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

“The cancer program at OSF Saint Anthony’s is the only program in this area to receive an accreditation with commendation in all areas by the Commission on Cancer as offering high quality cancer care,” said James Piephoff, M.D., Radiation Oncologist and chair of OSF Saint Anthony’s Cancer Committee. “We received three-year approvals in our past five surveys and this is our second time to receive commendation in all 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.”

To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care. 

Saint Anthony’s received the Three-Year Approval with Commendation following an October 2014 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

The surveyor praised the health center’s survivorship program. “The physician surveyor recommended our survivorship program as best practice. Services continue for our cancer survivors – even after they complete treatment,” said Clint Koerkenmeier, Director of Cancer Services for OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center. “Access to support services, like psychological counseling, dietary and social work, are available.”

Survivors also receive a survivor care plan that includes their health history and comprehensive treatment summary.

The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for OSF Saint Anthony’s to improve its quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease and end-of-life care. When patients receive care at a CoC facility, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling, and patient centered services including psycho-social support, a patient navigation process, and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.  

ACS estimates that more than 1.6 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2013. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing 30 percent of all hospitals. CoC-accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients. When cancer patients choose to seek care locally at a CoC-accredited cancer center, they are gaining access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care close to home. The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program through the CoC Hospital Locator at

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes 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.  For more information, visit:

Together with physicians, OSF Saint Anthony's Health Center’s highly-skilled professional team includes Oncology-certified nurses, certified radiation oncology technologists, physicist, patient navigators, dietitians, social workers, psychologists, physical therapists 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 OSF Saint Anthony’s Cancer Center of Excellence include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation oncology and diagnostic testing.

For information about OSF Saint Anthony’s Cancer Center of Excellence, please call 618-474-4855.

Text @RB to 618-202-4618 to sign up for Text Alerts from RiverBender!

Print Version Submit a News Tip