A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Biller Resource Center

Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center
The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center embodies the heart and soul of City of Hope’s mission to care for the whole person.

Here you will find patient navigators, pain and palliative care physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, spiritual care chaplains, child life specialists, and more. Partnering with our staff, patients and their loved ones find the resources, education and support they need to better manage the challenges related to a serious illness. The Biller Resource Center also offers a wide array of programs including educational classes designed to better prepare patients and caregivers for treatment, healing arts workshops, peer support groups, and much more.

City of Hope strives to make the Biller Patient and Family resource Center an international model of compassionate care. It is one of the only institutions in the United States to offer this level of comprehensive support-dramatically improving the patient and family experience, as well as the ability of physicians and healthcare teams to provide exceptional medical care.

The Biller Patient and Family Resource Center is made possible through generous donations, including a lead gift from the Sheri & Les Biller Family Foundation.
 
 
What Makes Us Unique
 
  • Our SupportScreen system enables new patients to report their psychological, spiritual, emotional, social, rehabilitative, physical and nutritional concerns so that staff members can get them the support they need.
 
  • Members of the health-care team, such as physicians and nurses, learn about results of patients’ screening to ensure that they understand and respond to patient’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs.
 
  • Patient navigators tailor support services to match the needs of each patient and family, whether they need help dealing with pain, getting transportation to the medical center or overcoming other barriers.
 
  • The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center brings together experts from a wide variety of disciplines under one umbrella, the Department of Supportive Care Medicine. All members of this department collaborate closely and are committed to creating the world's gold standard in supportive care programs.
 
  • Staff members test and evaluate all programs to continually improve them, and they share their findings with other health professionals to influence cancer care nationwide.
 
  • Our programs are influenced and enhanced by the input of the Patient and Family Advisory Council, a group of knowledgeable and caring patients and caregivers who provide unique experiences to inform programs and processes at City of Hope. The Patient Advisory Council is a consistent voice for the patient and family perspective.
 

Inside the Biller Resource Center

With support and compassion, everyone can achieve a feeling of wholeness, even while confronting a life-threatening illness. That belief underlies and motivates every element of the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center.

The Biller Patient and Family Resource Center’s attentive and caring staff and volunteers work as a team, welcoming patients and their relatives and friends into a warm environment that includes these features:

  • Tailored care specific to each patient and family
 
  • Private space for patients to meet with patient navigators, physicians, psychologists, social workers, spiritual care providers and other staff and volunteers
 
  • An extensive library of educational books, brochures, CDs and DVDs from reliable sources on diagnoses, treatments, symptom management, coping, caregiving and mind-body topics. Educational booklets and brochures are available free of charge

  • An activity room for yoga and educational sessions, as well as offerings such as art and music therapy, nutrition classes and meditation
     
  • Meeting space for a variety of support groups
 
  • Computers for viewing educational software, accessing health-related websites, obtaining information on community resources and staying connected with family and friends
 
  • Wireless access for those bringing their own laptops
 
  • Scanner, copier and fax machine for patients and caregivers
 
  • The Spungin Tranquility Courtyard, a comfortable outdoor space for reflection
 

Biller Resource Center Services

Patient Navigators
Patient navigators are City of Hope staff members who provide personalized guidance, support and assistance to patients and their families. These trained professionals help patients and their families negotiate complex health care systems and make use of the services that are needed to receive the best possible care.
 
A patient navigator contacts City of Hope patients before their second visit with a City of Hope physician to direct them to services and resources here, such as interpreters, financial counselors and social workers. Patient navigators remain available throughout the patients' entire experience at City of Hope.
 
Interpreter Services
City of Hope offers free interpretation for patients and caregivers whose first language is not English. Please call 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 62282, to reach the Clinical Social Work office.
 
Screening
As patients first begin their treatment journey, staff ask them to complete a series of questions on a touchscreen pad. Called SupportScreen, the system provides a way for new patients to report psychological, emotional, physical, rehabilitative, nutritional, spiritual and social concerns so that staff members can get them the help they need. SupportScreen currently is used in the medical oncology clinic and certain surgical and hematologic clinics.
 
Patient and Family Education
Education equips patients and families with the knowledge and skills they need to take an active role in their own care. City of Hope doctors, nurses and other health professionals provide one-to-one teaching to help patients and families partner in care as inpatients, outpatients and at home.
 
