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Patient and family services

  • Cancer resource desk

    The resource library at the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute offers patients and their families a comfortable, supportive environment where they can learn more about their disease, treatment options and support services.

    Volunteers can help guide you through a variety of information about cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and supportive services.

    Services: All items in the cancer library are available free of charge or at a minimal cost.

  • Social workers

    The social workers at the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute are an integrated part of the medical team. These professionals provide resources and services to patients and families experiencing a cancer diagnosis. Learn more about our social workers.

    Integrative therapy

    We work with the Penny George™ Institute for Health and Healing - Unity Hospital to provide integrative health services and support for cancer patients. Integrative therapy options available at Unity Hospital include:

    • acupuncture
    • exercise physiology
    • integrative nutrition
    • integrative medicine consultation
    • therapeutic massage
    • volunteer-based energy therapy

    Call 763-236-5607 to learn more about integrative therapy options. We also offer integrative medicine classes and programs for cancer patients and their families.

    Talking with children about cancer

    The cover of Simple Talks for Tough Times Talking with Children about Cancer shows an elephant walking with a mouse who is holding a large yellow flower.

    If you need to tell a child about your cancer diagnosis, ask for Simple Talks for Tough Times by Marcia Carlson, social worker at Virginia Piper Cancer Institute - Unity Hospital and the Mercy Cancer Center. The book is available at no cost.

    Health care directives

    A health care directive is a document that relays your health care wishes when you are unable to do so yourself. It can detail your goals, values, fears, hopes and dreams as they related to your life and health care decisions.

    On the fourth Monday of each month, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute offers a class to help you learn more about health care directives, including which one is right for you, when you should create one and what happens if you do not have a health care directive. Call 763-236-5607 to register.


    Hospice services provide holistic care to patients facing a limited life expectancy. The emphasis of the program is on comfort while allowing patients to remain in the familiar surroundings and comfort of their own home.

    Wigs and head coverings

    Newly diagnosed patients may experience a whirlwind of fears and apprehensions about cancer treatment and its side effects. Hair loss is one such common source of anxiety. Your health care professional will let you know if you can expect to lose your hair during cancer treatment. Patients who receive their cancer care on the Unity Hospital campus are welcome to choose one wig and multiple head coverings from our wig room free of charge.


    Picture Us is a service that offers patients a professional digital family portrait, free of charge, before potential hair loss occurs or during cancer treatment.


    Learn more about CaringBridge, a nonprofit organization

    CaringBridge provides free, secure personalized Web pages designed to notify family and friends of news and information about loved ones.

    Nothing can replace the true presence of family and friends during life-changing events. But sometimes distance, time and finances limit the ability to provide in-person support. CaringBridge allows friends and family to be there for their loved one, even when it is not physically possible.

    Anyone can use this service by going to and following the simple directions. 

    To protect your privacy, CaringBridge Web pages are not available through Internet search engines.

    Neighbors Caring for Neighbors

    This program offers community businesses the opportunity to support our neighbors with cancer. It expands our services by referring visitors to community businesses committed to volunteering allotted times to cancer patients.

    • This is a free referral service only. Services are not provided at Virginia Piper Cancer Institute - Unity Hospital.
    • Neighbors Caring for Neighbors services are only offered at participating community business locations. There is no affiliation with Allina Health or Unity Hospital.

    For more about Neighbors Caring for Neighbors, call the cancer support services coordinator at 763-236-5607.

  • For more information

    Call 763-236-5607

Copyright Information

This site is presented for information only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Allina Health®, Allina®, the Allina Health logo, and Medformation® are registered trademarks of Allina Health System. Presentation and Design ©2015 Allina Health. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED