(Alton, IL) – The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons has awarded Three-Year Approval with Commendation to the cancer program of Saint Anthony’s Health Center.

“The oncology program at Saint Anthony’s is the only program in this area to receive an approval with commendation in seven areas by the Commission on Cancer as offering high quality cancer care,” said Mark Woodson, M.D., Medical Oncologist and chair of Saint Anthony’s Cancer Committee. “We received three-year approvals in our past four surveys, but this is our first year to receive commendation in seven areas, which recognizes the quality of our comprehensive patient care and our commitment that patients will have access to all of the various medical specialists who are involved in diagnosing and treating cancer.

“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.”

A facility receives a Three-Year Approval with Commendation following an 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.

Saint Anthony’s received the Three-Year Approval with Commendation following a September survey, during which Saint Anthony’s professionals exceeded expectations in the following areas of:

-        Cancer Program Leadership: Outcomes Analysis

-        Cancer Data Management: Abstracting timeframe

-        Cancer Data Management: NCDB Timely, Error Free

-        Clinical Management: CAP Compliance and Synoptic Reporting

-        Research: Clinical Trials

-        Community Outreach: Prevention and early detection

-        Quality Improvement: Cancer-related improvements

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 will 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 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,” said James Piephoff, M.D., Radiation Oncologist. “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, dietitians, 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,” added Dr. Piephoff.

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

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

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