A $2.5 million gift from City of Hope supporter Arthur M. Coppola will endow a chair in the Department of Supportive Care Medicine. Jay R. Thomas, M.D., Ph.D., will be the first holder of the Arthur M. Coppola Family Chair in Supportive Care Medicine. Thomas is a highly regarded biochemist, internist and leader in palliative care medicine who was recruited to lead City of Hope’s new Department of Supportive Care Medicine in July. He joined the City of Hope faculty from the University of California, San Diego as associate professor of medicine.
“This generous gift recognizes that supportive care is an integral part of the modern way we see and treat patients,” said Michael A. Friedman, M.D., president and chief executive officer (CEO). “Donors like the Coppola family comprehend that reducing suffering, whether it is physical or emotional, is critical to our mission.”
|Jay R. Thomas is the first holder of the Arthur M. Coppola Family Chair in Supportive Care Medicine. (Photo by Walter Urie)|
Thomas is known both as a rigorous scientist and as a physician who deeply understands what seriously ill patients experience and struggle with every day. As a pain specialist and one of the leaders of the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, he is instrumental to City of Hope’s commitment to total patient care, Friedman said.
As chair of the department, Thomas leads a diverse and growing group of faculty members and health-care professionals. The department embodies a growing national movement to treat and support all aspects of patients’ cancer experience, from physical and mental health to emotional and spiritual issues.
“I am honored to be the first holder of this chair, which demonstrates the importance City of Hope and its supporters place on this area of care,” Thomas said. “Our goal is to be the best palliative medicine team in the world, and this generous partnership will help us get there.”
Coppola is certain his gift will advance much-needed areas of research. “We are very pleased to establish this endowed chair and to help advance research and care in supportive medicine,” Coppola said. “As someone who has been personally touched by cancer, I know how important supportive care is to patients and their loved ones. Our family believes patients will benefit tremendously from City of Hope’s integrated, team approach to patient care.”
Coppola is chairman and CEO of the Macerich Company, a premier real estate investment trust specializing in the acquisition, redevelopment and development of shopping centers nationwide. In 2007, received The Spirit of Life® Award, City of Hope’s top philanthropic honor, sharing it with former Macerich chair Mace Siegel.