Thesecondopinion

Clarity, Compassion, Choice

San Francisco, CA   |  www.thesecondopinion.org

Mission

Thesecondopinion is a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation established in 1969. Our mission is to provide free, comprehensive second opinions to adults in California diagnosed with cancer. Patients and their families meet with a panel of volunteer physicians who are licensed and board certified in the cancer related specialties needed to review each case.

Notes from the nonprofit

Why a second opinion?: The American Society of Clinical Oncology (Editorial Board Sept 2013) states: “Cancer is often a confusing and frightening diagnosis, and it may be hard to make decisions about treatment options. Because treatments are continually improving, it is important to find someone who has experience with your type of cancer. Many people seek the knowledge and advice of more than one doctor to confirm a diagnosis and evaluate treatment options. This is called a second opinion. Asking for a second opinion is common practice. Gathering more knowledge about your diagnosis and the available treatment options may help you feel more comfortable with the health care decisions you make.”

“Doctors want patients and their families to feel comfortable with their treatment,” says Harold J. Burstein, MD, a staff oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Second opinions are often really helpful because they offer reassurance…(they) can be useful for many reasons, even if the doctors are following standard guidelines,” says Burstein. “They can confirm the direction you are already heading, but they might also suggest new directions or considerations, or perhaps clinical trials, that are being pursued at comprehensive cancer centers. Experience matters in caring for cancer patients, and second opinions allow patients to tap into a wealth of oncology experience."

“Not everybody is right every time. Without getting a second opinion, people are sometimes obsessed with ‘what ifs,’ like ‘What if I’d had a different treatment?’ ‘What if I’d seen a different doctor?,’”says Dr. Jan Buckner, Chair of Medical Oncology at the Mayo Clinic. Getting confirmation from a second opinion can really help. You know that multiple experts agree on the treatment you need. You can feel more confident that you have made the best possible choice.”

Ruling year info

1969

Managing Director

Ms. Cheri Livingston

Managing Director

Ms. Cheri Livingston

Main address

1200 Gough St Suite # 500,

San Francisco, CA 94109 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

San Francisco Regional Cancer Foundation

San Francisco Regional Tumor Foundation

Regional Tumor Treatment Center Foundation of San Francisco

thesecondopinion

EIN

94-1696341

NTEE code info

Cancer (G30)

Health Support Services (E60)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Not all cancer patients have access to an independent second opinion and if they have insurance coverage, it is often fraught with restrictions that make it very difficult for a cancer patient to seek a timely and comprehensive secondary assessment. By providing free, comprehensive second opinions we help low-income cancer patients overcome what are frequent barriers to obtaining access to medical resources, care and education about their disease. Our service provides cancer patients the same access to medical resources as those who usually have a broader access to medical care, in their language and at their level of understanding. The value that we provide to cancer patients is the opportunity to have 4-7 independent, board certified cancer specialists carefully review their medical records, images and pathology, and communicate directly as a committee with the patient and family. Through this dialogue, the volunteer physicians are able to answer questions directed by the patient,

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Free, comprehensive and independent second opinions

Free, comprehensive and independent second opinions for adults in California diagnosed in cancer. We empower patients and family members by clarifying a complex medical situation through in-person dialogue about critical information in simple, layperson terms. We can confirm the benefits of an existing treatment course and/or we may make specific suggestions that improve treatment options, and we help cancer patients and families during this vitally important time by increasing understanding and alleviating uncertainty and emotional trauma.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Free, comprehensive and independent second opinions

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of cancer patients (clients) served includes; family members and friends that accompany the cancer patient. Family/friends are often the cancer patient's support network and have questions.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Goal #1: Using a multidisciplinary team of volunteer physicians and cancer specialists to provide a second opinion and directly communicate with the patient.
Measurable Objectives:
• Provide second opinions to 300 medically cancer patients and their families.
• Provide patients and families with a fuller understanding of their disease, as well as, their options.

Goal #2: Broadening our community outreach in order to inform more patients and community service agencies of our services.
Measurable Objectives:
• Attend 4-5 cancer outreach events/conferences in the Greater Bay Area.
• Strengthen collaborative relationships with cancer support/resource centers, clinics and hospitals to increase referrals.

Thesecondopinion holds three virtual (via Zoom) second opinion review panels each month, on Fridays from 11:30 to 3:00. Each review panel serves three patients and their respective families. In addition to the review panels we will serve 5-8 patients through a telephone assist monthly.

In our 52nd year, thesecondopinion remains true to the original mission of the organization by providing free second opinions to adults, in California diagnosed with cancer. The heart of our program relies upon the volunteer efforts of over seventy, licensed and board-certified physicians from eight medical disciplines, whose diverse experiences in cancer treatment practice are critical to our mission.

Our approach empowers patients and family members, because we are able to clarify their diagnosis. We can make suggestions that can enhance treatment choices, or even confirm the benefits of an existing treatment course. Patients receive the information necessary to manage their disease, improve their well-being, and to face potentially difficult choices. Using a multidisciplinary team of volunteer cancer specialist to provide a second opinion and communicate directly as a committee with patients and families, is truly a unique and compassionate approach.

Strengthening our internal capacity. After 50 plus years of serving the cancer community we are in a position to upgrade our technologies, so that we can serve more cancer patients.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We focus on cancer patients (and their families) that have limited/low/modest incomes, are under-insured, or can’t afford deductibles/co-payments, are elderly, and/or have difficulty understanding their diagnosis or treatment plan because of language (we provide medical interpreters) or educational limitations. In 2019, we reviewed 23 types of cancer, with breast, prostate, gynecological, lung and colon being the most frequently reviewed. We served 329 cancer patients and their families from 19 counties with San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda attributing to 50% of patients served. Of those patients 49% were ethnic minorities and 58% of patients reported a combined annual income of $50,000 or less.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In order to keep cancer patients safe we began to provide virtual panels and telephone assists to those that do not need a full panel. A full panel consists of 5-7 cancer specialists that review all medical records, imaging, pathology slides.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Our current pre/post questionnaire is seeking information from patients, so we can answer these questions: 1. Why cancer patients seek a second opinion 2. The benefits of a second opinion for cancer patients 3. If a second opinion helps in medical decision making 4. How thesecondopinion can improve the second opinion process.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Thesecondopinion
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Thesecondopinion

Board of directors
as of 07/06/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Robert Ignoffo

Retired

Term: 2000 - 2019

Robert Ignoffo

Touro University

Howard Kleckner

thesecondopinion

Mike Cunningham

Retired - VP & GM McKesson Specialty Health

Gail Wagner, M.D.

Medical Oncologist

Alice LaRocca

Retired - Medical Research

Judith Luce, M.D.

Retired - Medical Oncologist

Larry Marks

Real Estate

Romana Bracco

Retired Banker

Kathleen Meeker

Owner My Rose Garden Guest Rooms

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/6/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/06/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.