Published Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Could Coweta become healthcare mecca?

By Jeff Bishop

The Newnan Times-Herald

A representative from Cancer Treatment Centers of America told Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce members that Coweta County could soon be "a health care mecca."

"We are excited and honored to be moving into this market," said Jack Moore, chief marketing officer for CTCA, speaking at the monthly Chamber breakfast at Central Educational Center Tuesday.

"Actually, to say we're excited is an understatement," he said.

CTCA envisions Newnan as its future hub for the Southeastern U.S.

"We aren't waiting for anything other than the opportunity to prove ourselves," he said, predicting that groundbreaking on the new facility on Newnan Crossing Bypass, across from Ashley Park, will "probably happen in December," with construction being completed "probably within 14 to 15 months."

"We truly want this area to be the mecca of health care," he said. "We will be bringing people from all along the East Coast to Newnan.

"I know all the calls we're already getting from the Southeast, and it's a lot," he said. "I can't begin to tell you how excited we are about entering the Southeast market... Patient needs are changing... We are trying to provide another option for cancer treatment."

He said CTCA plans to "integrate itself into this community."

Moore said what distinguishes CTCA from other cancer treatment hospitals is its patient focus.

"We are inspired by our patients every day," said Moore. "That's why we're the fastest-growing cancer treatment organization in the country."

CTCA applies the "mother standard," he said, which comes from the personal experiences of CTCA founder Dick Stephenson.

"His mother, Mary Brown Stephenson, had bladder cancer," said Moore. "Dick was a man of means, and he couldn't find what he needed to treat his mother."

CTCA came from Stephenson's vision to improve the options for cancer patients, said Moore.

"So that's why we talk about the 'mother standard,'" he said. "If that patient were your mother, what would you do? It's simple. Let's don't over-complicate it."

He said CTCA focuses on offering cutting-edge technology but never forgets the human healing component. Healing can come through surgery and chemotherapy, but healing can also come through nutrition, exercise, relationships, spiritual outreach, acupuncture and massage, he said.

"For us, it's not about radiating a tumor," he said. "It's about healing a person."

A big part of that healing process comes through "personal attention," he said.

That begins right away, with the first phone call, he said.

"You won't find automated menus when you call CTCA," he said. "And we schedule an hour and 45 minutes for that first appointment. More, if it's needed."

Personal attention gives patients "the best chance to beat their cancer," he said.

CTCA offers treatments "that aren't available anywhere else," said Moore.

"And we provide the best quality of life during treatment, as well," he said.

He described CTCA as "the little engine that could," with humble beginnings in Zion, Ill., in 1988. Over the years additional hospitals have opened in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Arizona. The company is growing by about 20 percent each year, he said.

"And next we're going to be in Newnan, Ga.," he said. "We have a projected opening of 2012 for our newest facility."

CTCA will "never stop searching for powerful and innovative therapies," said Moore. "We want to heal the whole person and improve the quality of life for our patients. And growth has been the end result."

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