Media Relations: Mercy News Archive
Mercy Receives 3-Year Approval with Commendation for its Cancer Program From The American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer
Baltimore, MD. — The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons has granted 3-year approval with commendation to the cancer program at Mercy Medical Center in downtown Baltimore City. Mercy originally received accreditation as a Community Hospital Cancer Program in 2001, and then as a Teaching Hospital Cancer Program in 2004.
“Only a third of all teaching hospitals in the nation have received the CoC 3-year approval with commendation, and Mercy is one of those hospitals,” said surgical oncologist Dr. Armando Sardi, Director, The Institute for Cancer Care at Mercy.
The Commission’s survey report of Mercy’s cancer programs indicated that Mercy met every one of the Commission’s standards: institutional and programmatic resources; cancer committee leadership; cancer data management and cancer registry operations; clinical management; research; community outreach; professional education and staff support; and quality improvement initiatives.
Mercy also received 7 special commendations in the fields of outcome analysis, abstracting timeframe; quality of NCDB (National Cancer Database) data submission; AJCC (American Joint Committee on Cancer) staging; patient guidelines; cancer registry staff education and cancer-related improvements.
“Mercy has received 3-years approval with commendation—the highest award possible. This reflects Mercy’s dedication to providing excellent care to patients with cancer. It is Mercy’s team of nationally recognized medical staff, coupled with our interdisciplinary approach, providing care to the whole person in a holistic environment, that makes Mercy standout,” Dr. Sardi said.
“Our doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, support staff, volunteers and many others who provide compassionate care to cancer patients all played key roles in achieving this recognition for Mercy,” Dr. Sardi added.
Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1932, the Approvals Program sets standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to make sure they conform to those standards.
Recognizing that cancer is a complex group of diseases, the program promotes consultation among surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary cooperation results in improved patient care.
"To learn that Mercy has re-earned its accreditation from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer is extremely gratifying. It’s further evidence of Mercy’s commitment to fighting cancer through the accurate diagnosis and treatment of this disease. This achievement is another indication of the dedication of Mercy staff who work tirelessly to enhance treatment for cancer patients," said Thomas R. Mullen, president and CEO of Mercy Health Services, Mercy Medical Center.
Mercy’s cancer program is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team that includes medical oncologists, hematologists, gynecologic oncologists, breast cancer specialists, radiation oncologists, oncology nurses, pastoral care and social workers and other medical and health care professionals.
"The Mercy Cancer Committee deals with issues relative to pain management, quality assurance, patient care evaluation, research, education, maintaining the cancer registry, reporting on cancer staging, and other issues. Our goal is to maintain and improve upon the Mercy system for diagnosing, treating, and preventing cancer. The accreditation by the American College of Surgeons only drives us to do even better," Dr. Sardi said.
Receiving care at a Commission on Cancer-approved cancer program ensures that a patient will have access to:
- Quality care close to home.
- Comprehensive care offering a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment.
- A multi-specialty, team approach to coordinate the best treatment options for cancer patients.
- A cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up
- Information about cancer clinical trials, education and support.
- Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care.
Approval by the Commission on Cancer is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to provide the best in diagnosis and treatment of cancer and to undergo a rigorous evaluation process and a review of its performance. In order to maintain approval, facilities with Commission on Care-approved cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.
In recent years, Mercy Medical Center has witnessed the opening of The Institute for Cancer Care under Dr. Sardi, the Prevention and Research Center under nationally renowned epidemiologist and cancer researcher, Dr. Kathy J. Helzlsouer; expansion of the hospital's Department of Surgery, Outpatient Chemotherapy Center, and The Hoffberger Breast Center.
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.4 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2007. There are currently more than 1,400 Commission on Cancer-approved cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing nearly 25 percent of all hospitals. This 25 percent of hospitals diagnose and/or treat 80 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients each year.
The Commission on Cancer is composed of Fellows of the American College of Surgeons and other members representing 36 national cancer-related organizations. Postgraduate courses, symposia, and programs about cancer are developed by the Commission for health care professionals involved in cancer care. For more information about the Commission on Cancer, visit www.facs.org/cancer/index.html.