In January, 2010, West Tennessee Healthcare named the Alice and Carl Kirkland Cancer Center in honor of the couple's $5 million gift to the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation to further enhance cancer services to people of West Tennessee.
"Alice and Carl's generosity will help West Tennessee Healthcare serve the people of this community for generations to come," said Bobby Arnold, West Tennessee Healthcare president and CEO. "We are extremely grateful for this extraordinary kindness, which lays the groundwork to increase services and provide care that is close to home for our patients."
"Alice and I are happy to be able to help West Tennessee Healthcare expand its cancer services," said Carl Kirkland. "I am from West Tennessee and am a cancer survivor myself. We believe in the mission of bringing the highest quality cancer care close to home for West Tennesseans."
Hospital officials are working with physicians and consultants to develop a strategic plan outlining consolidation initiatives and expanded services in light of the Kirkland donation. Each year, more than 1,100 West Tennesseans are treated for cancer at West Tennessee Healthcare.
The Alice and Carl Kirkland Cancer Center will be designed with the patient in mind, providing a supportive, easy-to-access environment in a private, secluded setting. The design of the multi-story facility will create one of the largest cancer centers in the region, while still providing patients with a sense of comfort.
At Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, the West Tennessee Cancer Center was designated in 1990 as one of the five Centers of Excellence and it has been participating in research studies since 1993. Currently, the West Tennessee Cancer Center offers treatment and diagnostic services that include medical, surgical, and radiation oncology, tumor registry, and hospice. In addition, it provides cancer conferences for physicians and other healthcare professionals, social services, outreach clinics, public education, and various support groups, such as Camp Blue Bird. For over 10 years, it has been the title sponsor for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in several West Tennessee communities.
The West Tennessee Cancer Center has been selected by the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Cancer Trials Support Unit as a participant in its CTSU Independent Clinical Research Site (CICRS) Program. Of the 17 sites evaluated through a lengthy and highly selective process, only five were selected. The West Tennessee Cancer Center was the only site selected in Tennessee. Through this affiliation with the NCI, West Tennessee Cancer Center will be able to offer patients a variety of trials from the large menu of NCI-funded trials. West Tennessee Cancer Center is also a member of the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center Affiliate Network, Nashville, Tennessee.
Carl Kirkland is co-founder and chairman emeritus of Kirkland's, a leading specialty retailer of home décor in the United States, operating approximately 291 stores in 32 states. He has served on several boards, including Hibbett Sports, Bank of Jackson, and the University School of Jackson, where he served as past chairman. Carl Kirkland is active in many civic activities and charities, including Jackson Humane Society and West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation. He attended the University of Mississippi and received a BBA degree from the University of Memphis. Alice Kirkland is an alumna of the University of Tennessee at Martin. She was a Medical Records Librarian at Baptist Hospital and later was a Medical Records Administrator for the Tennessee Department of Health. She has been involved in numerous charitable activities, including the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, Jackson Humane Society, and Jackson Service League, and has been a supporter of University School of Jackson.
Alice and Carl Kirkland have three children, Miles Kirkland in Nashville, Brooks Kirkland in Beaver Creek, CO, and Abby Kirkland Foley in Nashville, along with five grandchildren. Alice and Carl are members of First United Methodist Church, Jackson, Tennessee.
Cancer has touched the lives of both Alice and Carl. Alice lost her mother and father and Carl lost his father and brother to cancer. Carl is a cancer survivor.