Fayette County News

Fayette County


Piedmont Fayette volunteer Jim O’Hara wins Edward C. Kaps Award

Jim O’Hara and Piedmont Fayette CEO Michael Burnett.

On the fourth Tuesday of every month, Jim O’Hara leads the Prostate Cancer Information Group, a support group affiliated with Us Too International for men and the families of men affected by prostate cancer, at Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness at Piedmont Fayette Hospital. A cancer survivor himself, Jim is a volunteer facilitator for the group and on March 10, he was recognized, along with five other individuals, by Us Too International as winners of the 2017 Edwards C. Kaps Hope Awards.
Kaps was one of the founders and original board members of Us Too International. The award recognizes the value of establishing real hope for those affected by prostate cancer by providing educational information, support services and advocacy.
O’Hara has led the Prostate Cancer Information Group since 1999 and it has been a presence at Piedmont Fayette since 2008.
“I think I’ve been able to do this so long because people have been so supportive all that time,” said O’Hara. The group has benefitted from a strong schedule of speakers throughout the years, including numerous physicians and dietitians from the hospital. At Tuesday’s meeting, Dr. Nikhil Shah spoke about robotic surgery for prostate cancer. Getting face time, answers and advice from doctors is a big draw for many of the members and it is just another element of care that the physicians and staff members can provide.
O’Hara was diagnosed with cancer in 1996 while he was living in Rochester, New York. There were two support groups in the area as he received treatment but none in the south metro area of Atlanta when he moved here two years later. O’Hara started the group and he has built a strong relationship with the Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) and Us Too International. He has served as an educator for PCRI and feels that role, in addition to his personal experience, helps him find the information that the men and families in his support group need. The letters that poured in supporting his nomination for the Hope Award made it clear that the members of the group agree that O’Hara and the support the group provides are incredibly valuable.
“This area for cancer wellness classes and programs is beautiful,” said Piedmont Fayette CEO Michael Burnett, after the award was presented to O’Hara. “What makes it special though are people like you, Jim, for the work that you do. Our purpose at Piedmont Fayette is to make a positive difference in every life we touch and you help us do that.”
The Prostate Cancer Information Group meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness, located on the third floor of Piedmont Fayette Hospital (west entrance). Visit piedmont.org/cancer for more information about cancer wellness programs offered at the hospital.