The best news isn’t that the John B. Amos Cancer Center in Columbus fills a need. A far better story would be that it isn’t needed at all.
That isn’t the story, not yet and probably not for a while. The best story now is that an increasing demand for the kind of top-of-the-line medical and therapeutic services the Amos Cancer Center provides is going to be met with a dramatically expanded facility.
As reported by Ledger-Enquirer staff writer Tony Adams, the 13-year-old Amos Cancer Center is about to break ground on a project that will almost double its size, and is expected to be ready in little more than a year from now.
“Truly, this is about being here for the community,” said Bill Tustin, Columbus Regional Health vice president for oncology services, “and ensuring that Columbus, Ga., and this region continues to have the highest level of cancer services available.”
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The 46,411-square-foot expansion project will not just be about space, but also about services and probably staff: “We’re talking about expansion of clinical core services, existing services, and also some space for anticipated growth,” Tustin said.
The anticipated increase in demand for cancer care isn’t hypothetical; it’s a demographic reality. An aging population means more people with higher risks for cancer diagnoses, which means that the 90,000 or so patients the John B. Amos Cancer Center treats each year now will grow into a substantially bigger number over the next few years.
The upside of the increased need, Tustin said, is that more people diagnosed with cancer are being treated successfully, which increases the need for follow-up monitoring and treatment.
So the need is not just about more people being diagnosed with cancer, but also about more people who are diagnosed with cancer getting better and living longer. And that’s always good news.
Buddy Nelms, who probably knows more about business and entertainment on Broadway (ours, not New York’s) than just about anyone else around, said Friday night’s Uptown concert crowd topped the one for rock legend Leon Russell years ago.
That’s a pretty good turnout.
The inaugural performance for 2017 in what is now the 11th year of the Uptown Columbus, Inc., Friday Night Concert Series was estimated at 3,500. As reported by staff writer Chuck Williams, a full house at a RiverCenter mainstage show is about 2,000. It was, by Uptown’s estimate, the largest crowd since the Friday Night Concert Series was inaugurated in 2007.
We wouldn’t presume to say what the economic impact of a single event like Friday night’s might be, much less a decade-long series of events bringing people together. But the value of bringing people together for fun and good times is immeasurable.
“That crowd was a reflection of our community,” Nelms said. “It was young and old; black, white and Hispanic. What it was, was lovely. And all I saw was a bunch of kindness.”