted their 150 Juell 3D printers to produce face masks, face shields and ventilator parts for frontline health care providers. In January 2021, Dentsply Sirona announced that it acquired the clear dental aligner-maker in an all-cash deal worth $1.04 billion. In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Johnson is an enthusiastic philanthropist, supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the Boy Scouts of America (he achieved Eagle Scout status as a teen), the International Justice Mission and MOCA Los Angeles. He was the chairman of YPO Los Angeles in 2020. Through his Blake Johnson Alliance, founded in 2015, he follows his passion for creating and improving opportunities in his Southern California community by providing grants to deserving businesses and nonprofits serving the advancement of education, arts, sciences and social well-being. He currently lives in Pacific Palisades with his wife and two children.
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ELIZABETH GREGORY RIORDAN
VICTORIA B. ROGERS
Mel Lindsey, CFA, is the founder and managing partner of Nile Capital Group and serves on the boards of Nile’s portfolio holding companies: Strategic Global Advisors LLC, Denali Advisors LLC, Convergence Investment Partners LLC, Kvasir Technologies and Wilshire Lane Capital LLC. Previously, Lindsey was director of institutional investments, North America, at Investec Asset Management. Prior to joining Investec, he comanaged Julius Baer Investment Management (JBIM) as managing director of global distribution. During his tenure at JBIM, assets under management grew from $800 million to a peak of $78 billion, ultimately resulting in an IPO and listing on the NYSE in 2009. He was also managing director and portfolio manager at Wells Capital Management and a vice president at Shearson Lehman Brothers. Lindsey holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and received his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. He also attended IMD’s Global Leadership Program in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a member of the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts. Lindsey serves on the board of directors and the investment committee for the California Community Foundation, the UCLA Foundation board, the UCLA Anderson School of Management board of advisors, and the board of directors and investment committee of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Gregory Riordan spent her professional career at The Westlake School for Girls and its successor, HarvardWestlake. She was a member of the faculty and head of the Westlake art department. She spent the rest of her career as director of admission and financial aid at Westlake and as the first director of admission for HarvardWestlake. She retired in 2020. Widowed after 40 years of marriage to William M. Gregory, Riordan married former Los Angeles mayor Richard J. Riordan in 2017. Together they support a wide variety of educational, civic and social service organizations. Riordan serves on the board of The Riordan Foundation and is actively involved in support of HarvardWestlake, John Thomas Dye School, The Alliance for Minority Affairs and The Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, which manages 28 charter public schools. She graduated from The Bishop’s School in La Jolla and from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Between them, Elizabeth and Richard have four adult daughters and three dogs. Elizabeth’s daughter, Malia Gregory, was born at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.
Victoria B. Rogers is the president and chief executive officer of The Rose Hills Foundation, which she has directed since its formation in October 1996. The Rose Hills Foundation was funded with approximately $250 million in assets from the sale of The Rose Hills Memorial Park, one of the largest cemeteries in the United States. During her tenure of more than 24 years, the foundation has achieved a combination of strong investment returns that rank in the upper decile for peer institutions while maintaining low overhead and lean staffing, allowing it to maximize its giving to the community. As a result, the foundation’s assets have grown to approximately $500 million while the foundation has granted more than $450 million to more than 1,400 nonprofit organizations in the Los Angeles area. Rogers has substantial experience working in the areas of taxes, accounting, nonprofit organizations and foundation management, including roles with Touche Ross & Co. and Security Pacific. She worked in various senior roles for Norton Simon and his affiliates. She graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1983. She serves on numerous boards including Causeway Capital, Norton Simon Museum, Stanford University and Trust Company of the West. Her previous board affiliations include The Chandler School, The Hotchkiss School, The Polytechnic School, The Stanford Alumni Association, the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education and USA Water Polo.
