The Chao family’s support drives important cancer care and research in Orange County. Photo: Steve Zylius

Chao Family Gifts to UCI Health for
Cancer Care Top $50 Million

Chao Family Gifts to UCI Health for Cancer Care
Top $50 Million

The Chao family, passionate about advancing cancer care in Orange County and beyond, has committed $50 million since 1995 to UCI Health. The family’s latest gift will name the cancer center at the new UCI Medical Center in Irvine, expanding access to leading-edge cancer treatments and therapies, promising clinical trials, and world-class cancer care driven by the latest in precision medicine.

“Few families have been as generous in support of their fellow residents of Orange County as the Chao family,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “This latest extraordinary gift is a testament to their belief in the power of academic medicine to lead the fight against cancer and to provide the best and most up-to-date care to cancer patients.”

The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care will be one of three medical facilities at the new $1.2 billion medical center adjacent to the UCI campus; the others are a 144-bed acute care hospital with an emergency department and the Center for Advanced Care. The cancer care center is strategically located at the new medical center campus in Irvine to allow patients to receive multidisciplinary care by interprofessional and integrative teams working together to apply the latest innovations from university-backed clinical research.

The Chao family’s latest gift will name the cancer center at the new UCI Medical Center in Irvine. UCI

“More than anyone else, the Chao family’s generosity and dedication have changed the face of cancer care and research in Orange County,” said Richard Van Etten, M.D., Ph.D., director of UCI’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in Orange, the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center based in Orange County. “The Chao family’s investment allows UCI Health to treat the most complex cancers, and patients benefit from the power of the University of California Cancer Consortium.”

Since their first gift to the university in 1995, three generations of Chaos have supported the growth of UCI’s cancer program, including expanded clinical care and advanced research facilities and the creation last year of Orange County’s only adult hematopoietic stem cell/bone marrow transplant program. Today, UCI’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in Orange is one of only 51 NCI-designated centers across the U.S. – those that meet the highest standards for an institution’s commitment to and excellence in cancer research and clinical care.

“Doing good in our community has always been very important to our family,” said Allen Chao. “We are proud to continue our partnership with UCI and to know that community members from all walks of life benefit from the lifesaving treatments offered here.” In 1999, Allen Chao developed stomach cancer. He sought the care of UCI Health gastroenterologist Dr. Kenneth Chang, who helped to remove all signs of the disease. Chang, head of gastrointestinal oncology, also directs UCI’s Chao Family Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center (CDDC), supported by the Chao family as part of its vision to expand access to cancer care.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with UCI and to know that community members from all walks of life benefit from the lifesaving treatments offered here.”

- Allen Chao

The CDDC is a multidisciplinary center where gastroenterologists, hepatologists, oncologists, surgeons and other specialists work in concert to provide the best care for the most complex digestive diseases, including cancer of the colon, liver, stomach, esophagus and pancreas. Under Chang’s leadership and with the support of the Chao family, the CDDC has become a leader in innovation and clinical care, advancing research and clinical trials on the development of treatments for digestive cancers.

“In just the last five years, the UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in Orange and our community locations across Orange County have seen more than 400,000 patient visits,” UCI Health CEO Chad Lefteris said. “UCI’s advancements in cancer care are made possible thanks to the Chao family’s friendship and support, and we are excited to be able to offer this level of care across Orange County.”

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