Founder and CEO
While some isolated hospital radiation oncology departments may be referred to as “the black hole,” T.J. Farnsworth has proven it doesn’t have to have to be that way.
The image is that physicians may just refer a patient, are rarely consulted on treatment strategy, and only find out the patient has completed treatment when the patient themselves inform them.
But at a SightLine Health facility, the difference starts with the centers’ warm colors and wooden floors. It continues with special attention the staff offers patients throughout their care such as always remembering their name, favorite soft drink or coffee, and making sure caregivers pay close attention to what is going on in the patients’ lives. These small things are often taken for granted in health care, but make a big difference in showing how much the staff cares about the patients.
The experience ends with a graduation ceremony at the end of a patient’s treatment, complete with a diploma, medal (which reads, “I did this for my family”), and lots of tears from everyone.
Farnsworth focuses the organization’s culture on patients — and doing everything that can be done to make their lives easier and connect with them. Each center has a cancer navigator who is the single point of contact for patients. Whether patients have a clinical question or an emotional need, the patient has a quarterback to go to for answers.
Initially funding SightLine from his savings and credit card — not something he recommends to other entrepreneurs — Farnsworth later sought outside financing from a venture capital firm. He knew it was critical that he repay his investors or he would never be able to raise money again. His initial investors’ investment grew to have an impressive value.
Currently, SightLine operates centers in Houston, Lubbock, Los Angeles, Seattle and Denver. The company’s future plans include enhancing the SightLine brand around radiation oncology and opening four new centers per year.
How to reach: SightLine Health, www.sightlinehealth.com