The Simms/Mann Family Foundation, led by Dr. Victoria Mann Simms and Ronald Simms, has made an $18 million commitment to support UCLA’s expansion of integrative psychosocial care for people with cancer and their families into communities throughout Southern California.
The gift to UCLA Health will fund an endowment to sustain and expand the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, which provides psychosocial care — usually free of charge — to patients and families dealing with the emotional, psychological and physical burdens of cancer and its treatment. It is the lead gift in a new campaign by UCLA Health to create a $50 million endowment for the center.
Psychosocial treatment at the center involves a wide range of individual, family and group therapy — not only psychiatric care, but also educational programs in nutrition, spiritual care, qi gong and meditation, as well as workshops on healing through art and preparing for surgery. The center’s mission is to empower patients and families with support that enhances their overall well-being as they go through the many challenges of a cancer diagnosis.
“This is truly an exciting and timely opportunity to inspire and train patient-centered leaders and professionals to work together to transform the delivery of cancer care to our communities,” Dr. Vicki Simms said. “This partnership with UCLA reflects our mutual belief: Everyone should have access to excellent health care services that focus on the whole person.”
The Simmses learned firsthand about the struggles that face cancer patients and their families when Dr. Vicki Simms's father Ted Mann suffered from cancer and was treated at UCLA. The Simmses have long been passionate about advancing integrative medicine, an approach that cares for the patient as a whole person: mind, body and spirit. Their 20-plus years of national experience on the topic was the catalyst for funding the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology and creating the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center at the Venice Family Clinic, the first integrative-medicine center at a free clinic.
In the years since its inception, the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center has grown to become a nationally recognized model for integrative oncology care. Center director Dr. Kauser Ahmed also oversees the center's acclaimed training program that prepares providers from across the United States in integrative psychosocial care.
The endowment will enhance that training program, strengthen patient care at UCLA Health facilities in Westwood and Santa Monica, expand the center’s psychosocial and integrative services into UCLA’s community oncology clinics, create the Simms/Mann Family Foundation Chair in Integrative Oncology and endow a chaplaincy in honor of Dr. John Glaspy (MD ’79, RES ’82, FEL ’83), the center’s medical director and a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“The center’s invaluable work relies on public-private partnership,” said Ron Simms, a California real estate developer. “UCLA has the clinical footprint and expertise to deliver counseling alongside its best-in-class cancer care. We are grateful for UCLA’S commitment to expand access to care, enabling patients and families to receive services close to home from a truly integrated team of professionals.”
To inspire other philanthropists to support the center, the foundation’s commitment includes a gift-matching fund of $6 million. Combined with its generous previous gifts, the foundation now has given more than $33 million to UCLA.
“For decades, the Simms-Mann family has been a tireless advocate for a team approach to patient- and family-centered care,” said Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of the UCLA Hospital System. “Vicki and Ron’s pledge is further evidence of their commitment to world-class cancer care by addressing the psychosocial and physical well-being of patients and their loved ones during intense treatment. We are so grateful to have their visionary partnership in our impactful work.”
For more information, contact Margaret Steele at: 310-794-5244