(Alton, IL) – Saint Anthony’s Cancer Center of Excellence was recently granted the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.  Saint Anthony’s is one of a select group of 106 currently accredited cancer programs across the United States and one of six in Illinois to receive this year’s prestigious recognition.

Saint Anthony’s is the only Illinois Outstanding Achievement Award recipient south of Chicago.

The Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes top cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality cancer care. “This national recognition is such a positive reflection of the outstanding care provided through our cancer program and is a great honor for our cancer team,” says E.J. Kuiper, President & CEO of Saint Anthony’s.

“Area residents can be assured they are being cared for by very dedicated and highly skilled health care professionals through our Cancer Center of Excellence.”

Saint Anthony's Cancer Center of Excellence was recently recognized by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer with the Outstanding Achievement Award. Saint Anthony's is one of 106 cancer facilities across the country - and one of only six in Illinois - to receive the honor. Saint Anthony's cancer program provides high quality cancer care -- from diagnosis and treatment to nutrition services, education and counseling. Some of the members of the cancer team, from right to left: Dr. James Piephoff, Sister M. Anselma, Diane Schuette, Sue Triplo, Mary Wendle, Debbie DeSherlia, Sue Paul, Chris Nicholson, Tony Jacobs, Angie Halliday, Lea Barrett, Lauren Swearingen, Val Kiel, Christina Wickenhauser and Sue Curfman. For more information about Saint Anthony's cancer program, call 463-5623.

A cancer facility receives the Outstanding Achievement Award after an on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor from the American College of Surgeons. The award is granted to facilities that demonstrate a ‘Commendation’ level of compliance with seven standards in six areas of cancer program activity: clinical management, cancer data management, cancer committee leadership, research, community outreach and quality improvement.

In addition to receiving Commendation in the seven standards, facilities must receive a ‘compliance’ rating for the remaining 29 cancer program standards set forth by the American College of Surgeons.

“We received three-year approvals with Commendation in our past surveys, but this is our first year to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award,” says James Piephoff, M.D., Board Certified Radiation Oncologist. “We are committed to providing high quality cancer care on this side of the river -- from diagnosis and treatment to nutrition services, education and counseling.

“The achievement reflects the hard work of many people in multiple fields in caring for our cancer patients. We continue our efforts to always be improving our excellent care for the patients.”

Comprehensive services and treatments available through Saint Anthony’s Cancer Center of Excellence include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation oncology and diagnostic testing.

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the Commission on Cancer 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.

Receiving care from a Commission on Cancer approved program such as Saint Anthony’s Cancer Center of Excellence ensures that individuals with cancer have access to comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the art services, a multi-specialty team approach to coordinate the best treatment options and information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options, as well as access to cancer-related information, education and support.  In addition, approved programs must have 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 offer quality close to home.

“The recognition and re-accreditation of our cancer program by the American College of Surgeons is just another example of Saint Anthony's Health Center continued and ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality of cancer care in Alton, to our patients and their families,” says Dr. Piephoff. “Maintaining accreditation requires a team approach and in my opinion here at Saint Anthony's, we have the best team around.”

Together with physicians, Saint Anthony's Health Center’s highly-skilled professional team includes nurses, certified radiation oncology technologists, physicist, dieticians, social workers, psychologists and pastoral care workers.

“Helping to assure the patient and family members, and guiding them in their understanding of cancer care is a priority for our program,” adds Dr. Piephoff.

For information about Saint Anthony’s Cancer Center of Excellence, please call 618-463-5623.

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