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Top row (from left): Esther Espinoza, Nancy Wu, Pamela Kogan, Vivian Quiroga, Su-Z Schneider Middle row (from left): Kate Prudente, Christina Arechaederra, Stella Moore, Hannah Redfern, Brenda McDonald, Lorena Craven, Susie DeWeese, Kathy Yawitz, Melinda Casey, Belinda Ballash, Carol Bullock, Lucy Fisher Bottom row (from left): Sandy Line, Jo Ann Klein, Janis Gallo, Stephanie Weston, Christine Hanscom and Christine Ofiesh
Event guests enjoy the Think Pink Boutique
IRENE DUNNE GU I L D – 2022 THI NK PI NK FO R WOMEN’ S W E L L NE S S The Irene Dunne Guild celebrated its 35th anniversary by hosting Think Pink for Women’s Wellness on May 4 at the Upper Bel-Air Bay Club. The annual event, which drew more than 165 attendees, focused on health education and awareness for women and their families. Morning sessions featured presentations on women’s health by Lauren Rudichuk, MS, Tiffany B. Grunwald, MD, Stephen Sideroff, PhD, and Shanthi Gowrinathan, MD. Attendees enjoyed a luncheon and a keynote address from Cara Natterson, MD, followed by shopping at the Think Pink Boutique. Boutique net proceeds benefited programs, equipment and services at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. The Irene Dunne Guild, led this year by president Stephanie Weston, has provided 35 years of support to Saint John’s, funding numerous programs and technology acquisitions. The 2022 Think Pink for Women’s Wellness Committee included cochairs Susie DeWeese, Lorena Craven and Kathy Yawitz and members Carol Bullock, Lucy Fisher, Robyn Fuchs, Janis Gallo, Christine Hanscom, Sandra Line, Caroline Maclay, Stephanie Malbasa, Brenda McDonald, Stella Moore, Christine Ofiesh and Hannah Redfern.
From left: Lorena Craven, Stephanie Weston, Susie DeWeese, Janis Gallo and Kathy Yawitz
C HA U T A UQ UA W E EK EN D 2022 Saint John’s Health Center Foundation hosted its annual Chautauqua Weekend, May 20–22, at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Approximately 180 trustees, donors, physician partners, local and regional executive leaders, and special friends were on hand to celebrate the 41st Chautauqua Weekend: “Owning The Future.” The annual retreat featured a two-day educational program along with social events and activities. Program presentations showcased medical leadership from Providence Saint John’s Health Center’s new and existing clinical institutes: Digestive Health Institute, Heart & Vascular Institute, Orthopedic & Spine Institute, Women’s Health & Wellness Institute, Pacific Neuroscience Institute and Saint John’s Cancer Institute. Saturday morning’s program kicked off with a conversation between Roger Wacker, Saint John’s Health Center Foundation board chair; Erik Wexler, president, Operations & Strategy - South, Providence; and Kevin Manemann, chief executive, Providence Southern California; as well as reports from Saint John’s Health Center Foundation president & CEO Bob Klein and Michael Ricks, chief executive of Providence Saint John’s Health Center. The keynote address was delivered by Richard Fisher, former president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
1. Sajid Sindha, Laura Siart, Mel Lindsey 2. Bill Siart, Steve Gozini 3. Jennifer Russell, Dr. Rudy Bedford 4. Jay Flaherty, Mary Flaherty 5. Dr. Paul Natterson, Giancarlo Lyle-Edrosolo 6. Will Singleton, Cary Singleton 7. Kate Prudente, Elizabeth Gregory Riordan 8. Bob Sinnott, Rosa Sinnott, Gretchen Willison, Bruce Willison 9. Chautauqua Weekend 2022 Planning Committee, (from left): Mike Avila, Jeanne Goldsmith, Bob Klein, Miles Fisher, Roger Wacker, Mary Flaherty, Dr. Peter Pelikan, Tess Csiszar, Dr. Rob Amonic, Michael Ricks 2
The weekend concluded with inspiring words from three grateful patients whose lives were saved thanks to the philanthropic support for Saint John’s from trustees and donors. The 2022 Chautauqua Committee was led by trustee co-chairs Bill Apfelbaum, Jonathan Cole, MD, Miles Fisher and Mary Flaherty. 8 9
