Today we’d like to introduce you to Marcy Rogers.
Marcy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My career in the field of medicine started in 1972 when I met one of the pioneers of craniofacial surgery, Dr. Milton Edgerton, Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Although lacking experience in a medical field Dr. Edgerton hired me as he liked my “energy.” I will never forget my first clinic and the room filled with severely disfigured children and adults. Their horror stories, courage and forgiveness was incredible. I took up the challenge to help them and their families find medical solutions while simultaneously educating the public that the only difference between these children and everyone else was their face. Surgery was their cure. Over the course of next 19 years from 1972 to 1991, the formation of two foundations to educate our society and bring the needs of these children to the forefront of American public led to the creation of an international medical advisory board of craniofacial surgeons, the recruitment of Cher as Honorary Chairperson with Dick Clark and Dear Abby, the passage of a bill in Congress proclaiming National Craniofacial Awareness Week in 1990, Congressional Hearings thanks to Martin Frost and Barbara Boxer with testimony from surgeons and 10 children and their families, Barbara Bush hosting a reception at The White House for Cher and the families, a cocktail party and auction at the Russian Embassy in DC, a reception at the River Club by Jessie Jackson, Jr. and Cher, and the Dick Clark Rock Ball in Dallas brought national and international recognition to the cause. In 1991 negative press from a bitter divorce forced me to step away from the Foundation to preserve the children, cause and its legacy. I asked Cher to take over the organization which she did, renaming it the Children’s Craniofacial Association which is associated with Wonder, a movie released last month. After relocating to California, I began working for a chronic pain institute and realized that all my work in craniofacial surgery needed to be replicated for patients suffering from back pain. According to the world health organization, there are 1.8 billion people afflicted by back pain. Thus, my career in spine was launched.
Has it been a smooth road?
No, it was not a smooth road. “Pioneers” always take the arrows in their crusade to create change. Yet it’s all about the journey, not an event. Alan Turing in the Imitation Game said it best; “sometimes it’s the people who no one imagines who do the things that no one can imagine.” The struggles I faced had to do with a lack of credentials; I was not a surgeon, physician or ancillary medical provider. I was not prepared for the politics of the medicine and my business and financial skills, other than passion, were not finely honed. The tangible and intangible resources required for survival in the course of building a business together with the sheer willpower to survive conflict were formidable. The entrepreneur must be a visionary as well as a street smart practical problem solver. Financial limitations for both SpineMark and myself were significant. Creating allies out of naysayers were difficult. Finding trustworthy, dedicated people to build and sustain the organization was critical. Innately, I am always forward in the face of adversity or perceived failure. The book written by William S. Wooditch in 2016, Always Forward.” was my gospel, salvation and inspiration.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
SpineMark Corporation was formed to create a standard of care for patients suffering from spine conditions and pain through the creation of multispecialty “Destination Centers” for their diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. Care is always advanced through participation in clinical research studies under SpineMark CRO Management. Supported by a conservative care portal, patients are treated with holistic modalities and care. 90% of the patients we see do not need surgery. If they do, then we use techniques for minimally invasive spine surgery as a first “do no harm” procedure to see if we can eliminate the source of pain and restore function. If more invasive procedures are required, we do them only as a last resort. What sets our centers apart from others is a focus on being patient centric, multispecialty nonoperative/operative modalities, accountable through outcome data collection, transparent and collaborative, operating as a physical site or virtual model.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I love San Diego and live here by choice. Ideally, someone like me should be situated in the middle of the country to cut down on travel time and road trips, however, this city and its evolution has many benefits that far outweigh any limitations here. It’s a mecca for biotech, pharma and new technology thanks to companies like Nuvasive, Spinal Elements, Alphatec, Sorrento Therapeutics, and others. Since SpineMark is both a development company and a clinical research organization in spine this is important for us. The airport has grown and continues to grow by leaps and bounds. New airlines have expanded our international borders tremendously within the last 4 years and more are coming. New restaurants from cultures all over the world have popped up and are thriving. While the medical environment is very competitive there are tremendous opportunities for those who come to San Diego to start a business.
- Address: 5230 Carroll Canyon Road, Suite 230, San Diego, CA 92121
- Website: www.spinemark.com
- Phone: 858-658-0044
- Email: email@example.com