St. Peter's Health is a proud affiliate of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah. HCI is the only National Cancer Institute Designated (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West. It is ranked among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report and receives patient satisfaction ratings in the top 1% nationwide.

Our affiliation brings world-class cancer care to the Helena community, providing patients undergoing cancer and hematology care at St. Peter's with:

  • access to a broader variety of treatment options 
  • access to top cancer experts
  • expedited care for patients requiring care at HCI
  • seamless coordination with HCI for ongoing care as needed

More access, more options

Learn more about our affiliation from the answers to these frequently asked questions.

Why is St. Peter’s affiliating with HCI?

The affiliation with HCI brings a higher level of cancer care to the Helena community. This new affiliation enables patients undergoing cancer and hematology care at St. Peter's in Helena to access a broader variety of treatment options along with top cancer experts at HCI, including those who specialize in rare and complex cancers. The expertise and support that a renowned cancer program like HCI can provide a small community like Helena is a significant advancement in our ability to provide gold standard oncology care.

What are the benefits of the affiliation for St. Peter’s patients?

The new affiliation provides patients in Helena access to some of the world's top cancer experts and more treatment options without having to travel to a major city for their care. When travel to HCI is necessary for a more specialized treatment or procedure, patients will benefit from an expedited process and more seamless transition between the two health systems. 

What are the benefits of the affiliation for St. Peter’s Cancer Care staff?

The affiliation with HCI will help St. Peter’s recruit and retain top-notch clinicians and open new doors of opportunity for our staff. Our team will have access to expanded educational offerings provided by HCI and the opportunity to present patient care plans at HCI's multidisciplinary tumor board meetings, where experts come together to evaluate and recommend the best treatment plans.

Does the affiliation with HCI mean St. Peter’s is no longer an independent community hospital?

No, quite the opposite. Affiliations with other health systems to expand the care that’s available in Helena is a strategic move to maintain independence and local decision-making, and better meet the needs of our community. The affiliation with HCI builds on St. Peter’s existing affiliation with University of Utah Health for other specialized services, including teleneurology and telestroke. Partnering with world-class academic medical institutions and other regional health systems around specific specialties brings a higher level of care to our community without the need to become part of a larger health system.

Why HCI?

A partnership with HCI builds on the strength of our affiliation with University of Utah Health and brings world-class cancer care to Helena. HCI is ranked among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report and receives scores in the top 1% nationally for patient satisfaction. In a rural community like Helena, delivering gold standard cancer care is more likely achieved through a partnership with a more comprehensive organization than it is independently. A team approach where providers share insights and support one another builds strength in diagnosis and treatment, and greatly benefits patients.

Why does HCI affiliate with other cancer centers?

With the main campus in Salt Lake City, HCI now has six affiliate cancer centers across the Mountain West region. All affiliates are local, not-for-profit, independent health care systems like St. Peter's .

By affiliating with other quality driven organizations, HCI extends its reach and impact, and ensures more patients can have access to evidence-based cancer care closer to home. HCI is committed to assisting St. Peter’s to support cancer care in our community, while also providing seamless access to specialty services offered by HCI. HCI seeks to earn the designation as the referral center of choice for the types of care not offered locally.

Will this affiliation restrict any cancer services or programs St. Peter’s currently offers?

No. St. Peter’s will continue to determine which cancer services and programs will be offered locally.

Will patients still be able to choose where they’re referred for oncology care if that is necessary?

Yes. This affiliation does not require that patients be referred to HCI for specialized cancer care. Physicians still have complete autonomy, in partnership with patients and their families, in deciding where to refer their patients.

Will the affiliation change either organization’s mission and values?

No. Although they are strongly aligned, both organizations will continue to maintain their respective missions and values.

Will HCI provide oncologists to staff St. Peter's Cancer Care?

No, but St. Peter’s oncologists and staff will have the ability to work closely with their colleagues at HCI. We do expect that having this affiliation with HCI will help St. Peter’s recruit and retain all staff, including physicians, nurses, technicians and others.

Does this mean Cancer Care staff are now employees of HCI?

No, it is still St. Peter’s Cancer Care, and all staff are still employees of St. Peter’s.

More about HCI

Huntsman Cancer institute facility
Huntsman Cancer Institute's main campus in Salt Lake City, Utah. ​​​

HCI's main campus is in Salt Lake City. The cancer campus includes a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital as well as two buildings dedicated to cancer research. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer.

HCI is the official cancer center of Utah. As the only NCI Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West, HCI serves the largest geographic region in the country, serving patients from Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at HCI than at any other cancer center in the world, including genes responsible for hereditary breast, ovarian, colon, head, and neck cancers, along with melanoma. HCI was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman. Click here to learn more about HCI.