patients and families cope with cancer

Santa Monica resident Anne Coscarelli has been honored by the Los Angeles County Psychological Association for her ongoing contributions in helping patients and their families cope with cancer.

Coscarelli, a psychologist who directs the Simms-Mann/ UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, was given the Distinguished Service to the Profession of Psychology Award at a luncheon Saturday, October 20th, during the association’s 19th annual convention in Los Angeles. The organization recognizes someone each year who has made a significant contribution to the field of psychology.

As director of the Simms-Mann/UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, Coscarelli and her staff help patients and their families enhance wellness and address the physical and emotional challenges brought about by cancer and its treatments. The center is part of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“The first step in managing cancer is getting the best medical care that traditional Western medicine has to offer, but this is not enough,” Coscarelli said. “Most patients want information that will help them maximize wellness of mind, body, spirit and emotions.

“Comprehensive cancer centers treat the whole person, not just the disease. Our center facilitates partnership between patients and practitioners in the healing process.”

Coscarelli received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis in the psychology of women in 1980 from the California School of Professional Psychology and later received the “Outstanding Alumna of the Year Award” for her research in the area of psychosocial oncology.

She has held faculty appointments at UCLA for more than 26 years and serves as the founding director of the Integrative Oncology Center.

Coscarelli said her goal has been to translate research conducted in multidisciplinary fields into the practice of caring for the whole patient with cancer.

Coscarelli serves on the advisory boards for the UCLA-LIVESTRONG Cancer Survivorship Center of Excellence and the Susan G. Komen Support Research for Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Cancer Survivors.

She teaches nurses, physicians and mental health providers about the psychology of cancer, survivorship issues, mind-body medicine and compassionate end-of-life care.