Lisa Peltier is all smiles as she breezes into the cancer center at Tahoe Forest Hospital. Everyone she passes says hello; some stop for hugs. Her doctor kisses her cheek.
From the receptionist to the infusion nurse to the oncologists, these are neighbors, friends. They are, on many levels, family.
She would not have it any other way. Fortunately, because the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center in Truckee is part of the UC Davis Cancer Care Network, she doesn’t have to.
Diagnosed with lung cancer, the Incline Village resident has been able to get most of her cancer care in her own community with oversight from a “virtual tumor board” of experts 100 miles southwest at a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center.
“Early on, I thought about going elsewhere for care,” she says. “Some even advised me — ‘You have to go somewhere else.’ They said, ‘You can’t get good care locally.’
"But another friend, a nurse, said, ‘There’s a lot to be said about getting your care locally. Part of the healing process is being at home. Your family is there.’”
At the time, Peltier was unaware that Tahoe Forest was affiliated with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, an arrangement that would bring a multidisciplinary army of experts and resources to bear against her individual tumor.