Dr. John Glaspy named inaugural chair in integrative oncology

John A. Glaspy, MD
John A. Glaspy, MD

Prominent physician and researcher John Glaspy, MD, professor of medicine and hematology/oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and chair of scientific protocol review at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been chosen as the inaugural Simms/Mann Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Integrative Oncology.

The chair is funded with a $2 million gift that is part of an $18 million endowment commitment from the Simms/Mann Family Foundation. Led by Dr. Victoria Mann Simms and Ronald Simms, the foundation helps support UCLA’s integrative psychosocial care for people with cancer and their families who are dealing with the emotional, psychological and physical burdens of cancer and its treatment.

Psychosocial treatment at Simms/Mann involves a wide range of individual, family and group therapy — not only psychiatric care, but also educational programs in nutrition, spiritual care, qi gong and meditation; and workshops such as healing through art and preparing for surgery.

“Dr. Glaspy has always been a believer in providing a comprehensive treatment approach to cancer patients and their families, emphasizing whole person wellness rather than just simply seeing them as degrees of disease,” said Dr. Victoria Mann Simms. “We are especially proud to recognize Dr. Glaspy as the first chair in integrative oncology and look forward to witnessing his continued impact in the field of oncology.”

Dr. Glaspy, who is also the medical director for the Simms/Mann UCLA Center of Integrative Oncology, has helped lead UCLA’s growing cancer care program throughout the southland. He is an advocate for weaving the cancer center’s major accomplishments in technical cancer care into a comprehensive approach to cancer patients and their families, emphasizing the need to heal the whole person by equipping and accompanying patients throughout the much broader dimensions of their cancer journey.

“I am honored to be the first holder of the Simms/Mann Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Integrative Oncology and grateful for their tremendous generosity,” Dr. Glaspy said. “I am also especially proud of what the Simms/Mann UCLA Center of Integrative Oncology team has built to provide cancer patients with a much more comprehensive treatment that goes beyond conventional medical care. I am committed to continuing the work of the center and bringing the services offered to all our community oncology clinics.”

Dr. Victoria Mann Simms and her husband, Ronald Simms, first met Dr. Glaspy more than 20 years ago when they were speaking with cancer specialists to share their ideas about an integrative approach to cancer treatment that provides a host of psychosocial programs. “Dr. Glaspy understands patients,” said Dr. Victoria Mann Simms. “How to talk to a patient, how to make somebody feel like they’re heard.”

The endowment, along with Dr. Glaspy’s leadership, will help strengthening patient care at UCLA Health facilities at the main UCLA campus and in Santa Monica; and expand the center’s psychosocial and integrative services into UCLA’s community hematology/oncology clinics, which will expand to 20 in the coming year.

"Dr. Glaspy has long been a champion of the Simms/Mann Center and of whole person care that empowers patients and families from all of our Southern California communities to have the tools they need to be their best through the challenges of a cancer diagnosis,” said Dr. Kauser Ahmed, director of the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center. “We could not imagine a better person to be the inaugural holder of this important chair, and are so honored to have his leadership."

Dr. Glaspy has been practicing at UCLA for the past 35 years, where he sees patients in Westwood, Santa Monica and the Porter Ranch clinics. He is also involved in basic research in tumor immunology and the effects of fatty acids on carcinogenesis. Dr. Glaspy received his MD from the UCLA School of Medicine and his MPH in health services administration from the UCLA School of Public Health. He completed his residency in internal medicine and his fellowship in hematology and oncology at the UCLA School of Medicine.

He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Southwest Oncology Group, American Federation for Clinical Research, International Society of Interferon Research, and American Society of Nuclear Medicine, among others. He is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians. During the course of his career, Dr. Glaspy has authored more than 270 articles, abstracts, and book chapters. He has received numerous awards and honors, including being named one of the “Best Doctors in America.”

Dr. Glaspy currently lives in Northridge, Calif, where he and his wife have resided for the last thirty years. Along with supporting several charities, his alma maters and church Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Northridge, Dr. Glaspy played was involved in the conception and architecture of Stand Up to Cancer, an organization that has thrived and contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to cancer research.