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Our cancer institute was created in June of 2018 with the vision of being the best regional cancer institute in the country. We adopted a subspecialized cancer model that incorporates all specialties and services around the disease site and patient. We are the only cancer institute in the US to have subspecialized oncology specific palliative oncologists embedded into every tumor site team to support patients alongside medical, surgical and radiation oncology primary teams.


The palliative oncology department was founded at the opening of the institute in June 2018 by founding physician Dr Christina Drummond. The department formed through the vision of institute president Dr Neil Sharma. His passion was having embedded supportive services for all cancer patients alongside their medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, interventional oncologists and radiation oncologists. Dr Joseph McCollom joined August of 2019 as medical director with an active practice as a GI subspecialist medical oncologist and palliative oncologist to Heme/GU/Sarcoma populations. The primary and palliative oncology teams unite in all aspects of patient care including multidisciplinary tumor boards, symptom and distress management from all phases of the cancer journey from initial diagnosis, active treatment, surveillance and survivorship.


  • Thoracic/Head and Neck
  • Cancer Breast Cancer
  • Upper GI Cancer
  • Lower GI Cancer
  • Sarcoma
  • Hematology
  • Skin Cancer
  • Gynecologic Cancer
  • Genitourinary Cancer
  • Palliative Oncology
  • High Risk/Cancer Prevention Clinic
  • Genetics
  • Nutrition
  • Survivorship

Palliative and Supportive Care


Currently the palliative oncology team employs two palliative and hospice trained physicians, including one medical director who has active board certification in both palliative medicine and medical oncology. The above director has an active clinical practice as a palliative oncologist as well as a medical oncologist. Additionally seven advanced practice nurses or nurse practitioners (APP), several which have clinical medical oncology experience or inpatient palliative care experience address patient needs. All APPs serve patients under physician collaboration and mentorship. In addition, the palliative oncology team has dedicated registered nurses and licensed practitioner nurses who assist with coordination of care in the clinic as well as triage phone calls and maximize the communication between patients, families and providers.


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