Health Care: Cancer Center of Santa Barbara

The Mosher Foundation Supports Cancer Center and Sansum Clinic Merger

Ed and Sue Birch have a long history with the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara: Ed as a former member of the board of directors, and Sue as the leader of a children’s group, using her counseling skills to help children cope with the changes brought on when a relative is treated for cancer. In general, it is a cause close to their heart.

“The Cancer Center is so necessary – we have some of the best specialists right here in Santa Barbara, so patients don’t have to travel to Los Angeles or San Francisco,” said Sue Birch, who currently serves on the Cancer Center board. “It has a reputation of being welcoming and friendly towards patients at a time when things are so horrible for them.”

So when the Cancer Center proposed a merger with Sansum Clinic, the Birches decided to fund a marketing campaign to explain the advantages the merger would bring to the Santa Barbara community.

“A big part of making the merger successful was getting the word out about what we were trying to achieve,” said Rick Scott, former president of the Cancer Center, and now president of the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara, which oversees charitable assets on behalf of the Cancer Center.

“The marketing campaign that the Mosher Foundation funded really brought the medical community on board,” Scott said. “We knew we needed professional marketing help with getting the message out in the community, but our resources were all pointed towards taking care of patients, so the Mosher Foundation very generously stepped up.”

The grant to the Cancer Center is a good example of a one-time gift for a special project, said Sue Birch. “We really like these types of one-time grants because we can evaluate if the gift has made a difference,” she said. “We want them to be creative with the use of the money and focus on what they really want to do, instead of relying on us for general operating support.”

In part because of the marketing campaign, the merger between the Cancer Center and Sansum Clinic was successful, and the new center is now called the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic. It offers a comprehensive and compassionate approach to treating cancer patients with cutting-edge technology and top-notch medical professionals, including integrative wellness and patient support services.