Educational classes and workshops are offered to help patients and their families learn about a variety of topics, such as eating well during cancer treatment, preparing for chemotherapy, managing pain and other symptoms and maintaining physical fitness. A patient and family orientation class teaches important, practical tips on how to navigate City of Hope and how to get the most out of a medical appointment. Staff members also offer workshops on how to effectively communicate with the health-care team. Class dates and times can be found in the Support Services calendar.
 
In addition, a dedicated cancer information resource nurse is available to talk to patients one-on-one by phone to provide information about diagnosis, treatment, symptom management and clinical trials.The nurse helps interpret medical reports and information, assists patients in developing questions to ask their health-care team and offers an understanding ear. For more information, call 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 3CARE (32273).
 
Patients and families also can find a comprehensive library of books, booklets and brochures related to all aspects of cancer, treatment such as chemotherapy, coping and caregiving within the Biller Patient and Family Resource Center.
 
Support and Professional Counseling
The Biller Patient and Family Resource Center professionals take great care to make sure that patients and their family members get the psychological, social and emotional support they need. Currently, health professionals screen all inpatients to help patients and their families who may benefit from additional emotional and social support. Screening also will expand to outpatients.
 
Our specially trained psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, spiritual care chaplains and pain physicians all work together to serve as a lifeline for patients. They can assist patients experiencing pain, as well as the anxiety, depression, isolation and the turbulence that accompanies an unexpected diagnosis and serious illness. Social workers also can share practical information such as how to locate lodging and transportation during treatment; they also can link patients and families to interpreters, if needed.
 
Please call 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 62282 to reach the Clinical Social Work office.
 
Patient Advocates
City of Hope strives to provide service that exceeds patients’ expectations and those of their families. A patient advocate is available to patients if they feel their physical, emotional or spiritual needs are not being met. Patient advocates assist patients and their families by facilitating communication with staff and resolving issues of concern. Patients or family members may reach the patient advocate office at 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 62285.
 
Educational, Problem-solving and Support Groups
City of Hope offers patient groups and caregiver support groups as well as several diagnosis-specific groups, including gynecologic, breast, lung, kidney and prostate cancers. Support group meeting dates and times are available on the Patient and Family Support Services calendar; for more information about these groups or to R.S.V.P., please call 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 3CARE (32273). The center may also refer patients and families to community-based support groups.
 
Supportive Care, Pain and Palliative Medicine
The mission of Supportive Care, Pain and Palliative Medicine is to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and their families by providing a comprehensive, holistic, innovative and interdisciplinary approach to the treatment of suffering and symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment. If you or your loved one is experiencing pain or other distressing symptoms, please talk to your physician or health care provider for a referral.
 
Spiritual Care
Many patients and their families rely on deeply held spiritual beliefs to help them through the difficulties of cancer treatment. To meet their unique spiritual needs, the Biller Patient and Family Resource Center connects patients and their families with City of Hope’s Spiritual Care staff. These professionals are trained to provide supportive care that meets the needs of patients and families of all beliefs. Spiritual Care staff coordinate ceremonies and rituals important to those of specific faiths, such as commemoration of Ash Wednesday and distribution of Shabbat boxes.
 
To reach Spiritual Care, please call 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 63898.
 
End-of-life and Bereavement Support
Despite modern medicine’s advances, some patients inevitably lose their battle with cancer. City of Hope believes in helping patients reach the end of their lives with dignity and as comfortably as possible, while helping families and friends cope with grief and loss.
 
Child Life, Spiritual Care and Clinical Social Work staff members currently offer end-of-life services for patients and bereavement support for caregivers and families. Caring professionals can ensure that families' wishes are understood and honored by helping them create advanced directives. A supportive care nurse on staff specifically helps patients transition from the hospital to hospice.
 
City of Hope is widely known for providing sensitive end-of-life care; its Division of Nursing Research & Education leads the way nationally for research into improving such care for both patients and families.
 
As part of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine, the Biller Patient and Family Resource Center is helping to advance the practice of palliative care and ensuring supportive care medicine and maximum quality of life for all patients. Please speak to your physician for a referral.
 
Nutrition
Nutrition Services staff provide dietary care, education and counseling and help patients and their families make sense of the latest research to make informed food choices. Dietitians can assist with correcting nutritional deficiencies, minimizing treatment side effects, creating nutrition plans after treatment and more. Patients may speak to their physician for a referral.
 
Child Life Program
Experts in child development offer special services to children and teens undergoing cancer treatment. Whether they are inpatients or outpatients, boys and girls with cancer may be vulnerable to the stresses involved in therapy, illness and disruptions in family life. While in treatment, children may feel and look different from their peers and miss school and playtime with friends. Child life specialists restore a sense of normality to children’s lives and provide developmentally appropriate education and support while valuing the needs of parents and other family members. These caring staff members also can help children who have a parent going through cancer.
 
