Distinguished Alum brings unique medical technology here

Anthony Chang plans to open BAMF Health on Medical Mile next year.
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Anthony Chang, founder and CEO of BAMF Health, is this year’s Distinguished Alumnus. Courtesy Grand Rapids Chamber

Anthony Chang has come a long way in five years.

Chang, a member of the 2016 class of the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Business Leaders, is the founder and CEO of Bold Advanced Medical Future (BAMF) Health, a company working to transform systems used for diagnosis and treatment for patients with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, depression, cardiac disease and more.

He’s also the Business Journal’s 2021 Distinguished Alumnus and will address this year’s 40 Under 40 class during a celebration beginning at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at GLC Live at 20 Monroe in downtown Grand Rapids.

“I left academia to start a company that is literally trying to — just can’t stand for the status quo. Patients are dying every single day. We know we have something, we can help them, but there’s nothing we can do about it (right now),” Chang said. “And so, by starting this company, we are literally trying to make sure these new technologies are available and accessible to all patients, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

BAMF Health is scheduled to open in mid-2022 in the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building on Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile. Chang said the location is intentional.

“I’ve been to so many places in the United States and also around the world, and I do think Grand Rapids is a very unique place. … The biggest thing that attracted me here is because of the good heart of people and what we’re building over here in the Medical Mile,” Chang said. “I have a deep belief in the vision of the Medical Mile. We have an educational system, medical school, graduate school and different medical professional schools. We have a great hospital system, cancer center, cardiac center and a children’s hospital. We have research organizations (such as) MSU, Van Andel Institute. This is a great foundation over here.”

The technology BAMF brings to the table features molecular imaging and molecular-targeted radiation therapy known as theranostics: the first treatment of its kind in the United States. Chang said it has “the ability to offer the right patient the right diagnosis and offer them the right treatment at the right dose at the right time,” while also identifying diseases in early stages at the molecular level.

“I have a deep belief in the application of imaging in clinical medicine, because I keep feeling like a lot of times in clinical practice, we treat patients blindly. We don’t know what we’re fighting for. We keep guessing; doing the trial-and-error method,” said Chang. “And so, there must be a better way — and through the imaging and using different types of imaging modalities, we can use a non-invasive way to catch a disease earlier and really know what’s going on in a patient’s body and use that as a method and information to treat the patients.”

Chang, a native of Taiwan, said BAMF expects to employ 200-250 people and also should attract more international doctors, students and patients to Grand Rapids through its molecular imaging clinic and advanced therapeutic clinic.

Despite all the high-tech treatment and care that BAMF plans to unveil next year, Chang said his message to this year’s 40 Under 40 class will be pretty simple.

“A leader needs to lead. No. 1, make sure you have the right visions; No. 2, have the courage to do the right things, to do the big things, to do the hard things. Because that’s what the world needs, and that’s how we can make the world a better place,” he said.

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