Written by Tabitha Hogue | Photographed by Vincent Rios
Ramin and Roxanne Mirhashemi have their hands full between work and community
involvement in the South Bay. Dr. Ramin Mirhashemi is an experienced gynecological
oncologist at Torrance Memorial, working with patients suffering from
various types of gynecological cancers. His wife, Roxanne, is a local
attorney who regularly donates meals to the Los Angeles Downtown Women’s
Center and also co-chairs Torrance Memorial’s fashion show at the
hospital’s annual Holiday Festival.
The choice to support Torrance Memorial as members of the
Ambassador program was easy. Roxanne says her respect and enthusiasm for the hospital is
what prompted her to become an Ambassador. “I know in our community,
for my friends who live in the Beach Cities, any time they need any kind
of medical help I feel very confident recommending Torrance Memorial for
critical health treatment,” she says.
Torrance Memorial’s Ambassadors program was established more than
40 years ago as an annual giving program for physicians, community members
and volunteers to support the hospital financially. Their giving supports
the Lundquist Lurie Cardiovascular Institute, the Hunt Cancer Institute,
the Lundquist Neurosciences Institute, and the Orthopedic and Spine Institute.
Throughout the year, Ambassadors socialize and enjoy exclusive cocktail
and dinner parties, an annual women’s luncheon, wine tastings and
a hospital update from president, CEO Craig Leach.
Roxanne says she really enjoys meeting other women in the community through
the Ambassadors program, as well as meeting appreciative patients who
have had a great experience with their treatment at the hospital. Serving
as co-chair for the fashion show is another way for her to show her support.
“It’s been amazing being a part of that—and my fourth
year participating,” she says.
Roxanne also enjoys giving back to the community in other ways, including
supporting the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation and providing meals
for the women at the Downtown Women’s Center, which provides shelter
and food for homeless women. Donating meals to the center was a tradition
she started years ago with her younger daughter, Emma.
Dr. Mirhashemi is glad to be practicing at Torrance Memorial, saying he
has been impressed by the vision CEO Craig Leach has for the hospital
and the high standards he has fostered. “I’ve been all over
the country—in academic centers and in private hospitals—and
Torrance Memorial is the top-quality community hospital I’ve ever
been associated with. The quality of care here is just above and beyond.”
Dr. Mirhashemi has promoted improved quality of care at Torrance Memorial
through advocating for the purchase of a da Vinci robotic surgical system.
Torrance Memorial was the first hospital in the area to get the da Vinci
system, and the hospital now owns two—allowing doctors to perform
less invasive surgeries with quicker recovery time. Dr. Mirhashemi has
performed more than 3,200 surgeries using the robotic system.
His many years of surgical experience have included an interest in furthering
the field through research. He has co-authored more than 60 articles in
medical journals and enjoys expanding his medical knowledge.
Although he enjoys the technical side of the job, Dr. Mirhashemi says the
most rewarding thing about being a physician in his specialty is helping
his patients. “I think the field of cancer is one where you actually
can make a big difference in someone’s life, whether it’s
curing their cancer or helping them through the dying process.”
From Surgery to Hitting the Slopes
In his spare time, Dr. Mirhashemi loves to go skiing with his wife and
two daughters, who both attend college out of state. It is a passion that
began in his youth. “We grew up on skis,” he says. “We’ve
been skiing, both my brother and I, since we were 5 years old.”
He says his parents were avid skiiers who took their children skiing at
resorts around the world, in North America and Europe, and continued the
tradition after they immigrated from Iran to California. As an adult,
Ramin skied at various resorts with his wife and kids, but eventually
the regular resort ski slopes were starting to lose their appeal. He was
hungry for greater adventure, so he turned to helicopter skiing, or heli-skiing,
which involves being flown out to ski in a remote spot in the mountains
not accessible via a ski lift.
“It’s mostly deep powder skiing,” Roxanne says. “You
have to be an expert to do that.”
Dr. Mirhashemi says skiing is his one passion, and his heli-skiing trips
in the mountains of British Columbia are something he looks forward to
all year. Asked if he’s a thrill-seeker, he laughs and says, “A
little bit … maybe just a tiny bit.”