Sonoma’s only cancer service program is asking for community involvement as it transitions from being a program of the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation to establishing itself as community-based nonprofit organization. As it prepares to launch its own nonprofit entity, Cancer Support Sonoma will host an informational meeting about the Cancer Support Sonoma will be held on Thursday, December 7, at 3 p.m.
For nearly three years CSS has been providing low-fee complementary therapies including acupuncture, acupressure, massage, psychotherapy, naturopathic and nutrition counseling, a support group and more to people with cancer.
Since opening, CSS has provided over 2,500 healing sessions to 115 patients on a sliding-scale basis. Launched as a partnership between the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation and The North Bay Cancer Alliance, and funded as a research study, it has been the only oncology program in the Sonoma Valley. All CSS providers are experienced in oncology care and services are available to anyone in the valley and surrounding areas who has (or had) cancer, from the time of diagnosis throughout treatment and into recovery.
In October, when the research funding ended, it was determined that the hospital could no longer support the program.
The feedback from patients and the initial results of the two-year study suggested that CSS services had made a significant difference in the quality of life of participants. As CSS was slated to end on October 20, Program Director Pam Koppel made the decision to start a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization and seek new funding sources to keep CSS operating.
Newly independent, CSS received a patient donation and a small grant from To Celebrate Life Foundation in addition to a generous offer of temporary office space from Sonoma chiropractor Dr. Eliot Carter.
“In order to make this effort successful, the program will need a lot of support from the community,” Koppel said.
She is looking for local Sonoma residents to join the Board of Directors, the Fundraising Committee and to work as clinic volunteers. A major fundraising effort is being launched to fully re-start operations in 2018.
The community meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 7 from 3-4:30pm at the Sonoma United Methodist Church, 109 Patten St. Everyone in the community who would be interested in participating or supporting the program is encouraged to come.
For more information about this project or the December 7th meeting, or to schedule an interview with Pam Koppel, CSS Board President, please call 707.799.2203 or email [email protected]