During a recent trip to Spokane, WA, to check on the company’s newest clinic, Christopher Blackburn, co-founder of TMS Solutions, was interviewed by Kevin Blocker of the Spokane Journal of Business, an independent business newspaper that covers news in the Inland Northwest.
In the article that was published February 1, 2018, Blackburn talks about what led his Colorado-based company’s decision to open a clinic in Spokane. He mentions that during the process of trying to raise venture capital for business expansion, he was connected to several local investors in the Spokane area. That introduction eventually led two prominent members of the Spokane Angel Alliance and to a contribution of “$800,000 in investment capital.”
While TMS Therapy has an FDA indication for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in adult patients, Blackburn is quick to point out that it is also being “used successfully in the treatment of PTSD, postpartum depression, tinnitus and anxiety.” It is also being studied extensively in application to concussions, traumatic brain injuries, Parkinson’s disease, ADHD and several post-stroke related issues, to name a few. The possibility of a partnership with the medical school in both a clinical teaching setting and a research capacity is very exciting to Blackburn. He believes that partnerships like this will help expand the number of people that this life-changing technology will be able to help in the future.
Blackburn is excited about his company’s role in a community that, he says, has been very welcoming. Because of the response in Spokane and the level of interest in TMS Therapy, Blackburn shares that “TMS Solutions hopes to open offices in North Spokane and in Spokane Valley later in the year.” He also points out that conversations with the Technology Incubator at the local medical school and with Columbia Basin Health Association in Othello most likely will result in TMS Solutions placing chairs in several rural areas in Eastern Washington as well.
This is important, Booker noted, because "TMS Solutions is also working with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs representatives in Colorado and Wyoming and has a scheduled appointment with VA representatives in Spokane in the coming weeks.” Blackburn and his co-founder, Dr. Robert Sammons, are both veterans, so the opportunity to make this technology available to other members of the military is important to them. The fact that Washington state has more veterans living in rural areas than any other state in the U.S. speaks to the importance of finding ways to get this technology to them.
And if the landscape of Spokane’s business and medical community weren’t enough to lure Blackburn to open a clinic in the northwest, the appeal of having a presence in the city he attended college and played soccer at Gonzaga University from 1989 – 1993 sure didn’t hurt either.