Biller Patient and Family Resource Center staff can refer appropriate patients and their families for this service.
 
School Program
School is an important part of life for children, teens, and young adults. The School Program at City of Hope helps patients to continue life through socialization and continued academic progress during treatment and recovery.
 
All K-12 students at City of Hope are encouraged to participate in our School Program. Please contact our School Program or ask any member of your medical team for more information. We are here to help. Learn more.
 
Healing Arts Programs
City of Hope understands that arts can lift the human spirit. Art and  music therapy sessions are held regularly within the Biller Patient and Family Resource Center. In addition, singers and musicians perform regularly through on-campus venues such as the Hands on Harps concerts.

The practice of yoga also has been shown to improve mood, stress, sleep quality, cancer-related symptoms and quality of life among cancer patients. The Biller Patient and Family Resource Center offers several yoga sessions for patients and caregivers each week.

Periodic writing workshops and other sessions also are offered throughout the year. Times and dates for healing arts, yoga and other related programs are listed in the Support Services calendar.
 
Positive Image Center
Often times, a few tips and some understanding guidance are all cancer patients need to feel more confident about their self-image during treatment. The Positive Image Centersm hosts the Look Good...Feel Better program, a free, community-based, national service that teaches female cancer patients beauty tips for use during chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The center offers make up, skin and personal care products, children’s items, and a line of hats, scarves and alternatives for hair loss, such as wigs. Cosmetologists staff the center, which is located near the Biller Patient and Family Resource Center. To find out more or to make an appointment, please call 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 63842.
 
 

How We Can Help You

Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer. Before she showed up for her first appointment to plan her treatment with her City of Hope doctor, a Biller Patient and Family Resource Center patient navigator called her to make sure she knew where to go and to answer any questions she had.
 
When she visited the clinic, a Biller Patient and Family Resource Center clinical social worker met with her to better understand what she was going through and what help she might need.
 
As a mother of three young children, with a husband who works full time, Carol was worried about her family. She wondered how she’d be able to juggle caring for her kids while recovering from surgery. She also realized she would have to find child care for the kids when she started radiation therapy at City of Hope.
 
She had her own fears, too. She struggled with extreme anxiety, afraid of what the future might bring. Sleep became an increasingly precious commodity. She also was unsure how to talk to her kids about her cancer treatment.
 
Her social worker listened carefully and assured her that her feelings and worries were normal — and that help was available. First, she helped Carol arrange child care with a network of friends and babysitters. She also referred Carol to a City of Hope psychologist for help with her anxiety, while a Child Life specialist guided her in sensitive and appropriate ways to talk to her kids.
 
Finally, social workers suggested that Carol consider learning about cancer treatment and getting encouragement from other patients through a support group. Carol got over her initial shyness and attended, picking up useful tips for dealing with treatment side effects and gaining some dear friends in the process. Her husband joined in, too.
 
And that’s just the beginning. Biller Patient and Family Resource Center pain physicians, spiritual care providers, educators and other staff members continued to be there for Carol, her kids and her husband throughout her treatment — and her healing.

Support the Biller Resource Center

The Sheri and Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center is made possible through generous donations, including a lead gift from the Sheri & Les Biller Family Foundation. By supporting the Center, you help patients and their loved ones find the resources, education and support they need to better manage the challenges related to a serious illness. Make a gift today by donating online, sending a tribute card, or contacting us to explore other giving opportunities. Thank you for your support.

 

 

DONATE ONLINE SEND A TRIBUTE CARD



For more information on supporting the Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, please contact us below.

Kimberly Wah
Director
Phone: 213-241-7275
Email: kwah@coh.org

 
 
Supportive Care Calendar
The Positive Image Center is where licensed cosmetologists support and assist patients with building and maintaining self-confidence in their appearance. Services are free and provide a forum in which patients can access wig fittings and stylings and discuss cosmetic techniques.
 
City of Hope’s School Program helps children, teen, and young adult patients continue their education while undergoing treatment. For more information, please contact Kayla Fulginiti, M.S.W., School Program Coordinator at 626-256-4673, ext. 62282.
Advance Directive Information
 
 
Click here for more information about our program.
Make a Gift
 
 
 
 

For more information about donating to the Biller Resource Center, please contact Kimberly Wah, Director of Development, at 800-232-3314, ext. 26305 or kwah@coh.org.
 
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