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10. Back row (from left): John Goeders, Jaren Amerson, Dr. Peter Pelikan; Middle row (from left): Dr. Mina Kang, Paul Makarawicz, Stephanie Ayers, Erik Wexler, Roger Wacker, Dr. Tiffany Grunwald, Dr. Anton Bilchik, Michael Ricks, Dr. Shephal Doshi, Dr. Neil Martin, Dr. Nicholas Schork; Front row (from left): Bob Klein, Giancarlo Lyle-Edrosolo, Dr. Amir Vokshoor, Dr. John Robertson, Dr. Rudy Bedford, Dr. Dan Kelly, Dr. Parvin Peddi 11. Dr. Mark Biscow, Dr. Dan Kelly, Dr. Ernie Prudente 12. Dr. Anita Gorwara 13. Alan Weston, Stephanie Weston 14. Dr. Amir Vokshoor, Dr. Dan Kelly, Dr. Shephal Doshi 15. Fr. Pat Comerford 16. Allan Goldman, Ellie Goldman, Vicky Rogers, Carl McKinzie 17. Dr. Anton Bilchik, Dr. Nicholas Schork, Dr. Tiffany Grunwald, Dr. Rudy Bedford, Dr. Parvin Peddi 18. Chautauqua Weekend 2022, Saturday Dinner 19. Dr. Anton Bilchik, Angela Courtin, Norma Bilchik
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SA I N T JO HN’ S HEALTH CENTE R FO UN DA T ION BOARD OF TRU S T E E S Roger Wacker, Chair Robert Amonic, MD, Secretary Craig C. Benell, Treasurer Charles F. Adams William S. Anderson William M. Apfelbaum Rae W. Archibald, PhD Margot S. Armbruster J. Jeffrey Assaf Lee A. Ault III Donnalisa Parks Barnum Kathy K. Barrett Ambassador Frank E. Baxter Rudolph A. Bedford, MD James P. Birdwell Jr. Norris J. Bishton Jr. Eric Borstein John C. Bowlin Abbott L. Brown Jules Buenabenta Charles G. Cale Rick J. Caruso Alex M. Chaves Scott Cohen Jonathan R. Cole, MD Jonathan L. Congdon Cynthia S. Connolly Richard F. Corlin, MD Angela Courtin Marian H. Craver Michael W. Croft Richard R. Crowell Kathy Danhakl George H. Davis Jr. Mary Y. Davis Kevin Ehrhart, MD Marc Ezralow Miles Fisher Mary H. Flaherty Frances R. Flanagan James H. Fordyce Bradford M. Freeman
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William M. Garland III Risa L. Gertner Kristin Gibello Allan B. Goldman Jae Goodman Glenn A. Gorlitsky, MD Steve Gozini Thomas F. Grojean Michael Hackman Peter V. Haight David L. Ho Marcia Wilson Hobbs Tonian Hohberg Mark C. Holscher John G. Huarte Stanley Iezman Blake Johnson Steaven K. Jones Jr. Paul R. Kanin Mary Ellen Kanoff Jordan L. Kaplan Russ Kino, MD Kathleen McCarthy Kostlan Bernadette Leiweke Robert J. Levitt Judith D. Licklider Melvin D. Lindsey Robert J. Lowe Carl W. McKinzie Bruce A. Meyer Carolyn B. Minchin Peter W. Mullin Paul D. Natterson, MD Lee S. Neibart Lisa D. Nesbitt Chris Newman Shelby Notkin Dominic J. Ornato Peter C.D. Pelikan, MD Putter Pence Dallas P. Price-Van Breda Ernie L. Prudente, MD
Justin E. Rawlins Elizabeth G. Riordan John M. Robertson, MD Jeanne D. Robinson Victoria B. Rogers Theodore H. Schneider Carole Schwartz Donna L. Schweers Robert Shuwarger Laura Siart William E. Simon Jr. Cary Singleton Rosa K. Sinnott Loraine Sinskey Michael S. Sitrick Charles F. Smith Brent Stratton Nadine E. Tilley James J. Toth II J. David Tracy Donna F. Tuttle Bennet Van de Bunt Patrick J. Wayne Brian M. Webber Edward White Shannon M. Wickstrom Gretchen A. Willison Michael E. Wise Brett G. Wyard
LIFE Sister Maureen Craig, SCL Robert A. Day Richard M. Ferry Ambassador Glen Holden William P. Rutledge Robert J. Wagner
EMERITUS Waldo H. Burnside Robert T. Campion † A. Redmond Doms † J. Howard Edgerton † Jerry B. Epstein † James L. Hesburgh Mrs. Earle M. Jorgensen † Glen McDaniel † Ruben F. Mettler, PhD † John H. Michel † Sister Marie Madeleine Shonka, SCL Flora L. Thornton †
EX-OFFICIO John F. Goeders Robert O. Klein Kevin Manemann Carol Nishikubo, MD Michael Ricks Stephanie Weston † deceased
With the help of philanthropy, Saint John’s caregivers would stop at nothing to help a young woman conquer cancer and have a healthy baby.
Please give now at SaintJohnsFoundation.org or call 310-829-8424, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE
LOS ANGELES, CA PERMIT NO. 31327
2121 Santa Monica Boulevard Santa Monica, CA 90404 USA 310-829-8424 SaintJohnsFoundation.org
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