We are here to support you.

At the Margie Petersen Breast Center, we have specialized supportive services that promote wellness, disease prevention, rehabilitation, and identification of physical and psychological problems for women.

Margie Petersen Breast Center group photo of women

Patients who have had treatment for breast cancer may experience decreased strength and stamina, pain, fatigue, as well as a decreased ability to function, among other issues. Our aim is to support you throughout your entire journey. Often patients with breast cancer experience a new perspective on life and seek to make lifestyle changes to improve their health. A healthy diet and weight, a regular exercise routine, finding ways to minimize keep stress are key to breast cancer recovery and long-term wellness. Take advantage of our wellness program.

Breast Wellness Program

The Breast Wellness Program encompasses a broad range of services to help with your care. These services include nutritional counseling, yoga, mindfulness/stress reduction sessions, and HeartMath. Our goal is to support your healing in body, mind, and spirit. Part of the Breast Center, the Willow Sage Sanctuary provides a space for respite—to have quiet and experience mindfulness and other stress reduction programs to support your healing. The Breast Health Programs were created with the generous support of Alecia Moore, better known as P!NK, who began supporting the Breast Center in 2012. The Willow Sage Sanctuary was named in honor of her daughter.

Nutrition Services

Mother, daughter, and grandmother in the kitchenComplementary consultation with a master’s prepared registered dietitian, also referred to as a nutritionist, is offered to each of our breast patients, whether at high risk or with a diagnosis of breast cancer. The nutritionist will set nutrition goals with and tailored to the patient’s healthcare needs and preferences. The intention is to work toward nutritional approaches that support long-term wellness. Our patients who want to continue to see the nutritionist and whose insurance does not cover the service, can do so at a reduced cash price. Local grocery shopping tours and nutritional classes are also offered on a regular basis.

Mindfulness/Meditation/Stress Reduction

A regular meditation practice has been shown to restore self-healing and reduce stress. Mindfulness is a significant component of most meditation and it is possible to learn simple ways to integrate this in everyday living. Guided imagery, structured breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation are additional ways to ease the body and mind, especially when someone is anxious, scattered, or sad. Complementary 30-60 minute sessions are offered to our patients.


Research shows that emotions associated with stress are reflected in the heart’s rhythms, also known as heart rate variability, or HRV. By measuring HRV we get a picture of the dynamics of the nervous system. When one is stressed, even though the person does not feel it, the HRV is irregular, or less ‘coherent.’ When one is calm, focused on more positive emotions, the heart’s rhythms and nervous system are in harmony, or ‘coherent.’ The HeartMath program is designed to introduce patients to tools and techniques for increasing HRV, or coherence. Individual or group classes are offered.

Cancer Rehabilitation Services

Providence Saint John’s Health Center Performance Therapy offers evaluations before surgery for mobility and lymphedema education, as well as therapy and treatment after surgery, to help women regain full function and strength if there are limitations. Specially trained physical therapists are available to treat lymphedema. For more information call 310-223-6746.

Counseling and Psychiatric Services

The diagnosis of breast cancer, or learning one is at high risk for breast cancer, is a life changing experience for our patients and their loved ones, affecting many areas of one’s life. Counseling and psychiatric services are available to help our patients and family with such concerns as:

  • Coping and adjustment strategies
  • Emotional support
  • Anxiety and depression management
  • Self- and body-image concerns
  • Marital or child concerns
  • Loss and grief counseling

Various therapeutic techniques are utilized in counseling to provide support, including but not limited to:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Problem solving therapy
  • Active use of stress reduction and relaxation skills

Individual or family counseling sessions are also available for children and adolescents who have a family member being treated for cancer. The goal of these sessions is to facilitate more open communication and understanding within the family regarding how cancer is impacting children and the family system. Developmental aspects of stress are addressed and new coping skills are offered and practiced.

Cancer Related Financial Resource Information

Our social workers are knowledgeable about grants available to help our patients with the financial burdens of going through cancer treatment. Some of these grants include partial support for medications, housing, food, transportation, and counseling. Financial Counselors may also be contacted for specific assistance.

Neurocognitive Services

Changes in memory, concentration or thinking following cancer treatment are common symptoms reported by cancer survivors. This change in cognitive function has been called “chemobrain” or “chemofog”. Many of these difficulties improve over time after finishing treatment. A neurocognitive assessment from a psychologist specializing in neuropsychology, the assessment and diagnosis of cognitive dysfunction and brain-behavior disorders, is available by consultation. We have specialized neuro-rehabilitation services available on referral depending upon our patient’s specific needs.

Spiritual Care Services

People facing illness often seek spiritual support. Evidence shows religious beliefs and spirituality enhance the body’s healing systems. At Providence Saint John’s Health Center, inter-religious chaplains are available to provide that support. While we are a Catholic organization, we truly believe in the importance of faith in healing and seek to serve the spiritual needs of all our patients. Whatever our patient’s beliefs, chaplains can help with spiritual and ethical questions. Our chaplains have received advanced education, training and national board certification. They serve as members of the health care team, complementing the healing work of physicians, nurses, therapists, and other health care professionals. Spiritual and emotional support, including chaplaincy services, is available for all cancer patients and their families 24 hours a day. The Chapel on the 4th floor is open to all. A meditation room is available to all on the 1st floor of the hospital. Catholic Mass and sacraments are offered daily at noon in the Chapel.

