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News Releases / 2009

Cancer Program at CMH Receives Commendation by the American College of Surgeons

Ventura, California, 03/12/2009

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted Three-Year Approval with Commendation to the Cancer Program at Community Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Resource Center.

A facility receives a Three-Year Approval with Commendation following the on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor during which the facility demonstrates a Commendation level of compliance with one or more standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program (cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach, and quality improvement). In addition a facility receives a compliance rating for all other standards. The Cancer Program at Community Memorial Hospital received commendation in 8 of 9areas. The CMH Cancer Program was also the recipient of the 2008 CoC New Program Outstanding Achievement Award.

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care. Its membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons and 42 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care.

The core functions of the CoC include setting standards for quality, multidisciplinary cancer patient care; surveying facilities to evaluate compliance with the 36 CoC standards; collecting standardized and quality data from approved facilities; and using the data to develop effective educational interventions to improve cancer care outcomes at the national, state, and local level.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that more than 1.4 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2008. There are currently more than 1,400 CoC-approved cancer programs in the US and Puerto Rico, representing close to 25 percent of all hospitals. This 25 percent of hospitals diagnose and/or treat 80 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. In addition, a national network of more than 1,600 volunteer Cancer Liaison Physicians provides leadership and support for the CoC Approvals Program and other CoC activities at these local facilities.

The Approvals Program, a component of the CoC, sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to ensure they conform to those standards. Approval by the CoC is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. To maintain approval, facilities with CoC- approved cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.

Receiving care at a CoC-approved cancer program ensures that a patient will have access to:

  • comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the art services and equipment
  • multispecialty, team approach to coordinate the best treatment options
  • information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options
  • access to cancer-related information, education, and support
  • a cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up
  • ongoing monitoring and improvement of care
    And, most importantly,
  • Quality care close to home.

Cancer patient data are reported by each CoC-approved cancer program to the CoC's National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint CoC/ American Cancer Society program. The NCDB currently contains patient demographics, tumor characteristics, and treatment and out-comes information for more than 18 million cancer patients diagnosed and treated at hospital cancer programs in the US between 1985 and 2004. These data account for approximately two-thirds of newly diagnosed cancer cases in the US each year.

NCDB data is regularly used to monitor and improve the quality of patient care delivered in CoC-approved cancer programs. The CoC requires programs to implement quality improvement initiatives that promote the delivery of quality, multidisciplinary cancer care and lead to ongoing educational interventions with local providers in the CoC-approved cancer programs.

Through an exclusive partnership with the American Cancer Society, the CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-approved cancer program. This information is shared with the public on the American Cancer Society's Web site at www.cancer.org and through the American Cancer society's National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-ACS-2345. For more information about the Commission on Cancer, visit our Web site at www.facs.org/cancer/index.html.

The complete list of recipients will be included in the April issue of the CoC Flash electronic newsletter which is scheduled for release on April 30th. The complete list of recipients will be posted on the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons Web site and this designation has been added to the record for each hospital that is available through the “Find An Approved Program” online data base that is also accessible from the Cancer Programs page.

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