Editorial: Infusion of art will ease patients' suffering at cancer institute

Our area is blessed to have Hamilton Medical Center’s Peeples Cancer Institute, a 64,000-square-foot, four-story facility on Memorial Drive across the street from the main hospital entrance that will contain outpatient cancer diagnostic and treatment services in one location when it opens. "The team of medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons and clinical support staff will work collaboratively in shared spaces to provide state-of-the-art care in a healing, nurturing environment," Hamilton Health Care System said earlier this year.

Now you can be a part of that nurturing environment.

On Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Creative Arts Guild, the Guild and the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation invite you to Art Infusion, an opportunity to preview and sponsor art for the Peeples Cancer Institute. Featured will be the work of 17 local and regional artists whose offerings have been chosen for the institute. You can purchase the works of art and each piece will be placed in the institute with a recognition plaque that will include the artist’s name, the name of the piece and your name as the sponsor. You may include an “in honor” or “in memory” message honoring a friend or loved one on the plaque inscription.

"This amazing group of artists includes survivors, caregivers, local sons and daughters, and those who have been personally inspired by this project,” said Jane Snipes, executive director of the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation.

There will be beverages, light hors d’oeuvres and live music at the event.

The art is intended to make the time spent at the institute by both patients and staff more comforting.

"Studies have shown that the availability of original art helps to decrease patient use of pain medications, increase compliance with treatments and measurably reduce patient and caregiver stress," the organizers of the event said.

Dr. Mitchell Berger, a Hamilton Medical Center oncologist, said a cancer diagnosis can cause patients to believe their health is no longer theirs to control.

“Incorporating the arts into patient care provides therapeutic and healing benefits, and reduces stress and anxiety,” he said. “The arts become a refuge from the intense emotions associated with illness.”

This is a noble cause, and we hope you are able to attend Thursday's event if you are interested. The sponsorship of the art will not only benefit the patients and staff of the institute but allow you to know you are making a difference in the lives of individuals at a time of high stress and worry for them.

The Guild is at 520 W. Waugh St. in Dalton. Overflow parking will be available at First Baptist Church and a shuttle will be provided.

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