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Lowell General Hospital Receives National Achievement Award from Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons

Among only three Massachusetts' and 90 nationwide cancer programs to earn this prestigious award

Commission on CancerMarch 25, 2011, Lowell, MA and Chicago, IL — The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons has granted its Outstanding Achievement Award to the Cancer Center at Lowell General Hospital as a result of surveys performed during 2010. Lowell General Hospital is one of a select group of 90 currently accredited and newly accredited cancer programs across the United States.

Established in 2004, the CoC Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) is designed to recognize cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients. The award is granted to facilities that demonstrate a Commendation level of compliance with seven standards that represent six areas of cancer program activity: cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical management, research, community outreach, and quality improvement.

The level of compliance with the seven standards is determined during an on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor. In addition, facilities must receive a compliance rating for the remaining 29 cancer program standards. Ninety programs, including the Cancer Center at Lowell General, received the OAA as a result of surveys performed in 2010. This number represents approximately 17 percent of programs surveyed during this period. A majority of recipients are community-based facilities; however, teaching hospitals, NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, Pediatric, and Network Cancer Programs also received the award.

"This nationwide achievement is the result of the unwavering collaboration among the physicians, caregivers and staff of the Cancer Center, who bring the best in quality patient care for those facing cancer," says Dr. Murat Anamur, medical director of the Cancer Center at Lowell General Hospital. "Through the commitment of every professional and the extensive services offered here, we are able to bring the utmost in cancer care to the patients of our community. This recognition among only three hospitals in the state, is an honor of which we are proud."

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the Commission on Cancer is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival 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 representatives of 47 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care.

The CoC's core functions include setting standards for quality, multidisciplinary cancer patient care; surveying facilities to evaluate compliance with the 36 CoC standards; collecting standardized, high-quality data from accredited facilities; and using the data to develop effective educational interventions to improve cancer care outcomes at the national, state, and local levels. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs representing 25 percent of all hospitals in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. These CoC-accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat 71 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. Receiving care at a CoC-accredited cancer program ensures that a patient will have access to the full quality spectrum of comprehensive cancer care close to home.

In addition, cancer patients' data are reported by each CoC-accredited cancer program to the CoC's National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program with the American Cancer Society (ACS). These data account for approximately two-thirds of all newly diagnosed cancer cases in the U.S. each year, and are used regularly to monitor the quality of patient care delivered in CoC-accredited cancer programs and to improve cancer care outcomes at both the national and local level.

The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program. This information is shared with the public on the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons website and through the American Cancer Society National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-ACS-2345.

Learn more about the Commission on Cancer and Cancer Center at Lowell General Hospital.

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