Carl and Lulu Mitchell, via Community Medical Centers
Written by Frank Lopez
A Clovis couple has donated $1 million to Community Medical Centers with an earmark for Central Valley cancer patients.
This is the second time in less than five years the Carl and Lulu Mitchell Family Foundation has made a $1 million gift to Community Medical Centers — this latest one going to the Community Cancer Institute.
The donation will help provide breast cancer technology and treatment, early cancer detection and nurse navigators to guide patients through the steps of the their complex care.
Community Cancer Institute compares with other major cancer facilities in the Los Angeles and Bay Area with its full range of cancer experts, technologies and services under one roof.
Lulu Mitchell, who is a breast cancer survivor and former registered nurse for several years at Community Medical Centers, experienced the importance of having life-saving cancer care close to home. Cancer care is also an important issue for Carl, as he lost both of his parents to the disease.
“Those experiences gave us perspective, and it’s eye-opening when you realize that your life is on the line and these are the people and treatments that can save you,” Carl said. “We’ve had our share of cancer in our family, so we know how important it is to help others in the Valley who battle cancer.”
Since its opening last August, the Community Cancer Institute on the Clovis Community Medical Center campus has taken more than 50,000 patient appointments.
Both of the Mitchells have been a part of the Community team for years — Lulu as a nurse and Carl as a radiology technologist and later as a nuclear medicine technologist.
Their first $1 million donation was to Women’s and Children’s Services at Clovis Community in 2014, where Lulu worked as a postpartum nurse for several years before her retirement.
“We’re really fortunate to have people in our community like Carl and Lulu. They understand what it means to give and make a giant impact,” said Community Medical Foundation CEO Katie Zenovich. “And what an awesome statement that they both are former Community Medical Centers employees. It truly shows how much they believe in our mission to take care of everyone who turns to us in need.”
A portion of the funding will go to the Radin Breast Care Center. Meanwhile, they will also be donating to Nursing Navigators at the Community Cancer Institute, which helps patients coordinate the treatment process, including doctors, medications and outside services. The Mitchells added that they hope they can inspire the community to match their donation.
Donald A. Promnitz contributed to this report.