BENNINGTON — The Commission on Cancer has granted three-year accreditation to the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, part of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and Southwestern Vermont Health Care.
The Commission on Cancer is a program established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons.
“This voluntary program is an important national benchmark for us to validate that our patients are receiving the very best care possible,” said Charlene Ives, MD, a medical oncologist and medical director for the center. “Our goal is to provide the care and support needed by our patients and their families as they navigate their cancer diagnosis.”
To earn CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every 3 years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered cancer care.
The accreditation requires a multidisciplinary approach to treating the complexity of cancer and reinforces the commitment of the comprehensive cancer team, including surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, and others.
“We have an outstanding team dedicated to providing evidence-based standards set by the commission,” said Jean Huntington, administrative director of SVRCC. “The CoC standards focus on the full continuum of cancer—from prevention to survivorship and end-of-life-care—while addressing both survival and quality of life.”
There are more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the United States. The program provides the SVRCC a framework for continual improvement in all its cancer-related programs, including those that focus on prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care. CoC centers contribute to the National Cancer Data Base, which tracks treatment patterns and outcomes, and have access to the databases benchmark reports.
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.