Northeast Georgia Medical Center Earns Grant From Winship to Study the Use of Touch in Cancer Patients

Published: Monday, August 9, 2021

Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is one of only three cancer programs in Georgia to earn a mini research grant from Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University that will study the use of gentle touch in cancer care.

By earning this grant from Winship, NGMC’s Cancer Services will be able to provide cancer patients in Barrow and Stephens Counties with a free program that teaches patients and their caregivers how to use massage and gentle touch as a source of pain relief.

“Massage and light touch have been shown to relieve pain and other symptoms in cancer patients,” says NGMC’s Cancer Services project leader and assistant nurse manager Angie Caton. “But for many self-pay patients or those who lack health insurance, such palliative care is often beyond their reach. This grant will help us educate about 50 cancer patients and their care partners on the simple techniques they can do at home to help provide comfort and relaxation.” 

Winship’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement, which oversees the community mini grants program, collaborates with partners across Georgia to improve cancer health outcomes and reduce disparities, particularly in communities with higher cancer mortality rates compared to state averages. Special attention is given to the design and implementation of programs that support the recruitment of underserved populations to clinical trials, promotion of cancer prevention and early detection, and improving access to survivorship and patient support programs. Mini grants range from $8,000 to $10,000 for projects delivered over a 10-month period.

NGMC’s Cancer Services provides care for almost 3,000 new cancer patients each year. NGMC is also an affiliate of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, which gives people access to closely coordinated treatment plans and access to more than 275 existing therapeutic clinical trials and research projects led by some of the top clinical investigators in the country.

For more information about NGMC’s free massage therapy research program, please call 770-219-9265. To learn more about NGMC’s Cancer Services, visit



Since 1951, Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has been on a mission of improving the health of our community in all we do. With hospitals located in Gainesville, Braselton, Winder and Dahlonega, the four NGMC campuses have a total of more than 700 beds and more than 1,100 medical staff members representing more than 50 specialties. NGMC is part of Northeast Georgia Health System, a non-profit that cares for more than 1 million people across more than 18 counties. Learn more at