Dr. Schwartz recalls some of the unique features a patient will find at The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center such as the meditation labyrinth and the ability to control aspects of their surroundings. Dr. Schwartz is the Director of Integrative Medicine at the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence Medical Center.
Well, the Disney Family Cancer Center is the only cancer center in the L.A. area that includes an integrative medicine program within the cancer center. We have radiation-oncology on the first floor, we’ve got individual specialty physicians on the third floor, and then we’ve got a medical oncology practice on the fourth floor. And the entire second floor is there to offer support services for our cancer patients.
And so this is really the only cancer center in the L.A. area that offers all of that in one place so that patients feel like they are getting all of their needs met in one building.
And, you know, when you walk into the front door of this building you see above the atrium, “Dedicated to the healing of mind, body, and spirit” and we really believe that in everything. The cancer center was set up with the patient convenience and satisfaction in mind.
We put so many little things in the cancer center to give patients back a sense of control. They get to control their environment. They get to control what complementary therapies they get along with their conventional treatment. They get to control their appearance. We support – we have an Appearance Center where they can go pick out wigs and, you know, other things, get counseling on make-up and things like that they need. They get to control their activity levels. We have physical therapists available that can help them get back into a regular active lifestyle and teach them what a healthy lifestyle is.
The whole environment of the cancer center was intended to support patients from the moment that they walked in. So when you walk through the front door of the cancer center you see this beautiful waterfall in front of you and you look around and you see many natural elements in the decoration of the cancer center.
You go up onto the second floor and you walk outside and we have a healing garden where we have water features at both ends and all along the sides, and you hear running water when you’re out there. There are trees and plantings along the wall and you walk along and see natural things and inspirational sayings carved in the concrete and there are areas to sit and just be contemplative and be quiet. There are areas where you can do a walking meditation in our meditation labyrinth and sometimes we have our Thai Chi classes out there so the environment was geared towards making the patients feel like they were in a natural place, a healing place, and not in a hospital environment.
And, one of our first patients that came through had experienced the beginning of her treatment over at the hospital and when the cancer center came open, she was transferred over here, and as she walked through the doors of the cancer center and saw that waterfall, she said it was like angels singing and really was just so impressed by how much thought had gone into making patients feel comfortable and making them feel at home in this environment.
About Dr. Lisa Schwartz, M.D.:
Lisa Marie Schwartz, MD, is the Medical Director of Integrative Medicine for The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center. She received her medical education at the Medical University of South Carolina. She completed residencies in both internal medicine and radiation oncology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. After practicing radiation oncology for a number of years, Dr. Schwartz was motivated by her patients’ use of complementary medicine to learn more about it. She completed a master’s degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine at Emperor’s College and associate fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona under Dr. Andrew Weil. She is nationally board certified in radiation oncology, internal medicine, acupuncture, and Chinese medicine.
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