UPDATE: CARTI, Physician Groups Partner in New Cancer Center

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 4:04 pm  

CARTI, Little Rock Hematology Oncology (LRHO) and Radiation Oncology Associates P.A. (ROAPA) announced Wednesday that they are partnering to form a multi-specialty cancer group with plans to build a new cancer treatment center. 

CARTI president and CEO Jan Burford said the search process for the new location would begin immediately.

Owned by CARTI, the organization will include medical and surgical oncologists and diagnostic radiologists. CARTI said it will work with LRHO and ROAPA physicians to build a new cancer center in Little Rock "that will allow patients easier access to fully integrated cancer care."

"We hope to finalize the partnership and become one organization by the end of the year," Burford said. "In the meantime, we will be looking at properties that may be a fit for the new cancer center. Once we have a firm location, we will begin the construction process."

Burford told ArkansasBusiness.com that CARTI expected to open the new center in the next three years.

CARTI will continue its current partnership with ROAPA, which includes seven radiation oncologists. Under the deal, CARTI will acquire certain assets of LRHO, and its physicians are signing contracts to work with CARTI.

The combined group will include 15 total physicians including six hematologists/oncologists, a diagnostic radiologist, a surgical oncologist and ROAPA's seven radiation oncologists.

CARTI will jump from 174 employees to 341.

"At CARTI, our mission for 35 years has been to promote the finest quality cancer treatment and compassionate care and we have done so by only focusing on radiation therapy," Karen Flake, Chairman of the CARTI Board of Directors, said in a press release.

"We believe the best way to achieve our overall mission is to partner with high-caliber medical, surgical and radiation oncologists and diagnostic radiologists to become the region's largest community cancer center in the private practice arena. This partnership with LRHO, ROAPA and CARTI allows us to do that."

ROAPA has served as the contracted radiation oncology medical staff at CARTI's private practice centers on the campuses of St. Vincent, Baptist Health and Baptist/North Little Rock, and in Searcy and Conway since each of the facilities opened. CARTI's facility on the campus of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is staffed by physicians on the UAMS staff.

LRHO currently serves patients in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Clinton, Morrilton, El Dorado, Benton and Heber Springs.

"Our three groups have talked over the years about ways to partner together that would be good for our patients, community, colleagues and physicians," Burford said. "The timing was right for everyone to come around the table to partner together."



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