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By Jeff Pack
Staff Writer 

Michelle's Place opens satellite office in Fallbrook

 

Last updated 7/16/2020 at 3:39pm

Kim Gerrish, executive director of Michelle's Place Cancer Resource Center; patient navigator Mercedes Ruiz and Rachel Mason, executive director of Fallbrook Regional Health District, stand inside the new Michelle's Place satellite office in Fallbrook.

Michelle's Place Cancer Resource Center celebrated the opening of its satellite office in Fallbrook, located at the Fallbrook Regional Health District offices, Tuesday, July 7.

"Michelle's Place is thrilled to open their first satellite office and we look forward to better serving the community of Fallbrook," Kim Gerrish, executive director of Michelle's Place, which is based in Temecula, said. "Michelle's Place has provided resources to Fallbrook and surrounding areas for the last four years. We know there is a need for resources there. Having a physical presence in Fallbrook for North County cancer patients has been a priority for several years."

Michelle's Place was created as a dying wish of Michelle Watson, a 26-year-old victim of breast cancer. As a Temecula resident, Watson was frustrated with the lack of local resources available to her while facing the challenges of cancer treatment. She died July 23, 2000.

Watson's mother and father founded the organization in her memory, and today Michelle's Place provides over 10,000 free services a year to individuals and families impacted by all types of cancers.

According to Gerrish, Fallbrook doesn't currently have any cancer support resources. An official grand opening was tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, July 14.

Gerrish also said that the Fallbrook Regional Healthcare District has provided the funding and the office space for the satellite office.

"Our partnership with the Fallbrook Regional Health District has blossomed into us being able to bring navigation services to the communities of Fallbrook, Bonsall and Rainbow," Michelle's Place shared in a Facebook post. "Thank you to Rachel (Mason) and the team of FRHD for welcoming us into your space, we are so excited to bring cancer support services to this beautiful community."

"We have had a long-standing partnership with the Fallbrook Regional Healthcare District," Gerrish said. "They voiced an interest in having Michelle's Place resources more accessible to their community so we started talking about having a satellite office."

According to Gerrish, the satellite office will be open one day a month for in-person navigation services.

The Fallbrook satellite office for Michelle's Place Cancer Resource Center will be open Tuesdays only for the time being.

"Someone in the Fallbrook area can meet with a patient navigator and ask questions, get resources and support," Gerrish said. "We hope to start a support group there once we understand the need. We will also be in the Fallbrook community presenting information on early detection and cancer screenings. We will start slow and potentially build our way up to providing more direct resources such as wigs, prostheses, classes and more.

"For now, clients in need of direct services can visit Michelle's Place in Temecula."

The Michelle's Place satellite office is located at 138 S. Brandon Road in Fallbrook. For more information, visit http://www.michellesplace.org or call 951-699-5455.

For more information on how to schedule an appointment, email [email protected]

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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