2019 Year in Review at Provision CARES Proton Therapy

Year in Review: 2019 at Provision CARES Proton Therapy


Major milestones. Community outreach. Inspirational moments.

Those are some of the recurring themes we noticed as we looked back on the highlights of 2019 at Provision CARES Proton Therapy. It was a year marked by plenty of “firsts,” as well as a concerted effort to be an innovative leader in cancer treatment, and a commitment to our mission of making proton therapy more accessible to patients around the world.

Here are some of Provision’s key moments from 2019.

Dr. Robert Lavey2019 started out with an exciting addition to our expert team of Board-Certified Radiation Oncologists, as Robert Lavey, MD, MPH joined Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville. Dr. Lavey has vast experience in treating all types of cancers and is an internationally recognized expert in pediatric malignancies.

He is also passionate about serving and educating the community to decrease the chance of developing cancer, improve care and ease the journey during and after treatment.

Our Knoxville center opened its doors to patients on January 20, 2014. Since then, we have treated nearly 3,000 patients from dozens of states and even a number of different countries. It’s taken just five years for the Knoxville campus to grow into a comprehensive cancer treatment location. In addition to the Proton Therapy Center, the campus is also home to services for oncology, surgery, immunotherapy, traditional radiation, clinical trials, health and fitness, physical therapy, imaging and more.

In March, Provision was proudly represented at the National Proton Conference in Miami. We strive to be experts in the industry so we can provide our patients with the highest level of treatment. This conference, hosted by the National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT), is an excellent opportunity to learn about a wide range of topics, including clinical and business operations, patient advocacy, research and advances in proton therapy technology.

Not only did a number of Provision team members attend this event, they also made valuable contributions. Our speakers served on a number of panels and spoke at sessions on topics such as patient experience and proton therapy education.

Niek Schreuder, Chief Medical Physicist at Provision, speaks at the 2019 CIRMS Annual Meeting.In April, Our VP and Chief Medical Physicist, Niek Schreuder, traveled to Maryland to join a group of leading industry experts at the Council on Ionizing Radiation Measurements & Standards (CIRMS). The 27th annual meeting of CIRMS focused on “Strengthening the Economy and Homeland Security with Radiation Measurements and Standards.” As a worldwide leader in his field, Mr. Schreuder had the opportunity to present a lecture on the Economics of Particle Therapy.

On April 29, Provision CARES Proton Therapy Nashville successfully treated the first patient on its ProNova SC360 proton therapy system. This milestone established a new standard of excellence with the world’s smallest 360-degree superconducting compact gantry for protons.

The ProNova SC360 Proton Therapy System, manufactured at Provision’s ProNova Solutions in Maryville, Tenn., includes state-of-the-art features like pencil beam scanning and advanced imaging with cone-beam computer tomography (CBCT) for adaptive treatment, all in a compact design.

The size, cost and capabilities of the SC360 make it the smallest, most economical and most operationally flexible unit in the pipeline today. “This is a no-compromise solution,” said Terry Douglass, Chairman of Provision Healthcare. “It delivers not only reduced cost and compelling economics, but greater clinical capabilities than other proton therapy system suppliers.”

Mason Strong graduates after completing proton therapy treatment at Provision CARESMay marked an important graduation at our Knoxville center. Mason, a high school student from Cleveland, Tenn., rang the victory bell after completing proton therapy treatment for a rare form of brain cancer. It was incredible to see the support from the Chattanooga and Cleveland communities throughout Mason’s journey. His story was featured in the Cleveland Banner, on News Channel 9 and other radio stations and media outlets in the area.

In a post on the “Team Mason Strong” Facebook page, his mother said, “It is such a blessing that Provision Proton Radiation Therapy is in Knoxville. So thankful we get to do treatment so close to home.” To read more about Mason’s story and see why Provision is proud to be on #TeamMasonStrong, visit this blog post from May.

As part of our community outreach efforts, Provision launched a free community information session called “Prostate Cancer 101: Understanding the Journey, Diagnosis, Treatment and Survival.” Ben Wilkinson, MD, FACRO, the Medical Director and Radiation Oncologist at Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville, delivered presentations throughout the year about the latest developments in prostate cancer.

Community members who attended had the opportunity to visit our Knoxville center and learn about the most advanced diagnostic tools and current trends in treatment, including multiparametric MRI, genomic classification, when to use active surveillance and how to preserve quality of life after a prostate diagnosis.

Shortly after opening its second treatment room, Provision CARES Proton Therapy Nashville celebrated its 100th patient graduation. Patients, ambassadors and staff gathered to watch James ring the victory bell. It was certainly a momentous occasion for our Nashville center!

Provision CARES Proton Therapy Nashville 100th graduationProvision CARES Proton Therapy Nashville 100th graduationProvision CARES Proton Therapy Nashville 100th graduation

Casey rings the victory bell after completing cancer treatment at Provision CARES Proton Therapy KnoxvilleAs a Care Coordinator at our Knoxville center, Casey spends her day at work talking with patients and answering their questions. However, she now has the unique perspective of being on the other side of those calls, as well.

