Sister Therese Zimmerman and guest Angelle Wacker, wife of Chair of Saint John's Foundation Board of Trustees
Guild Recording Secretary Mary White and Guild President Stephanie Weston
In 1939, a group of nuns from the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL), Kansas traveled west and partnered with locals to begin a ministry of compassionate care. Bringing hope and healing, they raised funds to buy land and build Saint John’s hospital in 1942 to care for people in the heart of Santa Monica.
Fulfilling a dream of SCL Sister Marie Madeleine Shonka, a strong support group was formed in July 1987 that became the Irene Dunne Guild. Through numerous invocations at Guild meetings and her presence at Saint John’s, Honorary Guild member, Sister Therese Zimmerman, along with other devoted SCL nuns, has helped uphold and support the values of excellent care, dignity, and devotion at Saint John’s. At our June meeting, Sister Therese shared: ‘The SCL and Providence Sisters truly believe we are here for each other and on a sacred journey to help one another.’
Sister Therese will soon return to the SCL Motherhouse, with Sister Nancy Svetlecic. She gave thanks 'to all caregivers, our ongoing treasure, doctors, researchers, trustees, volunteers and our Guild members, who carry the torch of this healing ministry'. Above all, she thanked patients and families for choosing and trusting Providence Saint John’s Health Center, which has provided healing and health for 80 years. We’ll miss you, Sister Therese, and thank you and all the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth who have tirelessly served our community all these years!
Also here for us all is renowned clinician and researcher, Dr. Santosh Kesari, the guest speaker at our June meeting. Dr. Kesari explained how the Brain Center and Pacific Neuro Institute are researching and delivering precision medicine in the Treatment of Cancer patients. Personalized gene sequencing is now standard care for the Brain Center to target therapy to each patient’s specific cancer mutation. They’re conducting clinical trials to help develop new drugs which have seen few advances in recent years due to the complexity of brain tumors, with hundreds of mutations, compared to some other cancers.
Dr. Kesari spoke of promising results with PIN (Precision Immunotherapy in the Neoadjuvant Setting) where immunotherapy treatment is given as a first step to shrink tumors before chemotherapy and radiation, which has historically come first. As our population ages, the incidence of brain cancer also increases. People from all over are seeking out Dr. Kesari and PNI to treat brain tumors like Glioblastoma, get care for other neurological and cranial disorders and participate in their cutting-edge clinical trials.
Guild members are fortunate to get direct updates from leading researchers and clinicians and we thank Dr. Kesari for his deep commitment to Saint John’s and our community as he works to further his field.
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For information about joining the Guild or attending our events, please contact our Corresponding Secretary at email@example.com or contact Saint John's Health Center Foundation. We look forward to hearing from you!
Supporting Saint John's since 1987, Guild members act as goodwill ambassadors to the community and are dedicated to supporting the charitable objectives of the Health Center by active volunteerism and raising funds.