In 1963, the late Dr. Ernesto Contreras, Sr. opened the Oasis of Hope Hospital and initiated what would become a healing tradition known as the Total Cancer Care Approach. Dr. Contreras is recognized in multiple publications as a pioneer in body, mind, and spirit medicine. At the foundation of his philosophy were two principles inspired by Hippocrates, the father of medicine, and Jesus Christ, The Great Physician: 1) First, do no harm; 2) Love your patient as you love yourself.
Because of his philosophy, Dr. Contreras taught his medical staff to never prescribe treatments that would destroy the quality of life of the patient. He also insisted that Oasis of Hope physicians offer therapies that they would be willing to take if in the same circumstances. His emphasis on the doctor-patient relationship, along with his integration of natural and conventional therapies with emotional and spiritual counseling, were the principle reasons why more than 100,000 patients from 55 nations have come to Oasis of Hope for treatment over the last 45 years.
Dr. Contreras believed that to be effective as a physician, one had to blend art and science. When treating cancer patients, Dr. Contreras looked beyond the obvious. He would find the root needs of his patients and develop personalized therapies to address the unique circumstance of each. His commitment to treat his patients with professionalism, ethics, and compassion made him a beloved doctor. As a researcher, Dr. Contreras explored hundreds of treatment modalities in his constant quest to help his patients. His untiring determination inspired his staff and patients alike.
At age 88, after 62 years of medical practice, Dr. Contreras went on to be with the Lord. Two of his significant contributions to humanity were his model for integrative medicine and the development of a tremendous platform for the advancement of cancer research, treatment, and control. The Oasis of Hope is home of the healing legacy of Dr. Ernesto Contreras, Sr. and the staff continues to utilize the Total Care Approach and develop and design new and effective protocols for comprehensive cancer management.