Piedmont Fayette Hospital has grown quite a bit since opening its doors 20 years ago. The hospital grew from one two-story building with just over 50 beds to 221 beds on a large campus featuring two five-story towers. Each department has added services and state of the art technology and equipment to help care for the community. Nowhere is this more evident than in the oncology services at the hospital, which boasts an affiliation with the MD Anderson Cancer Network and has several of their physicians and surgeons included in the MD Anderson Physicians Network. Cancer care at Piedmont Fayette is unified to provide incredible care for their patients and their families.
“Cancer care is constantly growing at Piedmont Fayette,” said Catherine Hoffman, Manager of Oncology Services. “All of the services and resources that an oncology patient might need are offered under one roof. There is no need to go anywhere else.”
A cancer diagnosis may start in Piedmont Fayette’s imaging services. The hospital is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) in computed tomography, mammography, MRI, nuclear medicine and ultrasonography. Piedmont Fayette has been designated by the ACR as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence and the radiation oncology department is accredited by the ACR. This is only achieved by a small percentage of community hospitals and it represents the highest level of quality and patient safety. Within the past year, the Women’s Imaging Center at Piedmont Fayette has added 3D tomography. Instead of a traditional mammogram, which produces one image, tomography takes multiple images in one millimeter slices and produces a 3D image of the breast. This is especially beneficial for the radiologist to analyze the complexities of breast tissue and can also provide women with dense breast tissue a better image than a traditional mammogram.
After a diagnosis, a patient is contacted by a nurse navigator, whose role is to act as an advocate for the patient and a liaison between the patient and the healthcare team, supporting the delivery of quality cancer care and providing personalized support, education and resources.
“A lot of information gets thrown at cancer patients and their families in a short period of time. It can be overwhelming to absorb that information, handle scheduling, treatment options, insurance and billing,” said Elaine Harbin, a navigator for breast cancer patients at Piedmont Fayette. “That’s where a navigator comes in. Our goal is to help alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with a cancer diagnosis.”
Treatment for cancer may require surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination of any or all of those options. Nikki Sroka, MD and Melanie Crutchfield Whitten, MD are Piedmont Fayette’s two breast surgeons, part of a surgical team at the hospital that is incredibly skilled and committed to remaining on the cutting edge of surgical techniques and technology. There are two outpatient infusion centers located within Piedmont Fayette Hospital, as well as inpatient infusion center, and the radiation oncology department features two linear accelerators. Depending on the cancer they are treating, the department can also provide high-dose or low-dose radiation therapy. Piedmont Fayette also added radioactive seed localization which is a convenient and minimally invasive way for a surgeon to locate and find a clear path to a small cancer.
In addition to diagnosis and treatment, Piedmont Fayette also has Mitzie Davis, MD, the southside’s only gynecological oncologist, a genetic counselor, a social worker dedicated to cancer patients and programs five days a week at Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness. Those programs, which include everything from cooking demonstrations and exercise classes, to arts and crafts and support groups, are offered free of charge to any person at any point in their cancer journey.
For more information on cancer services at Piedmont Fayette, visit piedmont.org/cancer.