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Ivy Tech, ProCure Join Forces to Train Radiation Therapists

The first group of radiation therapists in the nation will receive their advanced proton therapy certificates from Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington today. A graduation ceremony will be held at the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City, the sixth facility to open in the country to offer proton therapy. Eight of the 13 graduates are employed at the Oklahoma center.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

Ivy Tech, ProCure and the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute (MPRI) have also collaborated to develop and implement the world's first proton therapy training certificate program.

Press Release

February 12, 2010

Bloomington, Ind. Officials at Ivy Tech Community College and ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. announced today that Ivy Tech's radiation therapy degree program simulation lab is complete.

A collaborative agreement affords Ivy Tech radiation therapy students access to state-of-the-art equipment, expert industry training, and classroom resources at the ProCure Training and Development Center (TDC).

Chancellor John Whikehart says that Ivy Tech's Bloomington campus is the only higher education institution in the state of Indiana with an accredited two-year radiation therapy degree program, so it was natural to join with ProCure. "Ivy Tech is thrilled to have signed an affiliation with ProCure, as the TDC is the only facility in the world dedicated to proton therapy training and development," he said. "We have formed a relationship with ProCure whereby they are donating space and personnel for training, while we have raised private money for equipment donations."

ProCure built its TDC in Bloomington with space allocated for Ivy Tech's program. ProCure leased lab space to the college for $1 per year, which creates a savings of approximately $60,000 per year in leased academic space. Using donations, Ivy Tech invested in a fluoroscopic simulator that mimics all of the movements of a linear accelerator (a radiation administration machine).

Ivy Tech students gain experience in using a fluoroscope by "treating" model or phantom patients with the simulator before going to the clinics and treating real patients.

"The simulator, combined with other resources provided by ProCure, gives Ivy Tech students unique opportunities for education and training that do not exist anywhere else," Whikehart said. "We are fortunate to have these resources exist in one place, making Ivy Tech radiation therapy graduates both nationally and globally competitive."

Larry G. Swafford, Ph.D., professor and chair of the radiation therapy program at Ivy Tech's Bloomington campus says it's difficult for colleges to build labs for radiation therapy degree programs because the equipment is expensive and the labs must be properly shielded to contain the radiation. "This makes building the space more costly than purchasing equipment," he said. "We could not have a fully functional lab space without the assistance of ProCure."

Ivy Tech, ProCure and the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute (MPRI) have also collaborated to develop and implement the world's first proton therapy training certificate program. Certification is available to registered radiation therapists who complete 16 credit hours of didactic, lab and clinical coursework. Students complete the coursework and lab work online and at the TDC, and can complete the clinical portion at MPRI.

"We at ProCure are delighted to have been able to work with the exceptional faculty and staff at Ivy Tech in developing an exceptional training program in proton therapy. Ivy Tech is the first in the nation to offer this type of a certification," said John Cameron, Ph.D., founder and president of ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. "There is a significant need for radiation therapists who are skilled in proton therapy, and these graduates will be in demand at centers all over the country. We're proud that our collaboration with Ivy Tech has resulted in this very fine program."

Ivy Tech's radiation therapy degree program has three primary affiliates in Bloomington Bloomington Hospital, MPRI and ProCure. Students rotate through Bloomington Hospital and MPRI to complete their clinical program requirements.

Ivy Tech's Radiation Therapy degree program is accredited by The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60606, (312) 704-5300.

About Ivy Tech Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public post-secondary institution and one of the nation's largest singly-accredited statewide community college systems with more than 130,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

About ProCure Treatment Centers ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc., ( based in Bloomington, Ind., was founded in 2005 to improve the lives of patients with cancer by increasing access to proton therapy. ProCure collaborates with leading radiation oncology practices and hospitals and provides management leadership and a comprehensive approach for the design, construction, financing, staffing, training and day-to-day operations of world-class proton therapy centers. ProCure's solution reduces the time, cost and effort necessary to create a facility. ProCure is the only company in the world with a center open and treating patients (Oklahoma City, OK), another under construction in suburban Chicago (Warrenville, IL.) and four others in development (Seattle, WA; Somerset, N.J.; South Florida; and Detroit, MI.). ProCure's Training and Development Center is the first facility in the world dedicated exclusively to proton therapy.

Source: Ivy Tech Community College