CTCA begun in 1980s by son out of search for mother's care

By ALEX McRAE alex@newnan.com The idea for what became Cancer Treatment Centers of America came to company founder Richard J. Stephenson in the early 1980s when he was searching for cancer care for his mother. Stephenson, according to company background information, was disappointed in the cancer care he found at several hospitals, which he said were "singularly focused on the clinical and technical aspects of cancer treatment, ignoring the individual needs of the patient and the multi-faceted nature of the disease."
In 1988, after his mother passed away, Stephenson gathered a group of oncologists and charged them with organizing a facility that would "deliver whole-person cancer treatment in a compassionate, nurturing environment." The first facility implementing what came to be called the Mother Standard® of care opened in northern Illinois. Stephenson said his facility's goal was to not just treat the disease, but to keep his staff members focused on making a difference in the lives of people living with cancer. Stephenson said, "CTCA cancer doctors provide patients with the same warmth, unconditional support and respect we would extend to our own mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, or other loved ones. "In caring for patients like family, our clinicians take an aggressive and individualized approach to cancer treatment. They combine the latest medical, surgical and radiation therapies with supportive therapies like nutrition, naturopathic medicine, mind-body medicine, oncology rehabilitation, and spiritual support. This whole-person approach gives those fighting cancer new options and hope." CTCA patients are treated by a multidisciplinary team including specialists in medical, surgical and radiation oncology, pulmonary medicine and gastroenterology. Patients each receive a personal treatment plan, hospital officials said. Most treatment plans include conventional oncology treatments combined with supportive therapies including chemotherapy, radiation and stem-cell transplants and alternative medical-care services such as organic food, vitamin therapies, massage and nutrition. The Newnan facility will be the fifth regional hospital in CTCA's nationwide network, joining existing hospitals in Zion, Ill.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Goodyear, Ariz. CTCA also operates an outpatient facility in Seattle, Washington.

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