Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton plans cancer center

Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton plans cancer center

Foundation to raise $8 million of $30 million cost from individuals, businesses

February 3rd, 2016 by Tim Omarzu in Business Around the Region

An architectural rendering shows the proposed Hamilton Cancer Institute.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

How to donate

For more information on how to support the Hamilton Cancer Institute, contact the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation, 706-272-6128 or visit www.hamiltonhealth.com.

In what it calls "one of the most significant initiatives in its 95-year history," Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, Ga., announced plans to build a $30 million community cancer institute.

The institute will be built in a three-story, 37,800-square-foot new building on the south side of Memorial Drive across from the main hospital entrance and will offer patients collaborative oncology "in a healing, patient-centered environment," the hospital said in an announcement of the project.

"This advancement in cancer care for our region is happening at a pivotal moment," said Jeff Myers, Hamilton's president and CEO. "Hamilton's commitment to offer best-in-class services converges with rapidly evolving developments in cancer treatment."

Patient-centered services, like those to be offered at the Hamilton Cancer Institute, continue to expand at cancer centers around the country, according to the The 2015 Trends in Cancer Programs survey. For example, psychological counseling was offered at 88 percent of centers in 2015, up from 78 percent in 2014.

Community input will help determine what services are offered at the Hamilton Cancer Institute.

"Bringing together a team of specialists under one roof will allow for cohesive and seamless care of each patient," said William McKay, the medical director of radiation oncology at Hamilton. "For the past 25 years, our treatment outcomes have been exceptional and far better than the national average. Many people don't realize that our local control and cure rates are as good as any major cancer center in the country."

To support the institute, the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation has announced a campaign to raise $8 million of the $30 million total.

"It is our largest campaign, and we feel the community will endorse it," Whitfield Healthcare Foundation Executive Director Jane Snipes said. "We have nearly 11,000 patients living with cancer in Whitfield and Murray counties alone, and this past year, nearly 1,300 new cancer cases were identified at Hamilton."

Previously, the most the foundation has raised was $6 million for a new intensive care unit and a cardiac and catheter lab, she said.

Snipes expects donations from both individuals, businesses and corporations.

Hospital officials expect to get approval for the institute from the state of Georgia in March and construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2016.

The institute was designed by architects ESa of Nashville.

Contact Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6651.