Staff members of the care center, along with current and former patients, gathered for the tenth anniversary celebration on Sunday, joined by their families and representatives of the hospital.
“For these ten years Walker Cancer Care Center has fulfilled my dream of providing cancer care close to home for patients in Walker County and surrounding communities,” said Scott Drummond, president of Southeast Physicians Network and a native of Jasper. “It has surpassed my dream for our community and Walker Cancer Care Center — it is my desire that we will continue to serve our community for another 10 years and more.”
The partnership with Southeast Physicians Network, Walker Baptist and the Baptist Health Centers has made available comprehensive cancer treatment options that were not otherwise accessible in the Walker County area.
The focus has been to provide cancer treatment closer to home for these patients by bringing oncologists Dr. Joelle Hamilton, Dr. Michael Garcia and Dr. Shelby Sanford, together to provide both radiation and chemotherapy for patients, who had to previously travel to Birmingham.
During this time frame the staff at the cancer center has touched the lives of more than 5,000 patients.
“It has been such an honor to be a part of so many people’s lives over the years. We have had the opportunity to care for various members of the same family and at the same time,” DeAnna Bagwell, the cancer center’s administrator, said.
Hamilton, Garcia and Sanford took the opportunity to speak to the patients in attendance — offering words of encouragement to those still in treatment and sharing special memories with former patients.
“It humbles us to have the privilege to take care of patients who have problems,” Sanford said. “We have an unbelievable staff here who are like a big family — I know they make my job a lot easier and that of our patients as well. It’s a great thing to be able to do what God put you on Earth to do everyday — it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world and I would say our staff feels the same way.”