In 2006, Mrs. Hoori Sadler established the Persian American Cancer Institute, a non-profit, non-denominational organization. Mrs. Sadler, a cancer survivor, and her organization aim to reduce the impact of cancer today and eliminate the threat of cancer tomorrow. In the Persian culture, cancer is looked upon as a taboo, a shameful death sentence. The physical survival of cancer is only part of the battle; there is also an emotional, torturous, lonely journey that one usually has to endure.
PACI was awarded by “Be The Match” on April 3, 2010 for “Outstanding Partnership and Increasing Community Participation in Be The Match Registry.”
PACI aspires to pave the road to healing and serve as a reminder that you are not alone, and that there is indeed life after cancer. Our organization strongly believes that love, compassion and hope are vital to the fight against cancer. Fear and shame do not exist where there is awareness, knowledge and hope. All around the world, organizations similar to PACI have played a crucial role in the battle against cancer, and we feel it is our time and duty to join such a global movement.
PACI strives to heal not only the debilitating cancer, but also the fragile heart and human spirit that weaken during such a traumatic process. With the support and endorsement of some of the best known cancer institutes, and the recruitment of community leaders, artists, activists, survivors and their families, our organization is determined to make a difference. We will reduce the impact of cancer in the Persian-American community and in the world beyond.
The Persian American Institute (PACI) aims to increase the awareness and participation of Persian-Americans in the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.
- To educate and support a community that traditionally lacks vital knowledge on cancer
- To provide the Persian-American community with access to cancer detection and treatment
- To inspire other communities to emulate the PACI mission
Negar Ghafouri Bio coming soon
Ali Mahtabifard, MD, is a thoracic surgeon with the Women’s Guild Lung Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and is also on staff at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. Dr. Mahtabifard is an expert in minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer, mediastinal tumors, emphysema, esophageal disorders and chest wall disorders. He is board certified in both general and cardiothoracic surgery.
Dr. Mahtabifard’s research ad articles have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Journal of Immunotherapy, Clinical Cancer Research, Molecular Therapy, Human Gene Therapy, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, and Thoracic Surgery Clinics. He has also authored numerous chapters in various thoracic surgery textbooks and has recently written the most complete and up to date textbook on minimally invasive lung surgery titled Atlas of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery.
Dr. Mahtabifard received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and his medical degree from New York Medical College. He completed a general surgery internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center of New York and then completed his general surgery residency at The Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard University. During residency, he also completed a two year research fellowship in thoracic oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Following residency he completed his cardiothoracic fellowship at the University of California at Davis and then has completed another fellowship in advanced and minimally invasive thoracic surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Sepehr Rokhsar, M.D. earned his medical degree at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. He then completed a residency in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a fellowship in hematology-oncology at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Dr. Rokhsar is board certified in internal medicine with a subspecialty in medical oncology. He maintains an active clinical practice at Tower Hematology Oncology Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California, and is dedicated to providing patients personalized state-of-the-art care. Dr. Rokhsar is an active member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Southern California Lymphoma Group; and additional serves as a Medical Advisor to the Tower Cancer Research Foundation.
Saeed Sadeghi Bio coming soon
Homayoon Sanati, MD, MS, is Medical Director of Breast Oncology Program at the MemorialCare Breast Center at Long Beach Memorial and Orange Coast Memorial Medical Centers. In his role, Dr. Sanati leads MemorialCare’s multidisciplinary breast program that features an integrated team of experts who provide state-of-the-art breast care to Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Dr. Sanati completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA. He received his doctoral degree from Chicago Medical School. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at UC Irvine Medical Center and his fellowship in a combined Geriatric and Medical Oncology at UCLA Medical Center. He is board-certified in Medical Oncology, Geriatrics, Internal Medicine, and Hospice/Palliative Care.
Dr. Sanati has been honored with numerous awards, including “America’s Top Oncologist”, selected by Consumer’s Research Council of America. He brings with him many years of experience, having served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine for the Division of Hematology/Oncology at UC Irvine Medical Center. Dr. Sanati continues to participate in various regional and national administrative service appointments and committees, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In addition to breast cancer, Dr. Sanati has extensive experience treating cancer in older adults. His research interests have focused on pain management and quality of life and palliative/supportive care for patients undergoing treatment. His work has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals.
