About The Wellness Community
The Wellness Community (TWC) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to providing support, education and hope to people affected by cancer and their loved ones. Through participation in professionally led support groups, educational workshops and mind/body programs utilizing the Patient Active Concept, people affected by cancer can learn vital skills to regain control, reduce feelings of isolation and restore hope-regardless of the stage of disease.
The Wellness Community - Arizona (TWC-AZ) is located in Central Phoenix and is part of The Cancer Support Community Affiliate Network that has over 50 local sites across North America.
We provide a full range of support programs for people with cancer and their loved ones in a comfortable home-like setting, completely free of charge. We offer drop-in and on-going support groups, networking groups for people with specific types of cancer, educational workshops, exercise activities, stress management sessions, lectures by experts in the field of oncology, and social gatherings - all with laughter, joy and hope.
The Wellness Community was founded by Dr. Harold Benjamin in Santa Monica, California in 1982. As a result of experience with his wife's breast cancer and through subsequent years of study on the psychological and social impact of cancer, Dr. Benjamin formulated the Patient Active Concept. This revolutionary idea would be recognized years later at Walt Disney World EPCOT Metropolitan Life exhibit as one of the most significant developments in the evolution of modern health care. In addition to the Patient Active concept, the other significant cornerstone of our program is that all services are provided free of charge in a home-like, community setting.
Community' is perhaps the most important aspect of The Wellness Community model of care that differentiates the program from any other. Today, thousands of people with cancer and their loved ones unite together through our programs. People come at diagnosis, during or at the end of treatment, at recurrence or several years out of treatment. They all come to learn they are not alone in their fight--whether for physical, emotional or spiritual recovery. Together, they regain a sense of control over their lives and ultimately discover that hope is a valuable tool irrespective of the stage of disease.
From Dr. Benjamin's first program in a little yellow house in Santa Monica, The Wellness Community has grown to twenty two facilities throughout the country with four (4) additional facilities currently in development. A significant factor in expansion of facilities in the early 1990's can be directly attributed to Gilda Radner, a participant at TWC until her death from ovarian cancer in 1989. In her book, It's Always Something, she shared extensively about her experience at The Wellness Community. As countless patients have read her book, many have gone on to help bring a facility to their area.
The National organization was officially formed in 1989 to facilitate expansion outside California. In 1997, the National headquarters moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. A new Board of Directors was formed that reflected more national representation and a new CEO was hired. In 2002, the National headquarters relocated to Washington, DC. The Cancer Support Community (The Wellness Community/Gilda's Club) celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2012.