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Commission on Cancer lauds program for exemplary programs, strong leadership

Stony Brook University Cancer Center has received a three-year accreditation with commendation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Teaching Hospital Cancer Program. Assembled are Cancer Center leaders, from left: Theodore G. Gabig, M.D., Professor and Chief, Division of Medical Hematology/Oncology, and Associate Director for Adult Clinical Programs; Robert I. Parker, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and Associate Director for Clinical Trials and Pediatric Clinical Programs; Rose Cardin, M.S.N, R.N., Associate Director of Nursing for Psychiatry and Oncology, and Administrator for Cancer Services; and Michael Hayman, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Associate Director for Cancer Research.
Stony Brook University Cancer Center has received a three-year accreditation with commendation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Teaching Hospital Cancer Program.

The accreditation follows a November 2011 site visit by the CoC. In written comments, the surveyor praised Stony Brook’s program for "strong goals with clear benchmarks for evaluation and achievement," an "exemplary" cancer conference program, "commendable" quality of data in the cancer registry, and strong leadership in radiation treatment, oncology nursing and the cancer registry.

"The surveyor's comments confirm what we already know – that Stony Brook University Cancer Center is an outstanding cancer program," said Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P, Senior Vice President of the Health Sciences and Dean of the Stony Brook School of Medicine. "The entire staff of the Cancer Center is to be commended on the quality of care they deliver to our patients every day, which is reflected in achieving the highest level of accreditation attainable."

According to the ACS, approximately 80 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients in the United States are treated in the more than 1,500 facilities that are accredited by the CoC nationwide. Accreditation of a cancer center is granted only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to provide the best in cancer diagnosis and treatment and is able to comply with established CoC standards.

"This is a marvelous achievement and a wonderful reflection on the exemplary staff of the Cancer Center and the entire cancer program," said Rose Cardin, M.S.N, R.N., Associate Director of Nursing for Psychiatry and Oncology and Administrator for Cancer Services at Stony Brook University Medical Center. "But the ultimate beneficiary is our patients, who are assured of receiving high quality care when they come to Stony Brook."

Receiving care at a CoC-accredited cancer program hospital or facility ensures that patients will receive:

• Quality care close to home.
• Comprehensive care offering a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment.
• A multidisciplinary, team approach to coordinate the best cancer treatment options available.
• Access to cancer-related information and education.
• Access to patient-centered services such as psychosocial distress screening and navigation.
• Options for genetic assessment and counseling, and palliative care services.
• Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care.
• Assessment of treatment planning based on evidence-based national treatment guidelines.
• Information about clinical trials and new treatment options.
• Follow-up care at the completion of treatment, including a survivorship care plan.
• A cancer registry that collects data on cancer type, stage, and treatment results, and offers lifelong patient follow-up.

The CoC Accreditation Program encourages hospitals, treatment centers, and other facilities to improve their quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs. These programs focus on prevention, early diagnosis, pre-treatment evaluation, staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, surveillance for recurrent disease, support services, and end-of-life care.

Recognizing that cancer is a complex group of diseases, the CoC Cancer Program Standards promote consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary cooperation results in improved patient care. Five elements are key to the success of a CoC-accredited cancer program:

• The clinical services provide state-of-the-art pretreatment evaluation, staging, treatment and clinical follow-up for cancer patients seen at the facility for primary, secondary, tertiary, or quaternary care.
• The cancer committee leads the program through setting goals, monitoring activity, evaluating patient outcomes, and improving care. • The quality improvement program is the mechanism for evaluating and improving patient outcomes.
• The cancer registry and database is the basis for monitoring the quality of care.

The following basic services must be provided by every CoC-accredited cancer program, either on site, by referral, or in coordination with other facilities or local agencies: clinical laboratory, diagnostic imaging, medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical procedures, AJCC staging, clinical research, patient guidelines, oncology nursing, pain management, rehabilitation support, counseling, discharge planning, hospice care, nutritional support, pastoral care, and patient and family support.

About Stony Brook University Cancer Center:
Stony Brook University Cancer Center (SBUCC) is Suffolk County's cancer care leader and a leader in education and research. Stony Brook handles more than 20,000 inpatient and outpatient cancer visits annually. The Cancer Center includes 12 Multidisciplinary Teams: Breast Cancer; Colorectal Cancer; Gynecologic Oncology; Head, Neck and Thyroid Oncology; Hematologic Malignancy and Stem Cell Transplantation; Lung Cancer, Melanoma; Neurologic Oncology; Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Sarcoma; Upper Gastrointestinal Oncology; and Urologic Oncology. The cancer program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as a Teaching Hospital level-approved cancer program and received the Commission's Outstanding Achievement Award. The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center is the first center in NY State to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. The Department of Radiation Oncology at Stony Brook University Medical Center is accredited by the American College of Radiology and the American Society for Radiation Oncology. To learn more, visit www.stonybrookcancercenter.org.
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