Cancer Center of Santa Barbara Receives Landmark Gift from Philanthropist Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree

Rick Scott, Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara President, Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, and Kurt N. Ransohoff, MD, CEO, at Campaign Launch and Topping Off Ceremony

Local philanthropist Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree generously contributed $8.2 million towards a new Cancer Center for the Santa Barbara community, announced Kurt N. Ransohoff, MD, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Sansum Clinic.

"Lady Ridley-Tree has incredible vision and generosity and her support is so meaningful to the Cancer Center. This is just one more example of the positive impact she continues to have on our special community," said Dr. Ransohoff. "A new Cancer Center will allow us to centralize all our outpatient cancer care, creating a seamless, personalized experience for the patients who entrust us in their time of need. Lives will be saved and enhanced through this integrated, collaborative approach which is essential in continuing our progress against cancer."

"I have had the good fortune to be able to support many organizations in our community, but this one touches my heart in a very personal way," explained Lady Ridley-Tree as she signed her gift check. "I still remember sitting in the windowless basement of the Cancer Center with my husband, Paul, while he was getting chemotherapy. To imagine future patients enjoying warm sunlight as they look out on a canopy of trees is like a dream. Such an environment will be transformational… inspirational. This new Cancer Center is exactly what this community needs, and I’m delighted to support it.

"A new $68 million multidisciplinary Cancer Center will save and enhance the lives of those diagnosed with cancer by unifying the newest technology, multiple medical departments and wellness programs into one modern facility in line with the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) recommended best practices. Located within two blocks of Sansum Clinic and Cottage Hospital in the heart of Santa Barbara’s medical village, this new 54,780 square foot facility will be a model of coordinated cancer treatment, achieving both scientifically comprehensive and intensely personal care.

"We were founded on a commitment to our community to provide patients with exceptional cancer care, including access to the latest clinical research, the most advanced technology and the most highly-trained physicians, close to home," Dr. Ransohoff said. "Uniting our skilled, experienced and respected medical and support team into one modern facility for more synchronized care and enhanced access to protocols, research and genomics, is a bold demonstration of our commitment to providing the best care possible to patients in our community."

Thanks to the foresight and generosity of our community, the Cancer Center has been home to first-rate diagnostic and treatment equipment, and robust research and supportive care programs since 1949. The highly qualified physicians at the Cancer Center have been trained at leading institutions including Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Dana Farber, Mayo Clinic, National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, USC, Yale, Cornell, UCSD, UCSF and University of New York at Buffalo.

The new facility is designed to coordinate care and facilitate even better outcomes, provide room for the latest treatment technologies, and offer the space needed to care for the increasing number of cancer patients expected as baby boomers age. A 35% increase is projected to occur for patients 65+ over the next decade. On-site clinical research to help develop new cancer drugs will remain an integral component of this new comprehensive Cancer Center with designated space for expanded Phase II and III clinical trials.

Cancer care requires the involvement of a team which includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, primary care physicians, geneticists, nutritionists, clinical research coordinators, nurses, social workers and wellness practitioners. Providing all members of the team close proximity to consult and collaborate will improve treatment plans, coordinated care and patient outcomes, while lessening the burden on patients and their family members who support their care.

Santa Barbara’s new Cancer Center will provide a rich environment to propel cancer care in our region to a higher level of excellence, where patients can walk through one door to meet their entire cancer care team. More than ever before, patients will be able to be active participants in their treatment decisions, with less stress and more energy to direct toward their health and healing.

Contact: Jill R. Fonte
(805) 681-1879