ACCESS TO INNOVATIVE PROTON THERAPY CANCER TREATMENT CONTINUES FOR OKLAHOMANS
Experienced investors acquire Oklahoma City proton therapy center
An investor group with strong local ties announced today the closing of its acquisition of the Oklahoma City proton therapy center from ProCure. Allied Health Management (AHM) led the sale transaction and will provide ongoing management services at the center. Arvest Bank provided additional financial support for the transaction. The partnership allows the center to invest in equipment upgrades and secures a strong, long-term financial foundation. The center, which opened in 2009, will now operate under the name The Oklahoma Proton Center.
“This facility has been an important resource for the healthcare community in Oklahoma, and we are honored to provide the financial support and leadership to ensure the center continues to offer proton therapy to cancer patients in our region,” said The Oklahoma Proton Center President Tom Welch, a partner in AHM. “Our 45 employees, many of whom have been with the center since it opened, are experts in the industry and are committed to providing excellent clinical care and patient experiences. They have treated more than 2,000 patients over the past 10 years and are truly the heart of our operations. We look forward to working with them to continue to serve cancer patients across the state and region.”
AHM brings an experienced management team with a collective 22 years of leadership in the proton therapy industry. The additional management team members include Chris Brown, chief financial officer, and David Raubach, chief development officer, an Oklahoma native and former employee of the Oklahoma City proton therapy center.
“It is a privilege for me to return to the place where my career started in the proton therapy industry nine years ago and rejoin a great team at a facility that is a landmark in Oklahoma,” Raubach said. “I am extremely excited about the future of the center and the opportunities that lie ahead. Oklahomans are very fortunate to have access to proton therapy within the state, and we are proud to be a part of transforming patients’ lives. We look forward to collaborating with other healthcare providers who are playing a critical role in cancer patients’ treatment journeys.”
The Oklahoma Proton Center will retain its nationally-recognized physicians while also welcoming two leaders in the oncology field. Dr. Andrew Chang and Dr. Les Yonemoto will continue their longstanding relationship with the center, having treated patients there since 2012. Chang and Yonemoto bring a combined 40 years of proton therapy experience. Joining them at the facility are Dr. John Chang and Dr. Mark Storey, who will serve as joint medical directors for The Oklahoma Proton Center.
Dr. John Chang is a recognized leader in the field of proton therapy, having recently served as the director of clinical research and education at Northwestern Medicine’s Proton Center in Chicago, Illinois and subsequently at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the principal investigator for numerous pediatric and adult proton therapy clinical trials, has been extensively published and serves as peer-review editor for two prominent industry publications.
“This center and its dedicated staff and physicians have provided outstanding clinical care for cancer patients since its inception,” Dr. John Chang said. “We are excited for the opportunity to work with this dedicated team and provide excellent patient care. We will focus on combining quality care with technological innovations and groundbreaking research collaborations locally, nationally and globally. Our vision is to make Oklahoma a premier region for cancer treatment.”
Dr. Storey completed his training at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas and has practiced the past 17 years in Little Rock, Arkansas. Additionally, he has served as president for one of the largest private radiation oncology groups in the region for the last 11 years. Dr. Storey brings a wealth of clinical and business leadership experience, including serving on the board of one of the largest independent nonprofit cancer centers in the country.
“Proton therapy is the future of radiation oncology,” Dr. Storey said. “While it was a difficult decision to leave home, I am thrilled to be joining an experienced management team at a state-of-the-art facility and continue innovating in the field of radiation oncology.”
About proton therapy: Proton therapy is the most precise form of radiation treatment for cancer available in the U.S. Unlike other forms of radiation used in cancer care such as X-Rays, protons stop inside tumors thus reducing healthy tissue exposed to radiation. Nearly 200,000 patients have been treated with proton therapy worldwide. Protons are routinely used to treat solid tumors including prostate, breast, brain, head and neck, lung, esophageal, soft tissue and pediatric tumors.
About Oklahoma Proton Center Oklahoma Proton Center (“OPC”) is a state-of-the-art proton therapy center in Oklahoma City, OK. The facility opened in August of 2009 and is one of just 32 proton centers in the country. As one of the early leaders in the field of proton therapy, OPC is dedicated to excellent patient care and advancing proton therapy through innovation and clinical research.