Hospitals Unite For Regional Cancer Centers

<< back to News & Events page

Regional Cancer Center

(Lawton,OK) The citizens of Southwest Oklahoma will soon have the advantage of local availability of comprehensive cancer treatment as announced by the Chief Executive Officers of Comanche County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) in Lawton, Duncan Regional Hospital (DRH) in Duncan and Jackson County Memorial Hospital (JCMH) in Altus.

“We’ve come a long way to provide the best healthcare to people in Southwest Oklahoma and North Texas,” according to William G. Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of JCMH in Altus and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the newly formed Southwest Oklahoma Cancer Center, LLC. “Each of our three communities has needed better access to cancer treatment and we’re joining together to facilitate that need.”

Wilson is joined by CEOs Scott Street of DRH and Randy Segler of CCMH; each interested in developing a partnership that can essentially affect 13 counties in Southwest Oklahoma. “Compounding the strengths of each of our hospitals and communities, we can greatly impact those patients needing cancer treatment,” explains Segler.

The effectiveness of the team approach focuses on each community having its own cancer center. The primary location of the three facilities will be in Lawton on the campus of CCMH, which already has one linear accelerator, the machine that provides radiation therapy for cancer treatment, with plans to add an additional accelerator in the future. With the cancer center established and in operation in Lawton, construction of cancer centers in Duncan and Altus will follow. Both centers will have their own linear accelerator and facilities for oncology services as well.

The timeline for Southwest Oklahoma Cancer Centers begins later in 2005 with the cancer center operations beginning in Lawton at CCMH. Recruiting additional oncologists, physicians who specialize in cancer diagnosis and treatment, has already begun. Mittie Dragosljvich, MD, Radiation Oncologist, will continue to provide physician services with efforts to recruit an additional physician in the future.

In addition to radiation therapy, each center will provide chemotherapy, according to the directions of the patient’s physician. With oncologists on staff, cancer patients will experience greater convenience without the burden of daily travel.

Three members from each hospital make up the Board of Directors of Southwest Oklahoma Cancer Center, LLC. The members from each hospital are one hospital board member, one physician from the medical staff and the Chief Executive Officer.

“When we began the discussions of creating a joint venture for our three hospitals, the topic of cancer treatment remained at the top of our lists, said Scott Street, CEO at DRH. “It is so important to have quick access to cancer treatment and the convenience of being in or very close to home.”

Southwest Oklahoma Cancer Center, LLC, is a not-for-profit, 501C-3 company. It was formed solely for the benefit of patients in Southwest Oklahoma. “We are really counting on support from all the communities this health care venture will affect,” said Segler. “The benefits from forming a team effort can be endless. This will be the first of several joint efforts.”

Utilizing the latest in technology, the plans are for each center to be furnished with the latest in state-of-the art equipment, highly trained health care providers and staff. The Board of Directors is currently reviewing architectural renderings and selecting sites for the regional centers. “We are past the preliminary plans and well into the decision making process, stated Wilson. “We all felt this was the time to announce to the public the great things coming their way.”

Other Board of Directors are: from CCMH, John Zelbst and Richard Boatsman, MD; from DRH Ron Corley and Jim McGouran, MD; from JCMH, Jerry Coakley, Ph.D. and M. George Zakhary, M.D.