Two of Santa Barbara’s longtime nonprofit healthcare providers have joined forces with a shared vision of enhancing cancer care, and nearly 500 community members, donors, local businesses, and celebrities celebrated in style to support the partnership of the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic.

Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic Gala Co-Chairs Christy Kolva, Tracie Fiss and Julie Nadel with Jay Leno
Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic Gala Co-Chairs Christy Kolva, Tracie Fiss and Julie Nadel with Jay Leno

Upon arrival to Isla Mar , the private and historic Hope Ranch estate of Geoffrey Claflin Rusack and Alison Wrigley Rusack, guests were treated to Rusack wines and a variety of farmers-market-fresh appetizers as they explored the estate grounds overlooking the Pacific. Jugglers, mimes, and other street performers guided guests into the main event tent, the captivating locale of a sumptuous three-course meal featuring the food of Rincon Events and Celebrity Chef Jamie West.

The delightful dinner was just the start of the evening’s magic. Remarks were delivered by Sansum Clinic’s CEO & Chief Medical Officer, Kurt Ransohoff, MD; Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara’s President, Rick Scott; and breast cancer survivor and support group facilitator for the Cancer Center, Hollye Jacobs, RN, MS, MSW. All spoke to the importance of the partnership for the community’s cancer patients and their families, and thanked event sponsors and donors for their overwhelming support.

The thrill of the evening escalated when Rickey Minor and the Tonight Show Band took the stage, playing Jay Leno into the spotlight where he kicked off an exciting and hugely successful Live Auction. Auction items included a World-Class Cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises; an Epicurean Adventure featuring a kitchen tour and meet-and-greet at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry; Dinner with George Stephanopoulos and Alexandra Wentworth in NYC; A Swiss-Made Corum Watch; Manchester United VIP Soccer Experience; A walk-on role in Oscar-winner Ben Affleck's next film; an all-electric FIAT 500e; Deluxe Las Vegas vacation for four including round trip private jet air travel; and an opportunity to spend time with the auctioneer himself with VIP tickets to the Tonight Show and insider-access to his famed car collection. The live auction concluded with an item everyone could participate in, a paddle-raise to support cancer patients in the community as they journey with, through, and beyond cancer.

In total, the evening raised $1.1 million (net, after all expenses) in support of the Cancer Center’s Patient Assistance, Wellness, and Support Programs, which aid patients with all aspects of healing with services like financial assistance for those who lack insurance; practical assistance with co-pays, insurance coverage, and travel expenses; nurse navigation; nutrition counseling; support groups; individual and family counseling; classes such as yoga, tai chi, painting, writing, meditation and laughter; cancer prevention and colon cancer screening programs; and hereditary cancer risk counseling for patients and families.

“These programs cost us $1.4 million to fund each year, and we know they are truly vital in helping patients not only survive cancer – but to thrive during and after a diagnosis,” explained Rick Scott. “We are so grateful for the opportunity to inform our community of these programs and to celebrate our recent partnership with Sansum Clinic. We are overwhelmed by the outstanding support shown tonight.”

“Bringing together these two teams has already brought us tremendous benefit, and tonight’s event is a wonderful example of what is possible when two organizations come together with a shared vision. We are experiencing greater collaboration and coordination with our expanded team of physicians, and as we look to the future, we see great opportunities for expanded clinical research, enhanced recruitment of highly trained medical personnel, and acquisition of new technology that will allow us to continue delivering exceptional care. This partnership brings together the right people and the right tools in the right healing environment so that patients can receive the cancer treatments they need close to home, right here in the community that supports them so well,” said Kurt Ransohoff, MD.

Sansum Clinic is the largest independent nonprofit healthcare organization between the Los Angeles Basin and the San Francisco Bay Area. With more than 150 affiliated physicians and 1,200 employees, Sansum Clinic provides the full spectrum of healthcare services, from primary care to more than 30 specialties. Sansum Clinic serves more than 150,000 patients (600,000 visits) annually at 23 patient care facilities between Carpinteria and Santa Maria.

The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic provides state-of-the-art cancer treatment and support for patients on the Central Coast. Since 1949, through the charitable giving of families and foundations, the Cancer Center has stayed in the vanguard of comprehensive, non-surgical, outpatient cancer care. By retaining highly trained and devoted medical personnel, acquiring the latest technology and protocols, and integrating patient support and wellness programs, the Cancer Center treats those on the journey to live with, through, and beyond cancer.

Source: PR Newswire

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