Launched in 2015 under a partnership between the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation and The North Bay Cancer Alliance, Cancer Support Sonoma was originally funded as a research study to assess the effects of complementary therapies on cancer patients. At that time we were operating out of the hospital.
When the study came to an end in October 2017, we had a choice to make: close our doors or find new funding sources and a new home so we could continue to serve our growing clientele.
The feedback from patients and a glimpse at study results told us our work has made a significant difference in the lives of those we serve. The request from patients and providers was heartfelt and unanimous:
“Please keep Cancer Support Sonoma going.” So, of course we chose option 2.
Our mission is to physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually support people in our community who are facing cancer treatment, celebrating recovery or entering their end of life due to cancer. We accomplish this by providing integrative, complementary therapies on a sliding scale.
A Home of our Own
In May, 2018, we moved into our new location at 246 Perkins Street in Sonoma, sharing space in the offices of Dr. Alexis Alexandridis who has joined our Board.
Here, in a friendly, supportive environment, our clients can enjoy the services of their choice, relax and socialize with other CSS clients.
Teri holds a 4-year master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine from the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She earned an MS from the University of California, Davis in community health and organizational development.
Teri has worked in health care during her entire career, both as an executive and a provider. She held the position of executive director of two nonprofits: a clinic for the underserved and an adult day healthcare program. As director of an integrated multidisciplinary clinic and a VP of managed care, she established close relationships with providers and the community.
In her work as an acupuncturist, reflexologist, body worker and community health educator she understands the unique needs of each of her clients.
In addition to serving as Program Director for Cancer Support Sonoma, Teri is one of our providers. Her interest in cancer care and support is personal. She is committed to establishing more cancer support programs in Sonoma County to better serve the mental, physical and spiritual needs of the community.
Morgan is a career educator and counselor with 23 years experience teaching and guiding high school and elementary students. After losing her sister to uterine cancer at 51, and her husband to brain cancer, she became dedicated to making a difference in cancer care.
Through the Health Navigation certificate program at Sonoma State University, she learned skills to empower patients to make decisions about their care. She also learned how to find resources and answers for patients struggling with confusing details in the midst of illness.
Morgan volunteered for Providence Hospice in Seattle for three years and helped create a Palliative Care Volunteer organization at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, WA. She joined Cancer Support Sonoma during the three-year study to measure the effects of complementary therapies on the health and well being of our patients.
Morgan finds great joy in helping people live their lives fully as they consider complementary therapies to promote healing. She honors and respects each person’s journey.
Susan received a master’s degree from Stanford University and worked for 15 years as a head teacher at Bing Nursery School, a laboratory/research facility on campus.
After several years as a stay-at-home mom, she became a health educator for Planned Parenthood in the South Bay. There she was involved in the Prenatal Program before becoming the Breast Health Coordinator. Her work at Planned Parenthood was a passionate cause for her.
In retirement she was a volunteer at Bay Area Cancer Connections in Palo Alto, a non-profit organization that offers programs and services to people touched by breast and ovarian cancer. In 2015 Susan and her husband, Scott, moved to Sonoma — a dream come true for them. Becoming a volunteer with CSS was a natural fit.
Her work with Cancer Support Sonoma has helped Susan feel at home in the community. “It means more to me than a wonderful place to do some good work,” she says “I’ve made warm friendships with the clients and providers. I go home at the end of every Friday feeling so pumped up!
Top row, L-R: Carol Wyckoff, Natalie Compagni Portis, Dr. Danielle Schwaderer Kettler, Renata Virk, Scott Murray
Bottom row L-R: Dr. Alexis Alexandridis, Kara Adanalian, Chris Argenziano