The Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center at Venice Family Clinic is the product of a passion that keeps Dr. Victoria and Ronald Simms up at night—literally.
One night in 2005, Vicki awoke at 3:00 a.m. with an idea she had to immediately share with her husband, Ron: that they should help bring a holistic approach to health, wellness, and integrative medicine to people who could not otherwise access such a combination. Many hours of conversation later, Vicki and Ron approached Venice Family Clinic, and we became their willing and enthusiastic partner. Together, we developed a three-pronged strategy to realizing their vision: to launch a brand new integrative medicine program—the first of its kind in the nation at a community clinic—to add a new obesity prevention and treatment pilot program, and to expand the Clinic’s mental health treatment resources. At every step, we focused on building a whole-person approach, the core belief at the heart of Vicki and Ron Simms’ three decades of philanthropic commitment.
It’s difficult to overstate the impact that the Simms/Mann Family Foundation has had on Venice Family Clinic. Yes, the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center on Pico Boulevard is named in their honor, and more than 50,000 patients have received quality care within its walls since their gift. But in truth, Vicki and Ron’s passion for treating each patient as a person not an illness has inspired change that has permeated the care model for the entire Clinic. Now, we don’t just ask a person what ailment brings them through the door, but whether they slept indoors the night before, and if they have been concerned about getting enough food any time in the last year. We make sure that anyone who might be struggling with depression or addiction is connected to a therapist in the same visit. Our health educators are available full-time to stop in to talk, connect, and refer patients to a wealth of exercise and wellness programming that can help them build and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Those with chronic pain need not turn to narcotics, but can instead come to our chronic pain clinic to get alternative treatments like chiropractic and acupuncture, which research now proves are often more effective than medication.
Venice Family Clinic’s integrative medicine program has grown to be internationally recognized and the support from Simms/Mann has allowed us to build it into a rigorous, evidence-based model. Results of the research conducted within the program have been published in research journals and presented at academic medical conferences, both national and international. The program continues to grow and is committed to meeting the needs of our patients, whether that means expanding our acupuncture services to other clinical sites or increasing access to mindfulness classes for our patients.
The Simms/Mann Family Foundation has demonstrated their ongoing commitment through ensuring support for the programs they helped launch and for the physical facility that bears their name. The Foundation has shown the power of philanthropy to directly serve our community and create a model that has an impact far beyond the walls of Venice Family Clinic. Their original investment has been leveraged to engage countless funders who have helped our holistic approach flourish.
Vicki and Ron might have lost sleep that night back in 2005, but their loss was Venice Family Clinic’s gain.