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Franciscan radiation oncologist retires after 45-year career

Franciscan radiation oncologist retires after 45-year career

Radiation Oncologist Peter Garrett, MD., whose 45-year career included leading Franciscan Health’s cancer program in Central Indiana for the last two decades, joined colleagues at Franciscan Health Cancer Center Indianapolis on Tuesday, June 20, to celebrate his retirement.

“It is impossible to put into words the impact Dr. Garrett has had on our oncology program. He has left an indelible mark on our program through the countless lives he’s touched over his career,” said Terri Ruff, VP and Chief Operating Officer at Franciscan Health Indianapolis.

“Our oncology program has become nationally recognized under Dr. Garrett, and we are grateful for his steadfast and thoughtful leadership,” she added.

A native of Ottawa, Canada, Dr. Garrett graduated medical school from Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario in 1977, completing his residency at Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto in 1980. After being on faculty for four years at Princess Margaret Hospital, Dr. Garrett left Toronto in 1984 to practice in Indianapolis, first with Methodist Hospital, and then joining Franciscan Health in 2000.

In March 2002, Dr. Garrett was appointed medical director of Cancer Services, and chairman of the Cancer Committee, where he contributed to the tremendous growth of Franciscan Health’s oncology services during his 23 years with the program, seeing patients at both Indianapolis and Mooresville cancer centers.

Peter Garrett, MD., (pictured second from right) retired radiation oncologist with Franciscan Health, and his family. (Submitted photo)

Upon his arrival in Indianapolis in 1984, Dr. Garrett joined Cancer Care Group, the largest radiation oncology group in the state, and has served on the staff of 14 different hospitals during his tenure. Dr. Garrett led his 100th and final Cancer Committee in May.

Dr. Garrett said his favorite memories over his long and illustrious career are the people, especially at Franciscan Health. He looks fondly on the many changes he’s been a part of, including the design and construction of the Cancer Center, and the development of the Healthy Living Center.

Dr. Garrett said he has seen many amazing things happen in cancer care that have made a major impact for patients, including the implementation of the CAT scan, MRI and PET/CTs. He noted improvements in treatments, including focused radiation therapies, medical oncology, including immunotherapy, and robotic surgery that have all made treatment more successful and better tolerated, and he’s honored to have been a part of it all.

In retirement, Dr. Garrett said he looks forward to more time with Nora, his wife of 50 years, his four children and eight grandchildren. He also plans to spend more time as a volunteer at Second Helpings, as well as sharpening his skills on the piano, which he took up playing during the pandemic.

“His kindness, compassion and calming spirit are his calling card. He will be missed by everyone,” Ruff said.

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