Dr. Edgar Staren is the CEO and President of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center in Goodyear, Ariz. Az Business Magazine and Grand Canyon University invited Dr. Staren to speak to an intimate audience of one hundred Arizona business owners and executives at Grand Canyon University on June 27th. In this lecture he shares his first hand experience as a cancer survivor and the importance of empowering the patient to be in control of their treatment. Dr. Staren also speaks to the value of not only technological innovation, but process innovation in health care and other industries.
Dr. Edgar Staren is president and CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America — Western Regional Medical Center.
How is being CEO of CTCA different than being CEO of a more traditional company?
I end up having a different ability to empower my stakeholders (employees). We believe in our value, which is we are hopeful, we are empowering, we are responsive, we are ethical, we a re innovative and we are compassionate, and I believe that the empowerment aspect as a CEO means that I’m allowed to encourage my stakeholders to do everything they can to take care of our patients, which are our customers
What qualities do you think an effective CEO has to have in any business?
They need to have leadership, which is manifested by a dedication to personify the mission, vision, values, and the foundation upon which the organization is based. I believe that they need to have absolute integrity. Without that, they are simply not going to be trusted or admired and respected by their stakeholders. Particularly in the healthcare industry, I believe they need to be servant leaders. They need to be out there demonstrating the type of service to the customers that they would want to be demonstrating among all the stakeholders.
What strengths make you an effective CEO at CTCA?
I’ve had a personal tragedy that I believe turned into a professional blessing in that I am a cancer survivor myself. It has allowed me to understand where our patients come from and the things that are of value to them. That has been more educational for me than any of the schooling or mentoring that I had prior to that point.
What is the biggest challenge for the employees at CTCA?
It’s hard to be a CTCA stakeholder. We try and provide mother standard of care. If Mom’s ill, that becomes emotionally tough. We become close to our patients; we care about them dearly; we feel like they are family. And to go to those lengths, to go to those extremes that you go through to be able to take care of a patient like it’s mom, can be hard. On the other side of the coin, it is so gratifying to know that you are making a difference in someone’s life. I feel very privileged to be doing important work, work that I know makes a difference and I’m paid a salary for doing so. What a privilege.
What advice would you give to someone who wants a leadership role in the healthcare industry?
Be true to your mission, vision, and values. Personify those as a leader. Recognize that much of what you do is not in the words that are spoken, but in the actions that you take. I think that reflects that whole philosophy of servant leadership and if you end up being an exemplary servant leader, then you are likely to be successful in the position.
If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what would you like to be doing?
I can’t imagine doing anything other than what I’m doing right now. I feel privileged.
Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) will be hosting its 2013 Blogger Summit on March 22-23 at the organization’s Western Regional Medical Center in Goodyear. The event will span two days, with an agenda of events and speakers that will provide bloggers with valuable information about what’s happening on the forefront of cancer care and treatment.
This year’s theme, Innovation in Cancer Care and Personalized Medicine, will include breakout sessions covering topics such as: precision cancer medicine, natural ways to manage side effects, quality of life and a survivorship discussion with Matthew Zachary – founder and CEO of Stupid Cancer, the largest support network in the United States for young adults facing cancer.
“It has been such a pleasure to partner with CTCA to support young adults affected by cancer,” says Zachary. “The blogger summit is yet another example of how we empower those affected to get busy living every day.”
At the age of 21, Zachary—then a concert pianist and composer—was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer as a college Senior. Throughout the course of his treatment, Zachary found there weren’t any resources focused on cancer patients/survivors his age as they were all skewed too young or too old for his age group.
In 2007, Matthew founded Stupid Cancer, a nonprofit organization that empowers young adults affected by cancer through innovative and award-winning programs and services. Today, Stupid Cancer not only provides support to young adults facing cancer, but also acts as an expert resource to its vast global following.
Since 1988, CTCA has been helping patients win the fight against cancer using advanced technology with a highly personalized approach. The 2013 CTCA Blogger Summit will present influential cancer and health-related bloggers with information and resources to share with their readers, and allow them to keep their blogs on the cutting-edge of cancer related topics. If you are a blogger interested in attending the summit please email: Laura.Malamud@ctca-hope.com.
Stupid Cancer (formerly the I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation) is a non-profit organization that empowers young adults affected by cancer through innovative and award-winning programs and services. We are the nation’s largest support community for this underserved population and serve as a bullhorn for the young adult cancer movement. Our charter is to ensure that no one goes unaware of the age-appropriate support resources they are entitled to so they can get busy living. For more information, visit http://stupidcancer.org.
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.
Honoree: Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center
For nearly 30 years, Cancer Treatment Centers of America has been revolutionizing cancer care, and in December 2008, CTCA opened the doors of its Western Regional Medical Center in Goodyear.
Under the guidance and strong leadership of President and CEO David Veillette, the center has proven to be different from other hospitals and treatment facilities. CTCA patients find a comprehensive and integrative approach to fighting cancer — all under one roof. Even more importantly, patients receive what Veillette calls the “Mother Standard” of care. More than a gold standard, the Mother Standard reflects the way stakeholders would want their own loved ones to be treated if they had cancer.
An innovator in health care, Veillette’s background in developing digital hospitals, including building the first all-digital heart hospital, provided the basis for Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center to become the first and only all-digital cancer hospital in the United States.
This innovative design maximizes medical care, as patients benefit from greater efficiency created by real-time access to patient data; improved communication across departments; faster development of treatment plans; fewer medication errors, resulting in improved patient safety; and reduced turnaround times for lab results. In one year, Veillette and CTCA have made a tremendous impact on cancer care, not only in the Valley, but also across Arizona.
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Finalists: Banner Simulation Medical Center
The Banner Simulation Medical Center in Mesa is changing the way doctors, nurses and other health care practitioners learn, and in many cases, re-learn their profession.
Under the leadership of Dr. Mark Smith and Carol Noe, the center pioneers health care learning with the use of high-tech mannequins. The mannequins help replicate myriad medical conditions and emergencies, all of which are conducted in educational training centers to reduce medical errors and improve patient care. Wired to computers, these mannequins can speak, breathe, bleed and mimic a host of medical ailments, including heart attacks, stroke and even birth. Smith, who completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology in Phoenix, helped conceptualize and develop the simulation-training center. Noe led the development and standardization of simulation curricula for physicians, residents, medical students, nurses and allied health professionals.
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NextCare Urgent Care
In the early 1990s, the concept of urgent care medicine was something new within the health care industry. But NextCare Urgent Care, under the leadership of founder and CEO Dr. John Shufeldt, has changed the way millions of patients view medical care.
From its beginnings 17 years ago in Mesa, with a staff of less than 10, NextCare has grown to become the country’s largest urgent care provider with 55 clinics across the nation, including 21 in Arizona. NextCare stays on the cutting edge of technology and reduces patient wait times by offering Web check-in, call-ahead patient scheduling, and electronic kiosk registration. Recently, NextCare became the only urgent care provider in the nation to offer conclusive H1N1 testing using Diatherix, which allows providers to decisively diagnose the specific type of virus in order to ensure the most effective treatment. Unlike some competitors, NextCare offers onsite medication dispensing.
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