Published Saturday, February 18, 2012
By John Winters
The Newnan Times-Herald
A patient-empowered care system coupled with strong community partnerships were key philosophies outlined to local business and community leaders by executives of a new cancer center slated for Newnan.
That patient philosophy boils down to treating patients the same way "you'd want your mother treated," said Jac Counts, regional manager of strategic markets for Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
"Our philosophy is we ask the patient if they are ready to see their doctor... it's not, 'the doctor is ready to see you,'" Counts said.
"Our mission is what drives us every day," he said in discussing the company's vision. "And that's to heal the whole person, improve quality of life and restore hope."
Scheduled for opening Aug. 15, the 212,000-square-foot facility off Newnan Crossing Bypass is the fifth for CTCA and the only one in the southeast. Officials said the 50-bed facility is expected to create about 500 jobs and a $500 million impact over the next five years.
The center will open with about 170 employees, of those, about 50-60 are inter-company transfers and the rest will be local and regional hires, said Michael Schriks, area vice president for general services.
About 40 community leaders were on hand Thursday night for the presentation by executives with CTCA.
"We just felt this was a great way to reach out to area employers," said Tammy Ginn-Bullock, employment marketing representative with the Georgia Department of Labor's Newnan office, who headed up the event.
Among the reason for picking Georgia was the company's lack of presence in the southeast and having country's largest airport, important points for their patients.
"And the southside (of Atlanta) was very appealing to us," said Counts.
"We know we are in the right state and in the right community," he added.
About two-thirds of the center's patients will come from outside of Georgia, another key economic impact.
"They are coming to Newnan, Georgia, and they will be staying at the hotels here and eating at the restaurants here... and that goes for the caregivers as well," Counts said.
Besides outlining CTCA's patient philosophy and reasons for picking Newnan, executives also stressed their company's desire to partner with the city.
"We want to be an integral part of this community... that's critical to us," he said. "We want to be good stewards.
"Let us know what we can do... how we can help your company, your community and your family," Counts added.
During a short question and answer period after the presentation, speakers expressed interest in wellness and other educational programs the center could offer employees of local businesses.
"We're all about education," said Schriks, adding education and funding cancer research were key parts of the company's philosophy.
Executives, in response to other questions, said they are working diligently to get "in-network" status with major insurance companies, including Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The event was held at First United Methodist Church's Parish Hall with refreshments provided by Buffalo Rock and the Newnan Job Networking Group.