City of Hope physician-scientist is named the Arthur M. Coppola Family Chair in Supportive Care Medicine

December 6, 2018
Zen Vuong
William Dale, M.D., Ph.D., has improved the lives of older adults with cancer and plans to work with others at City of Hope to develop the international standard of supportive care
DUARTE, Calif. — City of Hope’s William Dale, M.D., Ph.D., has been named the Arthur M. Coppola Family Chair in Supportive Care Medicine in recognition of his 20 years of work helping patients and their families make informed medical decisions that improve quality of life.
“Dr. Dale is a scholar, physician, healer and 'man of heart,'” said Robert W. Stone, president and CEO of City of Hope. "He embodies the internationally renowned research and treatment center’s focus on caring for a patient’s total needs and the needs of their family.
“Supportive care is our heart and soul. Patients in the fight for their lives need to focus 100 percent on getting well, and their state of mind matters every bit as much as the size of their tumors.”
Arthur M. Coppola was chairman and CEO of The Macerich Company, one of the country’s leading developers of retail real estate. He established the chair in 2008 to recognize the importance of care that addresses the whole person and embraces the patient’s family as part of the treating, healing and dying process. Coppola is a past recipient of City of Hope’s Los Angeles Real Estate & Construction Industries Council Spirit of Life® Award.
“I am impressed by the services that William Dale has helped to implement thus far and am excited to see more,” Coppola said. “I think City of Hope is on the right path, and you’ve got the right team. If you can fine tune your secret sauce and export it to different practices, we really would have something to talk about. I’m excited to be a part of this mission.”
His wife, Kate Coppola, said she is delighted with what City of Hope has done.
“Art and I are pleased with how City of Hope has developed a unique program that is specifically focused on supporting holistic learning, an approach that looks beyond to wider opportunities to offer healing.”
The Coppolas chose Dale to lead this mission. Dale went to the University of Chicago for medical school. During his residency, he spent time taking care of veterans from World War II, cementing his deeper understanding and love of geriatric patients. Dale specialized in geriatric medicine during his postgraduate education and training at University of Pittsburgh.
He served as chief of geriatrics and palliative medicine at University of Chicago for eight years before coming to City of Hope, where he focuses on how people make medical decisions in the face of uncertainty, adversity, risk and anxiety. When treating vulnerable patients with serious illness, especially older patients with cancer, Dale said both cognition and emotion should be accounted for in the decision-making process.
“We tend to focus on the rational, more cognitive aspects of choices,” Dale said. “But you need to account for both cognition and emotion in medicine. Emotions, especially, matter. Supportive care is where these emotional issues are dealt with best.”
His thoughts reflect City of Hope’s credo: “There is no profit in curing the body if, in the process, we destroy the soul.”
Dale is working collaboratively with Matthew Loscalzo, L.C.S.W., executive director and Liliane Elkins Endowed Professor in Supportive Care Programs to strengthen the department. He collaborated with the late Arti Hurria, M.D., former vice provost for clinical faculty and George Tsai Family Chair in Geriatric Oncology, and others to develop the first American Society of Clinical Oncology guidelines for treating older patients with cancer. Dale and Hurria had secured a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, which Dale will continue to lead with colleagues from the Cancer and Aging Research Group. Additionally, City of Hope received a $1 million gift from The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation to launch two transformative supportive care projects to train oncologists, nurses and other health care professionals to deliver the institution’s signature compassionate, holistic cancer care. Lastly, the Department of Supportive Care Medicine recently received certification from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to offer a new Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship, making City of Hope the first stand-alone cancer center on the West Coast – and the second in the United States after the National Cancer Institute – to earn this designation.
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About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as one of only 49 comprehensive cancer centers, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the world. City of Hope’s main campus is in Duarte, California, just northeast of Los Angeles, with additional locations throughout Southern California. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation, diabetes and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs based on technology developed at the institution. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.