In 2012, the Simms/Mann Institute, in partnership with the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, offered a conference on Spirituality and Medicine with the theme “When Cancer Strikes: Response Strategies for Pastoral Caregivers.”

The first of its kind, the event brought together spiritual leaders, medical oncologists, social workers, and nurses to share knowledge, ideas, and treatment plans. The conference’s goal was to create a sense of community among 43 people from disparate professional fields. Of the attendees, 30 were representatives of various faiths from local congregations.



Desired Impact

The Institute believes there is the opportunity at the intersection of spirituality and medicine for medical and pastoral caregivers to have meaningful dialogue with one another. The conference addressed the growing demand for transdisciplinary care across the U.S.

Particularly during times of medical crisis, we all search for meaning and purpose in life. Thought leaders convened by the Institute realize it is critical for professionals working with an aging population and/or with patients facing serious illness to work together to give spiritual support, which is a unique place to look for hope and structure. The Institute encourages more collaboration and guidance in this vein.


Michael Eselun

Chaplain at Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology

Anne Coscarelli, PhD

Founding Director, Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology

Kauser Ahmed, PhD

Psychosocial Services Manager, Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology

Thomas J. Pier, LCSW

Former social worker, Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology

Herbert Eradat, MD

Medical oncologist, UCLA Health