Hamilton’s Peeples Cancer Institute open, planning community open house

January 27, 2020

Hamilton Medical Center’s Peeples Cancer Institute began welcoming patients Jan. 6. A community open house is planned for Saturday, Feb. 1 from 1 to 3 p.m.

With an entrance on Memorial Drive, off Thornton Avenue, the 64,000 square-foot facility, estimated at $46.5 million, houses outpatient cancer diagnostic and treatment services in one location. The team of medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons and clinical support staff work collaboratively in shared spaces to provide state-of-the-art care in a healing, nurturing environment. 

“Every aspect of Peeples Cancer Institute is focused on the needs of our patients and families so that we provide an outstanding patient experience and the best clinical outcomes,” said Jeff Myers, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Care System. “Our goal is to foster collaboration, communication and education among physicians and our medical teams to advance and enhance our care for patients. They are our number one priority.”

The design and development of the facility incorporated direct feedback from focus groups including cancer survivors treated at Hamilton, cancer survivors treated elsewhere, local caregivers and community volunteers.

Patient navigators assist newly diagnosed patients to obtain the resources they need, having their questions answered, and receiving necessary emotional support along their journey, from diagnosis to survivorship.

In addition to updated design features, Peeples Cancer Institute showcases the talents of local and regional artists, with several cancer survivors represented. The Whitfield Healthcare Foundation and Hamilton Health Care System have partnered locally with the Creative Arts Guild to develop a healing arts program, with visual arts being the initial phase of the program.

“We are embracing the arts in healthcare to enhance the health and well-being of patients,” said Jane Snipes, Whitfield Healthcare Foundation executive director. “The latest research is finally backing up what we have known all along regarding the therapeutic benefits of the arts. Through a strategic partnership, we can create a stronger, healthier, more vibrant community for all of us.”

Radiation oncology services in the Institute are being provided by Arif Ali, MD, and Nick Galanopoulus, MD, with Northwest Georgia Radiation Oncology. Lisa Duhaime, MD, and Freda Hoffman, APRN, are providing medical oncology services.

Local philanthropists Shelby and Willena Peeples have provided a legacy gift toward the development of the cancer institute and furthered Hamilton’s vision for transformational care.

“We are indebted to the Peeples for their commitment to this project, not only financially, but as they advocate and provide leadership and inspiration for our community,” said Snipes. “Like the Peeples, our Foundation is committed to supporting what our patients and families need. The care provided in Peeples Cancer Institute will impact thousands of lives in northwest Georgia. We will continue with our fundraising efforts to develop innovative programs and services, and we encourage individuals and businesses to join our efforts.”

Hamilton’s cancer program is accredited by the Commission on Cancer (COC), a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care.