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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 42  |  May 26, 2020

Mission Hospital opens doors to new $80 Million Leonard Cancer Institute

South County residents now have one-stop access to the latest in innovative cancer treatments, cutting edge research, and clinical trials as Mission Hospital officials announced the opening of a new standalone $80 million cancer center, the Judi and Bill Leonard Institute for Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Wellness, on its campus in Mission Viejo. 

The generous contributions of Orange County philanthropists Bill and Judi Leonard, who made the largest charitable donation in the hospital’s history, helped bring the facility, which will emphasize precision medicine and personalized care, into fruition. 

The 100,000+ square foot, four-story Leonard Cancer Institute (LCI), the only comprehensive cancer center in Southern Orange County, will house a research and clinical trial program, a nurse navigation program, radiation oncology, imaging services, an infusion center, and complementary therapies, as well as an education center and a demonstration kitchen. 

Mission Hospital ribbon

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Submitted photo

The Judi and Bill Leonard Institute for Cancer Prevention cuts the grand opening ribbon 

“When we learned about the plans for the cancer institute, we knew this project was going to be phenomenal for South Orange County and we wanted to be involved,” said Bill and Judi Leonard, who made a historic eight-figure gift to support the project. “This cancer center is going to save so many lives.” 

Outside of the Leonard’s donation, philanthropy has played an instrumental role in bringing this new $80 million facility and its many offerings to life. Thus far, nearly $26 million has been raised, or approximately 75 precent of the hospital’s philanthropic goal of $35 million. The $45 million balance was funded by Providence St. Joseph Health. 

“We intend to treat people, not cancer, in an entirely new way,” said Seth Teigen, the newly appointed chief executive of Mission Hospital who said the facility’s faith-based roots and mission of service will set it apart from other cancer centers. “Our objective is to serve our community by providing improved access to world-class care and a full-range of services in one location; from a demonstration kitchen for cooking and nutrition classes, to research and cutting edge genomic and molecular testing.” 

The new cancer center, which will focus on prevention, treatment, and wellness, and offer a suite of services for each, will begin treating patients immediately. LCI boasts two Varian True Beam linear accelerators, a 35-bay infusion center, front line diagnostic imaging technology, a full-service rehabilitation gym, and spa. And in keeping with the hospital’s promise to, “know me, care for me, ease my way,” the facility will offer a healing garden, serenity chapel, wellness spa, boutique, and a sacred space for those in need of head shaving or brassiere fitting. 

“Having had a front row view of the Leonard Cancer Institute, from concept to unveiling, has been a truly humbling and rewarding experience,” said Dr. L. Stuart Nagasawa, the inaugural medical director for Leonard Cancer Institute. “Based on our key learnings and the needs identified in our community, we have been tirelessly working to build this center and its programs and are eager to bring the weight of our work to bear in our collective fight against cancer.”

For more information on the Leonard Cancer Institute, visit


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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

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