Cancer Support Community Pasadena

" that no one faces cancer alone"

aka The Wellness Community   |   Pasadena, CA   |


Cancer Support Community Pasadena's mission is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.

We serve cancer patients and survivors, their families and caregivers, and those who are bereaved in the San Gabriel Valley, East Los Angeles, and the eastern portion of the San Fernando Valley.

Notes from the nonprofit

No one needs to face cancer alone! Cancer Support Community Pasadena (CSCP) is one of 40+ CSC international affiliates. Our mission is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. In Summer 2023 we shall move to a permanent home in the City of Sierra Madre, CA, adjacent to Pasadena, and change our name to Cancer Support Community Greater San Gabriel Valley. Our 2022 Form 990 will be posted in Fall 2023, and our 2022 annual report will be posted by midsummer 2023. Generous individuals, foundations and corporations enable us to carry out our mission.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mrs. Patricia Ostiller

Main address

76 East Del Mar Blvd. Suite 215

Pasadena, CA 91105 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

The Wellness Community Foothills



NTEE code info

Health - General and Rehabilitative N.E.C. (E99)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

Cancer (G30)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A sense of isolation, fear, anxiety, depression, and concerns about family members and finances are just a few of the stresses that often result from cancer diagnosis for oneself or a loved one. Cancer Support Community Pasadena offers support groups, healthy lifestyle classes, workshops, and other services aimed at allaying these stressors.

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?

The major programs for CSCP include:

-Weekly support groups for cancer patients and caregivers
-Relaxation and fitness programs
-Education programs
-Social events
-Community outreach programs in Spanish

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses

Where we work


Reader Recommended Best Nonprofit 2022

Pasadena Weekly

Affiliations & memberships

Cancer Support Community Outstanding Affiliate 2017

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
Related Program

The major programs for CSCP include:

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Figures = participants in support groups, classes, workshops, social activities, and one-on-one counseling. We also reach more than 4,250 people annually w/ info on cancer at community events.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Cancer Support Community Pasadena (CSCP) aims to provide cancer patients (and their families) with the supportive care/psychosocial programs that are proven to improve their quality of life while facing cancer and, importantly, may enhance patient outcomes.

The Institute of Medicine has long held that it is not possible for individuals to receive high quality cancer care without addressing the psychosocial needs of these individuals.

CSCP offers free evidence-based psychosocial support services to cancer patients, their families and children, caregivers, survivors, and those who have lost someone to cancer. Some programs are offered in person at CSCP's offices and partnering agencies such as hospitals, some via Zoom, and some in a hybrid format (in person and via Zoom in real time through use of 55" video touchscreens).

The whole-person approach that guides CSCP emphasizes the critical role of emotional and educational services to aid those dealing with cancer. Individuals acquire the skills and strength to better manage their cancer journey through a combination of our programs, which include support groups, healthy lifestyle classes, educational workshops, social activities, and one-on-one counseling, in English, Spanish and Armenian.

SUPPORT GROUPS are the heart of CSCP programming and assist in reducing anxiety and fear that cancer brings, while also helping to inspire and provide hope. Members discover that they are not alone and learn from each other. Knowledge, in conjunction with community, is a powerful way to improve the quality of life for all those affected by the disease. We currently provide 15 weekly support groups and one monthly group, all facilitated by licensed mental health professionals or those pending licensure. Some groups serve cancer patients; others, caregivers; and yet others, those who are bereaved. Our groups in Spanish and Armenian serve the whole family.

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CLASSES provide positive ways to manage stress and strengthen the immune system of cancer patients/family members (since research shows the importance of the mind-body connection and how stress can adversely impact a person). Instructors are specialists in their field, and most offer their expertise free of charge.

EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS also empower cancer patients. These are presented by leading healthcare professionals, such as oncologists and radiologists, as well as other experts on topics of interest to cancer patients and their families; for example, nutrition experts, insurance and financial professionals who offer the latest information on numerous subjects related to cancer and its impact on individuals and families.

All of CSCP's programs and services are provided without charge. This is important because we know that certain communities bear a greater cancer burden; e.g., the Black community, and many cancer patients endure the "financial toxicity" of cancer care. Even insured cancer patients face high out of pocket expenses and high deductibles.

The events of 2020 and 2021- the pandemic and society’s racial reawakening - powerfully impacted CSCP. First, we witnessed firsthand the importance of virtual programs for our members. As we have safely resumed some in-person programs, virtual programs will remain a critical part of our program delivery. Second, our leadership decided we could better serve people of color facing cancer. We have created new culturally-informed programming and made organizational changes. However, there is more to be done to make a lasting, meaningful impact to ensure that every person – regardless of race or socioeconomic status – has access to our free programs.

