Celebrating Five Years of Growth in the Todd Cancer Pavilion

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In July 2013, the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center opened the doors to its brand-new Todd Cancer Pavilion bringing all of its outpatient services into one convenient location. With a vision of treating the whole cancer patient in mind, body and spirit, the Todd Cancer Pavilion was designed with a serene, healing environment.

Five years later, the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute not only maintains its mind-body-spirit approach, it has expanded to include a range of new medical and support programs that empower patients and their families to achieve the best quality of life throughout their cancer journey.

The First Step

Four months after opening, the Lung Cancer Screening Program was introduced. Every resource needed for early detection and treatment of lung cancer was conveniently provided, including individualized evaluation, diagnosis and follow-up care.

Advancing Care

In 2016, Long Beach Medical Center joined only a few hospitals in the region, and the only hospital in Long Beach, to offer an advanced level of endoscopic gastrointestinal diagnostic and therapeutic care. Through the use of advanced technology, physicians were able to diagnose and remove early cancers and treat more complicated diseases in a minimally invasive fashion.

Following in 2017, the MemorialCare Breast Center began identifying patients with a high-risk of developing breast cancer and recommending an additional screening with contrast enhanced breast MRI. A breast MRI is a more comprehensive imaging test for diagnosing cancer.

Growing the Team

Since 2014, several physicians found their new home in the Todd Cancer Pavilion.

  • A team of gynecologic oncologists came together including, Fabio Cappuccini, M.D.; Kristine R. Penner, M.D., medical director, Gynecologic Oncology; Philip J. Di Saia, M.D., medical director, MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute; and Krishnansu S. Tewari, M.D.
  • Urologist, Cory Hugen, M.D., helped create the Urologic Oncology Program by offering advanced treatment options for patients with urologic cancers not available at other area hospitals.
  • Liver and pancreatic surgeon, Ronald Wolf, M.D., grew the Complex Pancreatic & Liver Cancer Program to include advanced techniques for the most complex surgeries, which are often needed to remove part or all of the liver or pancreas.
  • Breast and general surgeon, Jessica Rayhanabad, M.D., medical director of breast surgery, helped expand the Breast Oncology Program to include advanced techniques in oncoplastic breast surgery – combining the latest plastic surgery techniques with surgical oncology.
  • In addition, medical oncologists, Jonathan Blitzer, M.D.; Maria Dungo, M.D.; William Lyons, M.D.; Milan Sheth, M.D.; and Nilesh Vora, M.D., rounded out the Medical Oncology Program.

Integrated Cancer Medicine

Integrated cancer medicine is complementary care used alongside standard care, and includes evidence-based, proven medical practices, such as nutrition support, cancer rehabilitation and psychosocial oncology.

Over the years, the Integrated Cancer Medicine Program has been strengthened with the addition of psychosocial support programs and classes, such as a writing workshop, creative workshop, family support group and more. Additional classes like yoga and Pilates also help address the mind-body connection for cancer patients and survivors.

Symbol of Hope

When the Pavilion opened, it debuted the original “Cranes of Hope” art installation to give hope and encouragement to patients and family members.

Over time, the need for replacement arose. Throughout 2017, the community folded 14,000 origami cranes to help re-build the installation, which hangs from the three-story ceiling in the shape of a cancer awareness ribbon.

Today, with continuous growth, including some additions coming soon to the thoracic and colorectal surgery, and palliative care teams, the Todd Cancer Pavilion continues to give hope and encouragement to all who step inside.