Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) was founded in 1988 by Richard J. Stephenson following the death of his mother, Mary Brown Stephenson. After being diagnosed with lung cancer in the 1970s, Richard and his mother quickly began to research treatment opportunities. They sought alternative remedies and care options relating to diet, exercise and spirituality. Mary's choices were limited. Few institutions appeared to understand, let alone value, the vital connection between one's physical health and their psychological well being. Mary passed away in 1982. While mourning, the bereaved Richard promised to forever alter the course of cancer treatment in America.
Stephenson graduated from Wabash College in 1962 and earned his J.D. degree from Northwestern University. While studying at Northwestern, Stephenson founded the International Capital Investment Company (ICIC). In 1975, a Zion, Illinois, hospital was sold to Capitol Investment Company, and soon after the sale, Richard assumed the role of Chairman of the Board. After his mother's passing, Richard started the process to develop the hospital into the nation's preeminent cancer treatment center.
The facility reopened in 1988 as the American International Hospital and became the first cancer treatment center to implement and apply the Mother Standard care model, a patient-centered approach designed to provide those afflicted with cancer the same level of care that a mother would give her child.
The Mother Standard system provided patients with traditional oncology treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as alternative and emerging care options such as immunotherapy, hyperthermia, tumor biology and nutrition.These supportive therapies were designed to manage the side effects from intensive treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, and to enhance patients' quality of life.
Striving to enhance patients' quality of life, CTCA provided unorthodox care methods such as aromatherapy, detoxification, hydrotherapy, massage, naturopathy, acupuncture psycho-social intervention, spiritual support and even humor therapy.
Set on empowering cancer patients and their loved ones with hope-fulfilling options for care, Stephenson declared, "I never wanted to see another cancer patient suffer the agony of living without hope."
Constructed in 1958, the American International Hospital thrived throughout the 1980s, and CTCA opened their second hospital in 1990, the year prior, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as part of the city's City of Faith hospital.
In June 1991, the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board approved a certificate of need by a unanimous vote. The Zion City Council approved $20 million in bonds in September that year to finance the hospital's renovation, and the thirty-year-old facilities reopened, new and improved.
In 1991, Richard founded the Gateway for Cancer Research and served Chairman. 99 cents of every dollar publicly donated goes to fund clinical trials. To date, the foundation has raised more than $75 million and funded over 140 cutting-edge clinical trials around the world.
In keeping with CTCA's unorthodox but results-driven methods, December 1997 saw the establishment of the Cancer Resource Center. Gurnee Mills mall in Gurnee, Illinois became home to the center, a place Richard built to give all people the chance to learn and become educated via up-to-date articles and research materials. The center was located nearby CTCA's flagship hospital, renamed Midwestern Regional Medical Center.
As then-CEO of Midwestern Regional Medical Center Roger Cary explained the center's purpose to the Chicago Tribune in 1997, patients can find what they need "in surroundings that are comfortable [...] instead of searching from place to place and in medical libraries".
CTCA closed out the 1990s with the opening of the Mary Brown Stephenson Radiation Oncology Center, built in Zion, near the American International Hospital. The new oncology center provided additional outpatient rooms and services and housed state-of-the-art radiation and rehabilitation technologies.
In 2005, CTCA Tulsa opened a brand new, renovated hospital. The state-of-the-art facility became the only major hospital dedicated solely to cancer treatments in Oklahoma. CTCA Philadelphia opened their doors within the same year and began treating patients.
CTCA opened their largest facility to date, at 210,000 square feet, in Phoenix, Arizona in 2008. The CTCA opened their latest center in 2012.
As of 2018, CTCA Phoenix will begin delivering onsite chemotherapy and radiation oncology services at their Outpatient Care Center, located in North Phoenix.
Cancer Treatment Centers of America's national network of fully accredited cancer hospitals have earned accreditation and certification from the Joint Commission, the American College of Surgeon's Commission on Cancer, the QOPI Certification Program and the College of American Pathologists (CAP).
CTCA is world renowned for their high-quality care and for consistently exceeding patient safety standards from numerous healthcare organizations, such as the Association of Community Cancer Centers and the American College of Radiology.
CTCA hospitals in Chicago and Philadelphia have been recognized by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), a University of Nebraska Medical Center program.
Four CTCA hospital locations have received awards from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) for their breast center treatment programs.
CTCA's suburban Chicago location has earned Magnet Recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for excellence in nursing. All CTCA locations are striving to earn this designation; only 9 percent of hospitals in the U.S. can boast ANCC's Magnet Recognition.
Founders: Richard J Stephenson