Crowd expected for cancer hospital groundbreaking

By JEFF BISHOP More than 500 people are expected to be at Wednesday's 9 a.m. to 12 noon formal groundbreaking event for the $150 million Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan. Work has already begun at the site, located near JCPenney, across from Ashley Park shopping center, on Newnan Crossing Bypass.
"We are very pleased to welcome CTCA to the community," said Coweta County Development Authority Chairman David Brown. The development authority board recently approved the issuance of up to $300 million in bond financing for the project. "CTCA will provide access to high-quality cancer care for patients across the Southeast," said Brown. "The project will help fuel our economy and bring much needed new jobs to the area." The suburban Atlanta facility is set to open in September 2012 as the fifth CTCA regional destination hospital, and will serve cancer patients and their families from across the Southeast. The hospital is expected to draw thousands of cancer patients to metro Atlanta, and create 500 new jobs and generate $500 million in economic activity over the first five years of operation. More than 500 people including 170 cancer patients, survivors and caregivers from throughout the Southeast will be at CTCA's site for the groundbreaking. The event is expected to be attended by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Senate President Tommy Williams and a host of other legislative and congressional leaders. "The program will start with three concurrent town hall meetings to help provide more information about CTCA and its impact on the community," said Coweta Development Authority President Greg Wright. "The groundbreaking ceremony (speaking program and ceremonial groundbreaking moment) will begin at 10:15 with Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, CTCA officials, a CTCA patient and local government officials." Illinois-based Cancer Treatment Centers of America -- known for a holistic approach to care and less conventional therapies -- began work on the 260,000-square-foot, 50-bed cancer hospital in Newnan last month. Right now, hundreds of patients from the Southeast travel long distances to one of the company's other four hospitals in the Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Tulsa, Okla., areas, said Tim Birdsall, vice president of integrative medicine. "Patients tell us that access and proximity to home is important," Birdsall said.

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