CTCA Creates Organic Farm To Help Serve Patients

Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Western Regional Medical Center (WRMC) and McClendon’s Select are partnering up to create the first and largest hospital organic farm in the United States that will provide patients, caregivers, employees and community members in the greater Phoenix area with organic produce grown right in their own backyard.

CTCA is proud to partner with Arizona’s own McClendon’s Select, one of the country’s top organic farm companies, providing a whole new level to its integrative care model. McClendon’s Select has been supplying CTCA with organic produce from their family owned farms since 2009 and now will be managing the 25-acre farm located on WRMC property between Fillmore and the I-10 in Goodyear. Construction started last Friday on what will be an expected six-week process. The first planting will occur in early November and the first harvest is scheduled for December 15, 2012.

CTCA is the first cancer hospital in the country to provide its patients with organic produce grown directly on its own land. Patients will have access to fresh produce that has been picked at its peak nutritional value and can feel good knowing exactly where their food is coming from – in fact, they’ll be able to see it from the main hospital, or when driving in, and can even get involved with the patient and community gardens. “At CTCA one of our goals is to get test results to patients in minutes to hours rather than days or weeks, so it makes sense then that we would do the same thing for the food they eat – it’s fresh, homegrown and delivered from the farm to their fork all in the same day,” says Sharon Day, Director of Nutrition. “We are happy to provide high quality food and nutrition to our patients, caregivers, and employees, taking our quality of care to a whole new level.”

In addition to bringing in fresh, organic produce to CTCA’s culinary department directed by Executive Chef Frank Caputo, the hospital plans to host farmer’s markets, cooking demonstrations and both patient and community gardens open to the public. Any surplus produce will be managed by McClendon’s Select and sold at various farmer’s markets throughout the greater Phoenix area.

“It’s an honor to partner with CTCA in this capacity and my team and I at McClendon’s are excited to see how this will transform culinary services in health care across the country. We think this is a huge step for our industry and the value organic farms can bring to facilities like CTCA,” says Bob McClendon, owner and farmer at McClendon’s Select.

“We’ve always provided our patients with the highest quality of certified organic produce and meats since we opened in 2008. We will now be able to grow our own food onsite and deliver delicious, highly nutritional meals to our patients and employees on the same day we’ve gone out and picked it from the vine or pulled it out of the ground. It’s just incredible,” says Executive Chef Frank Caputo. “Our culinary team is excited to be able to offer this service to our patients and employees.”

CTCA offers a comprehensive and integrative approach to fighting cancer—all under one roof. Its integrative cancer treatment expands the boundaries of conventional care by bringing together traditional tools for fighting cancer, such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, with supportive therapies, including nutritional support, naturopathic medicine, mind-body medicine, oncology rehabilitation, pain management, and spiritual support. Being able to offer patients home-grown, organic produce that is fresh from the “backyard” is just another way CTCA continues to provide patients with the very best options while fighting cancer.