The Weingart Foundation has granted City of Hope $200,000 to support the Sheri &
Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, a unique place where patients and families can turn for help in coping with cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The Biller Resource Center will provide City of Hope patients and family members access to services that nurture their physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being. The center’s physical space will open in spring 2008, but many of the center’s new programs already are under way.
“The patient services at the Biller Resource Center embody City of Hope’s tradition of compassionate care,” said Matthew Loscalzo, M.S.W., administrative director of the center. “Care for the mind and spirit of patients and their friends and families can go a long way in ensuring their quality of life. We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with the Weingart Foundation to bring the program to a new level.”
A variety of new support services fall under the Biller Resource Center’s umbrella. The center’s first patient navigator, for example, already has begun guiding new patients and their families through the City of Hope system. The grant also will fund a unique program of psychological screening and support, an expanded slate of cancer support groups, health information and peer mentoring from other cancer survivors.
In addition, the Biller Resource Center funds subscriptions to important databases with information on dietary supplements and herbal remedies so that City of Hope pharmacists,
physicians and other professional staff can provide up-to-date information to patients
about potential interactions between these medications and their chemotherapy.
In the future, Biller Resource Center leaders offer mind-body therapies such as yoga and meditation, as well as adult music and art therapy. The center also provides access to other programs as pet visitation, spiritual care and end-of-life bereavement counseling. Many clinicians have observed and documented significant benefits among people who have used mind-body programs, according to the American Cancer Society.