Late in 2018, she was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in her life. After finishing her breast cancer treatment at Provision’s Knoxville Center earlier this year, Casey decided she wanted to share her story to help others navigate their cancer journey.

Being both a former patient and a Care Coordinator allowed Casey to write a blog series to help guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Her story was also featured on WBIR’s Buddy Check 10 earlier this year.  To read more about Casey’s story, visit these blog posts:

Surviving Breast Cancer (Part 1) – Learning she has cancer for a second time
Surviving Breast Cancer (Part 2) – Preparing for treatment
Surviving Breast Cancer (Part 3)  – Starting treatment
Surviving Breast Cancer (Part 4) – Ringing the bell

With the 360-degree gantry up and running, things really began to pick up at our Nashville center this summer, making July a month of milestones for the center. They treated their first breast cancer patient on July 9, followed by the first treatments of esophageal, lung and central nervous system cancer.

Eddie Check 2019 helped hundreds of men take steps toward early detection of prostate cancerEDDIE CHECK BREAKS RECORD
Each year during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Provision partners with Nisus Corporation and Medic Regional Blood Center for Eddie Check, a two-day event offering free PSA screenings. In 2019, Eddie Check broke a record with 1,420 screenings. That’s more than 300 more than last year, and 140 more than the previous record!

In addition to the screenings, Medic received 845 blood donations over the two-day period, which is more than double their daily average. It was an amazing turn out and we’re proud to be a part of an effort in which more than 1,400 men took the potentially life-saving steps for early detection of prostate cancer.

In September, we announced another expansion to the Provision CARES Cancer Network with plans to develop a proton therapy center in Kansas City. Located in the Lenexa community, Provision CARES Proton Therapy Kansas City will serve patients in the surrounding region with advanced cancer care. Like Nashville, the Kansas City center will also use the ProNova SC360 Proton Therapy System to provide the most innovative treatment available.

Our commitment to being leaders in the proton therapy field continued in September, as a group of Provision representatives traveled to Chicago for the 2019 American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting. By participating in conferences like this, Provision is able to keep up with rapidly evolving technologies and methodologies of radiation therapy. The ASTRO meeting is also a great opportunity for global collaboration as we work to make proton therapy more accessible around the world.

Staff members at Provision CARES Proton Therapy Nashville celebrate the center's 1st anniversaryOctober marked one year since Provision CARES Proton Therapy Nashville  treated its very first patient. Employees from our Nashville center gathered to celebrate the 1st anniversary and give thanks for the team members, patients and families who helped make the first year a very fulfilling one. It was a journey founded on establishing new standards of excellence, curating Provision’s Culture of CARE and serving middle Tennesseans with the most advanced cancer care in the world.

One of the most exciting “firsts” of the year came in November, when dozens of Provision Ambassadors reunited at our first-ever Ambassador Homecoming. Provision graduates from eight different states joined us for a weekend that included a Homecoming Dinner Program, tours of our Knoxville center and ProNova Solutions, and plenty of free time to catch up with friends and staff members.

2019 Provision Ambassador Homecoming Dinner ProgramProvision Ambassadors stand by the victory bell at Provision CARES Proton TherapyProvision Ambassadors take a tour of Provision CARES Proton Therapy KnoxvilleProvision Ambassadors take a tour of ProNova Solutions

A crucial delivery was made in November, as Provision CARES Proton Therapy Orlando announced the arrival of its cyclotron. One of the key components to the proton therapy system, the cyclotron generates the protons that are used to destroy cancer cells. Upon delivery, the Provision team began the rigging and installation of the cyclotron into the new proton therapy center building.

The cyclotron arrives at Provision CARES Proton Therapy OrlandoThe cyclotron is installed at Provision CARES Proton Therapy OrlandoThe cyclotron is installed at Provision CARES Proton Therapy Orlando

This was a milestone event as we work to expand the Provision CARES Cancer Network and bring the latest advancement in proton therapy systems to central Florida.

Dr. Gray speaks at the 2019 Lung Force Expo in NashvilleWe were honored to have the American Lung Association invite Dr. James Gray, Medical Director at Provision CARES Proton Therapy Nashville, to be the keynote speaker at this year’s LUNG FORCE Expo.

This annual event takes place during Lung Cancer Awareness Month. It was a great opportunity for Provision to help spread awareness of the latest trends, resources and research about radiation therapy for lung cancer.

As we reflect on the past year and remember all of these key moments, Provision is very excited to think about what lies ahead in 2020.

• Milestone events such as Knoxville’s 5th anniversary, Nashville’s 100th graduation and Orlando’s cyclotron installation
• Inspiring moments like #TeamMasonStrong and Casey’s story
• Community outreach initiatives like Eddie Check and Prostate Cancer 101

We are confident these accomplishments, combined with our commitment to being innovative leaders in proton therapy and serving patients through our Culture of CARE, will help propel Provision into a brand new decade.