Many lives have been saved and families forever changed thanks in part to the generous support of our donors.
“A dedicated and compassionate caregiver at St. Joseph Hospital for decades, Melvin Schwartz and his wife demonstrated their friendship and support for the Hospital by establishing a legacy through a generous charitable planned gift.”
Raul Mena, M.D.
Dr. Mena’s career and academic accolades are many. When asked, he’ll tell you his greatest achievement has been giving patients a chance to lead the lives they want in the time they have. Earlier this year, he announced the end of his 41-year career. Over time, he’s earned the love and gratitude of thousands of grateful patients and their families at the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center.
Early in his career, he mastered the art of deep, heart-centered listening, and his patients loved him for it. Dr. Mena attended the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and credited its unique teaching program with introducing him to the idea of treating the whole person. “Before we even knew how to hold a stethoscope, they taught us to interview people, to listen and to read body language,” he shares.
As he was about to begin his residency at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, one of his mentors allowed him to act as a private fellow and visit cancer patients in their homes. “He told me, ‘I want you to learn their dreams, their aspirations, their disappointments and their challenges,’” he remembers. “This was before the time of hospice and pain control. I couldn’t write them a prescription. My only tools were my ears and my heart. That experience, more than anything else, molded my character, my goals and my future.”
“Cancer requires a team effort, and together we’ve done something worthwhile for our patients,” he says. “That’s what this is really all about.”
Together, we can provide care that transforms lives, now and for years to come.