Provision Center for Proton Therapy celebrates grand opening in Knoxville

The event was billed as the grand opening of the $115 million Provision Center for Proton Therapy.

It was that, complete with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, but the gathering at the Dowell Springs Business Park in Knoxville on Wednesday was more like a revival.

The big tent erected in the parking lot in front of Tennessee's first and only proton therapy treatment center held 600 chairs. Row by row, the temporary space was packed with people. Standing guests lined the walls that offered protection from the wind and rain that couldn't dampen the enthusiasm inside.

Applause echoed as groups were introduced. Applause for the Provision founders. Applause for Provision doctors and staff. Applause for the officeholders, mayors, and legistlators who had helped the 501(c)3 not-for-profit public corporation turn from dream to reality.

Perhaps the longest applause and loudest cheers were for patients at the center and cancer survivors who had been cured by proton therapy.

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