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.