Since 1990, The Torrance Memorial Medical Center Outpatient Treatment
Center, now the Thelma McMillen Center, has been dedicated to helping
South Bay clients and their families successfully overcome the pattern
of addiction. Morris Gelbart, PhD, the Center's Executive Director
since its inception, believes in the importance of "treating the
whole person, not just the addiction," and has personally seen the
program make lasting changes in the lives of over 4,000 clients.
In 2003 the Center received a gift of $5.3 million from Karl McMillen to
expand its well-established services and house the program in a free-standing,
state-of-the-art outpatient facility, now known as The Thelma McMillen
Center. Mr. McMillen's generosity was motivated by personal tragedy.
Having lost his own son to a drug overdose in 1996, he and his wife Thelma
knew firsthand the devastation of chemical dependency.
The generous support
Karl McMillen has provided, and the legacy he has created for Thelma McMillen have resulted
in the expansion of a vitally important service to our community. From
the provision of free programs aimed at reducing the risk of drug and
alcohol use among teens, to the development of the highest quality outpatient
treatment program in the South Bay, The Thelma McMillen Center is dedicated
to the health and well-being of residents in the beach cities. The Center
and its staff of professionals remain committed to their two-fold mission
of providing the most effective care with compassion and respect for the
individual needs of every client, and to being the resource for all things
related to substance use – treatment, prevention, training and education.