Reza Shirazi, M.D. graduated Magna Cum Laude in Electrical Engineering from California State University of Los Angeles, and earned his master’s in Applied Physiology and medical degree from The Chicago Medical School at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. He served his internship at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, and completed his residency in Radiation Oncology at the University of Cincinnati Barrett Cancer Center where he served as the chief resident from 2005-2006. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology in Radiation Oncology. He joined Radiation Medical Group in 2006.
Specific areas of interest and expertise include Cyberknife radiosurgery, prostate cancer radiotherapy, prostate brachytherapy, brain, pancreas, gastro-intestinal and head and neck tumors. He is trained in the use of CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery, radioactive seed implants for prostate and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and Image guided radiotherapy (IGRT).
Shirin Towfigh, M.D., is a Board Certified General Surgeon with specialty in Laparoscopic and Hernia Surgery. She is Associate Professor of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC. She is a surgical educator and holds multiple leadership positions in surgical societies both locally and nationally. Dr. Towfigh received her BS at UCLA, MD at UC San Diego, and completed her general surgery training at UCLA in 2002.
Dr. Silvana Martino D. O., FACOI is the Director of Breast Cancer Research and Education for The Angeles Clinic Foundation. She is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. Dr. Martino has specialized in the treatment and research of breast cancer for over three decades. She is a nationally recognized leader in the field of breast cancer. Her body of work has included research in breast cancer prevention, early breast cancer and metastatic disease. Dr. Martino has conducted and coordinated large national and international studies which have resulted in changing the standard of care worldwide.
She began her academic career at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, where she served as medical director of the Breast Cancer Prevention Program and chief of the Section of Breast Cancer for the Division of Hematology/Oncology. In addition to doing research on various new chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of advanced breast cancer, her program was one of the first to study a low fat diet as a means of preventing breast cancer in high risk women and evaluating flow cytometry parameters on breast biopsies from high risk women. In 1993, Dr. Martino moved to California to become medical director of The Westlake Breast Center, and then The Breast Center in Van Nuys. She joined the staff of the John Wayne Cancer Institute in 1999, a move that eventually brought her to The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute. Dr. Martino is also Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Dr. Martino’s appointments are innumerable and highlighted by her previous role as Co-Chair of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) Cancer Control Research Committee, Chair of the SWOG Breast Committee, and her tenure as Chair of the Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) for the FDA. She is the recipient of the Phillips Medal of Public Service Award, and has been honored with awards from The Wellness Community, the American Cancer Society and the American College of Osteopathic Internists. She has been listed in Best Doctors in America.
Dr. Martino spends significant time educating the public about early breast cancer detection and breast cancer treatment options. She is the co-author of over 250 scientific publications and abstracts on breast cancer and related topics.
Through her skills as a physician, researcher and educator, she has touched the lives of many.
Armando E. Giuliano, M.D., FACS, FRCSEd, is Executive Vice Chair of Surgery for Surgical Oncology in the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In addition, he is also the Associate Director of Surgical Oncology for the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and Co-Director of the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center – a Project of the Women’s Guild.
Charles Sadler, M.D., graduated with honor from Rice University in 1973 with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering. He attended Baylor College of Medicine, receiving the Doctor of Medicine degree in 1976. Postgraduate training included a Fellowship in Spinal Surgery at the Jones/Hunt Orthopedic Hospital in England. Dr. Sadler taught in the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering department at CSU Northridge and as an Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at USC. He has held the post of Vice President in the International College of surgeons, is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, and has published numerous scholarly articles in the fields of engineering, medicine, and orthopedic surgery.
Currently, Dr. Sadler is the Medical Director of the Sadler Medical Group, Inc. in Beverly Hills, Ca. He is a former Board Member of the UMMA Clinic.
Mrs. Sadler, PACI’s Founding Chair, is currently the CEO of the Sadler Medical Group, Inc. in Beverly Hills, Ca, where she works with her husband, Charles Sadler MD, and her son, Steven Sadler, MD, whose specialty is interventional pain management. As a result of her negative experiences as both a cancer researcher and a cancer survivor, Mrs. Sadler founded PACI as a service organization to enable the Persian-American community to reduce the impact of cancer today and eliminate the threat of cancer tomorrow. PACI was created as both a service organization for the Persian-American minority and as a prototype to enable other minorities to advance their own cancer health care needs.
