Covenant Health Announces Thompson Proton Center

Covenant Health Purchases Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center in Knoxville

Thompson Proton Center becomes part of Covenant Health’s Comprehensive Oncology Services

Thompson Proton Center logo

Knoxville, TN – July 19, 2022 — Covenant Health, the area’s largest integrated healthcare delivery system, is pleased to announce the purchase of Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center in Knoxville, adding a new treatment option to the Thompson Cancer Survival Center, the health system’s robust oncology service line. The acquisition, which affects only the Knoxville location of the Provision CARES Cancer Network, is effective July 19.

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses beams of high-energy protons to treat various forms of cancer, while protecting nearby healthy tissue and vital organs from unnecessary radiation.

The facility’s new name is Thompson Proton Center. One of just 40 proton therapy facilities in the U.S., Thompson Proton Center is centrally located off Dowell Springs Blvd. in West Knoxville.

Patients can now receive proton therapy as part of Covenant Health’s umbrella of cancer services offered through Thompson Cancer Survival Center locations across the region and the Covenant Cancer Network. Covenant Health is retaining the employees of the proton center to ensure experience, quality and continuity of care for all current and future patients.

“This purchase aligns with the health system’s mission to improve the quality of life in our region through better health,” said Jim VanderSteeg, Covenant Health president and CEO. “Proton therapy is a valuable treatment option, and our investment will ensure that the service remains available to cancer patients in our region. Covenant Health has an ongoing commitment to investing in our communities, and to providing advanced treatment and support resources for the patients who trust us with their care.”

“Thompson Proton Center is conveniently located in the geographic and population center of Knox County. In addition, the center has a high quality staff that possess a significant amount of expertise,” said Scott Warwick, president and chief administrative officer of Thompson Cancer Survival Center. “I believe providing this state-of-the-art treatment option to our patients elevates us to being one of premier cancer care organizations in the country, and supports our vision of being the first and best choice for cancer care throughout East Tennessee.”

Luke Johnson, Covenant Health executive vice president of physician enterprise and ambulatory services, said the addition of proton therapy to Covenant Health’s cancer services continues the legacy of B. Ray Thompson, the business leader whose vision for cancer care in East Tennessee led to the establishment of Thompson Cancer Survival Center in 1989.

“B. Ray Thompson wanted people in our region to have convenient access to the most advanced cancer care possible, close to home,” Johnson said. “Our healthcare delivery system is the area’s largest provider of comprehensive cancer care.  We offer a full range of oncology services along with innovative technology, clinical research, multidisciplinary clinics and conferences, and patient support resources at treatment centers throughout East Tennessee. With this acquisition, patients will be able to receive proton therapy in Knoxville while coordinating care through their local Thompson Cancer services.”

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