1. Increase the numbers of those we serve: produce more high-quality marketing materials to targeted audiences; optimize the use of electronic and social media to raise brand awareness; and reinvigorate our community outreach endeavors through public-speaking engagements and health fairs as California re-opens, particularly in under-resourced areas.

2. Address the Digital Divide: a “Lending Library” of iPads and Wifi hotspots geared to serving our participants who lack good internet access and/or technology to participate virtually. We lend these devices free so that more participants can benefit from CSCP programs.

3. Boost marketing and community outreach efforts to potential members: We will broaden our community outreach efforts to underserved communities; forge beneficial alliances with community-based organizations and healthcare partners to assist with program delivery and/or to reach new audiences; and increase the production of high-quality marketing materials and more efficiently using social and electronic media to raise CSCP’s visibility.

4. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee continues to advance our diversity efforts through partnership with Black owned businesses, sending ambassadors to Black churches to inform congregants about CSCP's free services, and much more.

5. Our Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, a bilingual/bicultural Latina, in April 2022 has resulted in a boost in the number of LatinX participants whom CSCP serves and extensive outreach in the Black community as well. CSCP's Black Support Circle (support group), launched in April 2021, continues to meet weekly.

CSCP is fiscally strong and has a seasoned, high caliber staff in place to ensure seamless program delivery. We currently employ five full-time administrative staff and 13 part-time clinical staff.

Our operating budget is approximately $1.3 million dollars.

Our 2021 audit of our financials was conducted by Eide Bailly. CSCP ended 2022 and 2021 "in the black". We received a "clean" audit in 2021, with no recommendations for corrections in our accounting methods or office procedures.

CSCP has $1.824-million in its permanent endowment and Board-designated Reserve Fund.

In 2022 CSCP was voted Best Reader Recommended Nonprofit in Pasadena by Pasadena Weekly for the second year in a row.

We lease space on the second floor of the Pasadena Humane building, and our members find our facility warm and inviting. Parking is free. In midsummer 2023 CSCP will move to its new permanent home in the City of Sierra Madre, CA.

Our Board of Directors is strong, with 100% of our Directors contributing annually to CSCP and to the 2022-23 capital campaign that is raising funds for the purchase of, plus owner improvements to and a building maintenance fund for, the building we bought in Sierra Madre in July 2022.

We have invested in equipment to ensure smooth virtual and in-person program delivery going forward.

In 2022 CSCP served the highest number of people impacted by cancer in our 33 years--1,045--through our support groups, healthy lifestyle classes, and educational workshops.

Respondents to CSCP’s March 2022 voluntary participant survey reported the following:

• 89.4% of respondents said their quality of life improved because of their CSCP participation.
• 86.4% said they feel more connected with others dealing with the same issue.
• 88% reported that they are better able to cope with distress (depression, anxiety, anger, pain)
• 85% said they are better able to manage their stress level.
• 83% said they feel more empowered to manage their illness (or their loved one's) successfully.
• 88% said they gained information they felt was useful to manage their treatment (or their loved one's treatment).
• 97% said they would recommend CSCP to others impacted by cancer.

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?

    Cancer patients and their families, cancer survivors, and people bereaved due to losing a loved one to cancer

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

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We have made great strides in our DEI efforts to serve more communities facing a greater cancer burden.

  • 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 demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), 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, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Cancer Support Community Pasadena

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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • 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.

Cancer Support Community Pasadena

Board of directors
as of 02/23/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Brad Talt

BAT Ventures

Term: 2023 - 2023

Deborah Bolton

Clinical Nurse Specialist Oncology, SON

Ellen Knell

Cancer Genetics Consultant

Dana Naples


Brad Talt

BAT Ventures

Ellen F. Driscoll

Law Office of Ellen F. Driscoll

Serge Melkizian

Quintus Investment Counsel

Alison Gamble

Gamble Jones Investment Counsel

Vicki Laidig

retired marketing and communications executive

Kal Balian Antoun

SMPL Mortgage

Elizabeth Arnett

Elizabeth Arnett Designs

Melissa Alcorn

Anderson & Murison Inc.

David R. Jones, Phd

retired psychologist

Ellen Knell, PhD

Cancer Genetics Consultant

George Mack

retired VP, Hospital Assn. of So. Cal.

Ruben Marquez, Jr.

Ruben Marquez Interior Design Inc.

Sandi Mejia-Ramirez

M&R Professional Services

Randall "Randy" Miller

Miller Law Associates

Steve Ralph

Retired President & CEO, Huntington Health

Natalie Smalley

Walt Disney Co./ABCCNG

Bill Ukropina

Coldwell Banker Commercial

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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 2/23/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


No data

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

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/18/2023

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

Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.