Mrs. Sadler maintains a hectic schedule of public and media appearances to educate people on the vital need for both prevention and early detection. She also provides personal emotional and motivational support for the many cancer patients and survivors who contact her on a daily basis. Mrs. Sadler also serves the UMMA Clinic (providing free medical care to poverty-stricken South Central Los Angeles) as the Chair of their Friends of UMMA fundraising group. She has served as an Auxiliary Chair for the International College of Surgeons and as a member of the Core Research Group of the U.C.L.A. School of Public Health’s Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Project. Mrs. Sadler has received the UCLA certificate in Protecting Human Research Subjects in Social and Behavioral Research.
Mrs. Sadler has received many recognitions of and honors for her public health efforts, including commendations from both the cities of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. In 2010 Mrs. Sadler/PACI received the Women in Action Award from the Israel Cancer Research Fund.
Marjan Abbassi has been aboard member since 2006.
Maz Jobrani is best known as a founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, which featured some of the top Middle Eastern-American comics in the world. The Axis of Evil Comedy Central Special premiered in 2007 as the first show on American TV with an all Middle Eastern/American cast. The tour started in the US and later went to the Middle East in the fall of 2007, selling out 27 shows in Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, Kuwait, and Amman -where they performed for the King and Queen of Jordan.
Maz has starred in many movies including Friday After Next, The Interpreter, and 13 Going on 30. He has also guest starred for many TV shows. He has been a regular on ABC’s Knights of Prosperity as well as FOX’s Life on a Stick.
Maz was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he caught the acting bug in 8th grade. He studied theater throughout high school, and then went on to earn a BA in Political Science and Italian at UC Berkeley. In the fall of 1994, while beginning a Ph.D. program in Political Science at UCLA, he visited the university’s prestigious theater program – and was immediately hooked on acting again. This led to him dropping out of the Ph.D. program to pursue his childhood passion.
Mahtab Moayedi, CPA resides in Brentwood with her husband and two boys. She has received her bachelor degree in Accounting from California State University of Long Beach (“CSULB”) in 1991, and received a Master’s degree in Business Taxation from University of Southern California (“USC”) in 2001.
Mrs. Moayedi is a seasoned Management Executive with over 20 years of professional experience in leading and executing accounting, financial consulting and audit projects for a number of Fortune 1000 companies in insurance, financial, and service industries. Mrs. Moayedi began her career working for Ernst & Young LLP (“E&Y”) in the insurance practice performing audits and tax consulting.
Mrs. Moayedi had her own consulting practice for many years before joining Zenith Insurance Company as Vice President (“VP”) of Internal Controls & Audit. The last position she held was the Chief Operating Officer (“CFO”) at Familia Dental, a closely held entity with more than 600 employees.
Since April 2014, she is investing her time and experience in raising her children and being involved at their school. She has served as the treasurer for the “Canyon Charter Booster Club”, and has been involved in variety of financial projects at the school.
As a breast cancer survivor, she believes in striving to live a healthy, compassionate and vibrant life with a goal of advocating for both prevention and early detection of breast cancer.
Mercedeh Motameni, O.D. received her bachelor degree in Biological Sciences from Pepperdine University in 1985. She obtained her doctor of optometry degree from Illinois College of Optometry in 1990. Mercedeh completed her residency training in Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy at the M. B. Ketchum University formerly known as Southern California College of Optometry. Post residency, she stayed on as an assistant professor at SCCO for eight years. She has served as the president of the South Bay Optometric Society and is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Currently, she is in private practice in Culver City, California.
Bita Ashtari was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She obtained her Bachelor in Environmental and Occupational Health from the school of Medical Sciences at Tehran University in 2007 and her Master’s in Public Health Education with distinction from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in 2010. Bita served as a health and safety specialist at Hakim Pharmaceutical Company in Tehran, Iran and she currently serves as a Public Health specialist and Program Coordinator at the Vision of Health in Sherman Oaks, a nonprofit organization that delivers a comprehensive breast cancer prevention program. She also serves as part-time lecturer at Department of Health Sciences at CSUN teaching undergraduate courses in health education. Bita’s research interests include tobacco control and primary cancer prevention strategies. She is the recipient of Certificate of Appreciation from City of Los Angeles for contribution in the Tobacco Control Project in Council District 7 in 2010. Additionally, Bita is an honored member of Society of Leadership and Success and Society for International Scholars, PHI BETA DELTA for her achievements. Bita had the honor of working on a Merchant Education and Citizen Citation Program for three years in partnership with Tarzana treatment centers in the 7th District of LA City leading up to a poster presentation at APHA 2010- 2011 annual meeting. Bita is also involved in a variety of campus, community, interdisciplinary projects and a number of student organizations. Naming American Lung Association, Be the Match, Universal Love Foundation, and Persian American Society for Health Advancement (PASHA) are some other organizations that Bita has worked with. Additionally, Bita currently instructs international scholars and works with west coast universities through the Ministry of Higher Education of Kuwait.
