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March 28, 2017

38th Annual Chautauqua Weekend 2017

by Karter White

March 17-19, 2017, Ojai, CA: For 38 years, the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation has been hosting “Chautauqua Weekend” – a unique weekend retreat where trustees and donors gather together with physicians, researchers and top administrative leaders for a weekend of education and camaraderie.

This year’s theme of “Celebrating People Who Make A Difference” particularly resonated with Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI) where innovation and teamwork are cornerstones in moving successful patient care forward.

Erik Wexler, Chief Executive, Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California, started the weekend off by talking about the local impact and example that PNI has set for compassionate care, teamwork and unity across Southern California.

PNI founders Dr. Daniel F. Kelly and Dr. Chester F. Griffiths gave an informative and inspiring presentation about the future of PNI and the unique collaboration happening across their eight Centers of Excellence, while PNI founders Dr. Howard Krauss and Dr. Santosh Kesari were on hand to exchange ideas and discuss the future of the neurosciences and vision for PNI with those in attendance.

Dr. Steven O’Day spoke about the advances in precision medicine that are directly responsible for the revolution taking place in immuno-oncology resulting in more focused patient treatment to achieve better outcomes.

PNI founders attend Chautauqua Weekend 2017.

PNI Founders Drs. Howard Krauss, Daniel Kelly, Santosh Kesari and Chester Griffiths with Dr. Peter Diamandis (center); Saint John’s Foundation Trustee Rusty Doms; Drs. Chester Griffiths and Daniel Kelly


Dr. Leroy Hood, a giant in the fields of science and medicine, elaborated on what he calls scientific wellness and how it will transform U.S. healthcare and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis whose mantra of “Anything is Possible” in an abundance mindset was both encouraging and motivational. Dr. Diamandis’ presentation correlated directly with Dr. Griffiths’ forecast for PNI and healthcare innovations.

PNI is focused on making a difference in patients’ lives while looking forward to the future ahead in the neurosciences. This is possible in part because of close collaborations with like-minded people and PNI would especially like to acknowledge Foundation Trustee, Rusty Doms for his ongoing friendship and support.


Highlights from Dr. Daniel Kelly and Dr. Chester Griffiths’ presentation:

  • The new Pacific Neuroscience Institute building, scheduled for completion in 2017 is located opposite Providence Saint John’s ER on Arizona Street in Santa Monica. It will serve as the “base camp” to house all the neurosciences under one roof.
  • The collaborative team dynamic and Centers of Excellence make PNI unique — from the number of hands it takes to perform a successful operation to the consolidation of specialists for comprehensive treatment and recovery. Patient outcomes are significantly improved using this multidisciplinary approach.
  • Along with providing high quality patient-centric care, PNI leads by training the next generation of neurosurgeons through the fellowship training program.
  • With its reputation for excellence and innovation across the neurosciences, PNI is sought out by patients, physicians and institutions locally, nationally and globally.
  • Work done through the translational and clinical research programs as well as the clinical trials programs continues to develop groundbreaking methods for tackling severe neurologic and oncologic diseases.
  • Innovative thinking is opening up opportunities into overlooked areas of care such as enhancing quality of life outcomes for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia through programs and digital platforms.

To find out how you can make a difference visit the Saint John’s Foundation website.


Karter White

Karter White is the Event Production Manager at the Saint John’s Foundation serving Providence Saint John’s Health Center and Saint John’s Cancer Institute. She manages program development, creative and multimedia production, and communication for special events. Karter oversees the Foundation’s fundraising events for PNI.


Zara Jethani, MS, MBA

Zara Jethani, MS, MBA, is the marketing director for the Pacific Neuroscience Institute. Her background is in graphic design, molecular genetics research and healthcare marketing.

About the Author

Karter White

Karter White

Karter White is the Administrative Director of PNI Foundation. She oversees the strategic, operational and philanthropic efforts of the PNI Foundation in support of the PNI physician programs, Centers of Excellence, and innovative research initiatives. She works in partnership with the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation development team and the PNI Founders (Drs. Kelly, Griffiths, Krauss and Kesari) to foster relationships with individuals, foundations, and corporations to support the life-changing work of PNI. Karter helps expand support programs and advance clinical trials, fellowship training, physician and patient education, and community outreach for PNI.

Last updated: April 6th, 2017