Other Support Services

The Cancer Support Community, Los Angeles, offers several breast cancer specific support groups, educational workshops with lunch, as well as healthy lifestyle classes including yoga, mindfulness meditation, and T’ai Chi. All of the Cancer Support Community programs are free of charge. Other communities are located in Pasadena, Woodland Hills, and Redondo Beach.

WeSPARK, based in Sherman Oaks, offers free support groups, integrative therapies and educational programs to those who have been affected by cancer. For more information click here: https://wespark.org/

Caregiver Support Group

    Caregiver groups are for care-partners, friends, spouses and family members of someone with cancer. Join similarly situated individuals to gain valuable support from others, reduce distress associated with caring for a loved one with cancer, learn ways to improve quality of life, and enhance communication with family, friends, and medical team. Group members are encouraged to attend regularly. Learn more at CancerSupportLA.org.
    • Monday (Young Adults) 6:00 – 8:00pm
    • Wednesday 6:00 – 8:00pm
    • Thursday (Metastatic-Only) 4:00 – 6:00pm
    • Thursday 6:00 – 8:00pm

Palliative Care

Palliative care, also known as supportive care, helps patients with a serious medical condition, and their families, optimize quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating symptoms and stress. A team of healthcare professionals (physician, nurse practitioner, social worker, spiritual care) works together to help our patients who need these services to improve their ability to tolerate medical treatments, improve their quality of life by managing symptoms, and understand better their choices.

Meet the Experts

The Margie Petersen Breast Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center brings you some of the finest breast health and cancer care in Southern California. Meet our team..

Breast Thrivorship

Margie Petersen Breast Center Thrivorship Program
Margie Petersen Breast Center Thrivorship Programs support patients after their treatment.

After going through treatment for cancer, many patients wonder, what’s next?

We believe that taking care of your cancer doesn’t end when your treatment. All significant forms of treatment— surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and radiation therapy—can have unwanted, long-term effects which may impair a person’s health and quality of life in many ways.  We aim to help you navigate the support you need for optimal health and well-being.


Breast Cancer Thrivorship Offerings


Health & Wellness Thursdays

Date: 3rd Thursday, 11:30-noon, on Zoom
Registration: Not required.
Facilitated by: Rebecca Crane-Okada, PhD, RN, CNS, AOCN, with guest speakers

  • April 20th: Making the Most of Seasonal Produce with Urooj Riaz, RDN, Nutritionist
  • May 18th: Mindfulness & More with Rebecca Crane-Okada, PhD, RN
  • June 15th: Getting the Most Out of Movement with Diana Garrett, DPT
  • July 20th: Improving Cancer Outcomes Through Exercise with Michelle Stravitz, Co-Founder and CEO of 2Unstoppable – Making Fitness Connections
  • August 17th: Summer Harvest Foods with Urooj Riaz, RDN, Nutritionist
  • September 21st: Acupuncture with Elizabeth Fine, DAOM, LAc, Dean of Clinical Education, Emperor’s College
  • October 19th: Preparing for the Holidays with Caroline Sarafin, LCSW
  • Winter break (no classes) November & December
    Note: The following quarterly offerings should not have dates (as they may change), and this is informational only as only accessible by our existing patients, not the general public. Patients can speak to their care team in the MPBC for additional information.



Journaling Writing Group - Margie Petersen Breast Center - Thrivorship
Journaling Writing Group – Margie Petersen Breast Center Thrivorship Program

Once Upon a Time: Writing Your Story

This 4-week Zoom workshop is about writing from your personal history for yourself, for your family and friends, or just because. Learn and practice writing simply for the pleasure and experience of recalling moments in the overarching story of your life.

Facilitated by: Nancy Spiller, Freelance Writer, Author & Instructor, & Rebecca Crane-Okada
Registration is required.

  • Writing Group registration link: PSJ Health Zoom
  • Fall classes start in September 2023 on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00 pm
  • Occurs on the 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th of the month
  • Download the PDF, Once Upon a Time flyer
Mare Wisdom – Margie Petersen Breast Center Thrivorship Program

Embrace Your Mare Wisdom

Experience the wisdom of horses in this workshop of leading, grooming, and enjoying other side-by-side activities with horses to discover the lessons they can offer us.

Itineraly: Zoom meetings pre and post-half-day, in-person, ranch experience.
Application is required.

  • Mare Wisdom dates are currently pending
  • Registration will be a PDF document, not Zoom

Additional Thrivorship Information

Check your email for regular updates or contact Rebecca at (310) 829-8950 or email rebecca.crane-okada@providence.org.
For more information, contact Alston Novak at (310) 829-8648 or email Alston.Novak@providence.org



The Breast Health Clinic can be reached at (310) 582-7209. If you have questions regarding a new symptom or want to make an appointment for evaluation please call and a staff member will assist with navigating you in the right direction.

Schedule an Appointment For more information