Claudia & Sandy Samuels
Dr. Claudia W. Samuels was born in New York and moved to the Los Angeles area with her family when she was a teenager. She graduated from Granada Hills High School and attended the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA and the University of Southern California. While earning her master’s and doctorate degrees, Claudia taught undergraduate classes at both UCLA and USC. She also taught English at the American Jewish University. Claudia worked for various antiquities galleries in Beverly Hills and coauthored the book The Numismatic Legacy of the Jews.
Sandy Samuels attended Fairfax High School, where he met Claudia at a Latin Club party. He then attended Princeton University. Claudia and Sandy both graduated from college in 1974 and were married shortly thereafter. Sandy attended UCLA Law School and practiced as a financial services attorney for more than 40 years. He is a professor at both Loyola Law School and California State University, Northridge.
In 1979, Sandy and Claudia moved “over the hill” to the San Fernando Valley and purchased their first house in Van Nuys. They have been Valley residents ever since, now residing in Encino—a stone’s throw from Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center. Together they have raised three children, now in their 30s, and they have one granddaughter.
What do you like about the Valley?
“Everything we want is available in the Valley without the hustle and bustle of the city. The area boasts lots of wide streets, much greenery and an abundance of breathing room. Our synagogue, where we have met many lifelong friends, is located in Valley Village. There are plenty of cultural and entertainment venues only a few exits away on the 101 Freeway. Plus, the world-class Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center is right in our midst.”
What is the most important work that the medical center does?
“This is embodied in its mission: ‘Compassionate care for the poor and vulnerable.’ We are never more vulnerable than when we are in the hospital. Having a hospital that provides such compassionate care available in our community is invaluable. Several of our family members and some of our dearest friends have found themselves at Tarzana Medical Center at one time or another. Our three children were born in the hospital, and each of us has been in the emergency department over the years. We experienced ‘compassionate care’ from the inside, and we reflect on this with a large measure of gratitude. Actually experiencing the Providence mission is awe-inspiring. Each doctor, nurse and health care professional we have encountered seemed to embody the mission intuitively.”
How did you become connected with this foundation?
“In 2011, Claudia was invited to become a board member by the late Earl Greinetz, the first chair of Providence Tarzana Foundation board of governors, and by Patty Williams, who was then serving as the director of the foundation.”
Why did you decide to make a gift?
“Having a strong foundation with a strong culture of philanthropy is like icing on the cake. It enables the medical center to acquire cutting-edge equipment, like the da Vinci Robot, the Ion machine used in thoracic surgery, Giraffe beds for the NICU and much more! Being a member of the Providence Tarzana Foundation board of governors has reinforced the tremendous value of philanthropy directed toward Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center—a precious gem in the midst of our community. And philanthropy directed to the Providence Tarzana Foundation is a fantastic opportunity for grateful patients to express their gratitude.
Additionally, it is important to note that the Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center is so welcoming to the large Jewish community that resides in the region. The new hospital will continue its long-standing tradition of putting mezuzahs on the doors of all rooms in the new medical tower and will provide a multifaith presence throughout the medical center.”
What do you hope the medical center will achieve in the future?
“The new five-story medical tower just received a $50 million gift this year from Don and Andrea Friese, and the Tarzana Medical Center is on its way to reaching its fundraising goal through the Tarzana Reimagined campaign, led by our foundation campaign chair Claire Marks and by our board chair Dr. Jerry Einziger.
At the forefront of leading research, clinical trials, and surgical and interventional cardiac care, our doctors are known for their continuing dedication to the advancement of heart and vascular treatment. The Providence Tarzana Foundation will be looking to fund more projects, including cutting-edge medical equipment and a newly renovated cardiology department. And in the neurosciences, Cedars-Sinai and Providence are building a Comprehensive Stroke Center within the next few years. The partnership with Cedars-Sinai is an important milestone in achieving all of these goals.”