Skip to main content

About us

  • A recognized leader

    Founded at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in 1990, the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute now includes services at many other hospitals in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. This expansion reflects a commitment to provide exceptional cancer care close to home. We use standard care guidelines across our system to make sure patients receive the same quality care no matter where they are treated.

    Our approach to care

    Our approach emphasizes compassionate and effective care. We offer access to the most advanced treatment and research options, and we’ll be by your side every step of the way.

    Through the Institute's broad network of services, we offer:

    • care that is coordinated by a team of experts who are connected to patients' primary care doctors to provide timely communication and care close to home
    • experienced cancer care coordinators who are registered nurses who support and guide patients from diagnosis through treatment to follow-up
    • expert cancer rehabilitation services through the Courage Kenny® Rehabilitation Institute 
    • access to integrative health therapies through the nationally recognized Penny GeorgeTM Institute for Health and Healing
    • active participation in clinical research trials

    Who is Virginia Piper?

  • expand to learn moreRead video transcript.

  • Over and over again, one of the first things people say about Virginia Piper is that she was one of the kindest people they had ever met. She radiated warmth and drew people in like a magnet. Not only did she express her care verbally, but she was there in person, helping quietly and unobtrusively, wherever there was perceived need. Hers was a charm born of genuine interest in and love for people, regardless of who they were. That trait, so central to her being, was to touch the lives of the innumerable people she encountered throughout her life, often indelibly.

    For more than 25 years, Virginia was an influential force in the community. She served on Northwestern Hospital's Board of Directors and as its Board Chair from 1964-1969. Her leadership continued during the merger of Abbott and Northwestern hospitals, and Abbott Northwestern's merger with Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute. She represented the hospital at regional planning meetings and served as an active fund-raiser with a keen interest in maintaining the excellence of medical and nursing education at the hospital.

    The Virginia Piper Cancer Institute bears her name because, following her death from cancer in 1988, her family and friends wished to honor her and make a difference in the lives of future generations.