Persian-American Cancer Institute (PACI) is dedicated to offer effective support to cancer patients. We mobilize bone marrow tissue collection drives to help patients in need of a match, organize cancer screening events for public, offer personal and emotional support for patients and their families (both in English and Persian), give medical and doctors referral and many more.
Our patients’ testimonials are what motivate us to continue our work and grow. They all describe their experience with PACI as hopeful and fruitful. We strive to make a difference in the patients’ lives.
Our activities in a nutshell:
- One on one personal support: English/Persian
- 24 hour help-line
- Physician referrals
- Hospice support and advice
- Insurance guidance related to cancer
- Community support/fundraising
- Educational seminars
PACI is always looking for committed and positive volunteers. If you are interested in becoming part of the PACI family and join us in helping our community, please contact us. PACI is also dependant on the financial contributions of its supporters. Our work would not be possible without your help. While we are very thankful to our supporters, we encourage others to help us achieve our dream of saving patients from cancer.
PACI is a non-political, non-discriminatory, and non-denominational and is required by its mission to participate in community affairs. As a result, PACI will from time to time sponsor or otherwise participate in events that appear to PACI to comply with law and to be consistent with consistent with community standards. Such events may be inherently or inadvertently political or denominational.
PACI’s sponsorship of or other participation in any event is limited to PACI’s actual participation (for example, bone marrow registration or provision of a speaker from PACI on an issue related to PACI’s mission).
Being a hero and saving people’s life in 21st century is very easy. By joining bone marrow registry it will be possible to become a hero. You can give Alireza and other Leukemia patients the chance of getting back to their normal life and be happy, hopeful and strong like before. We shouldn’t wait until leukemia knocks one of our friends’ and relatives’ door and then do the registry. If you have not registered yet, please do it right now. Tomorrow might be too late for some people. This is our duty as a human and it could be a great help for every one of us one day. Let’s unite and make a difference.
Maro, a 49-year-old Armenian woman who came to the US from Iran two years ago, is in desperate need of your help. She has multiple myeloma and is in dire need of a bone marrow/stem cell transplant. She is a wife, daughter, sister, and aunt who in her free time loves to study and read. You could be the one to save her life as well and the lives of many other patients in need of unrelated donors.
Do you want to be the one to save her life and those many others in desperate need of marrow transplant? If your answer is “YES!” click on Be the Match icon on PACI’s website and register.
Madjid Bahrami is a very talented actor from Iran. He has performed in few festivals around the world, and his films have drawn the world’s attention. He was diagnosed with T-Cell Leukemia in 2009 and had to go through chemo therapy. Unfortunately, a year later, while in the middle of a very successful play, he got very sick again and had to go back to the hospital. Doctors found that his cancer is back once again, and this time, he is so desperately in need of a bone marrow transplant.
I am extremely proud to announce that after all the hard work PACI has done and our partnership with Be The Match we now have a way to help doctors overseas reach our National Marrow Registry and search for a possible match — Mrs. Sadler
Dr. Bijan Pakzad (1944-2011) was and will always be a true inspiration to all Iranian-Americans worldwide, sharing his amazing vision and sense of style with all of us globally. Our prayers are with him and his loving family and staff, wishing them patience during this difficult time.
PACI was fortunate to have the opportunity to honor Dr. Pakzad at the PACI/ISG Fashion Show in 2008. He will always be in our memories.
I’d like to thank you for all your support during this hard time of my life. It was impossible for me to go through all the diagnoses and treatments alone without your right advices and emotional supports. I hope one day I can do the same thing for someone.
I really appreciate Mrs. Sadler, Dr Sanati and Dr. Hansen for their kind attention to me, and I’m grateful of them for having a comforting role in my life. I wish there were more people like them.