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Cancer Center at Essentia Health receives national achievement

The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons granted its outstanding achievement award to the Cancer Center at Essentia Health - St. Joseph's Medical Center as a result of surveys performed during 2014.

Dr. Dianne Kendall
Dr. Dianne Kendall

The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons granted its outstanding achievement award to the Cancer Center at Essentia Health - St. Joseph's Medical Center as a result of surveys performed during 2014.

The cancer center is one of a select group of 75 accredited cancer programs across the United States.

"The patients and families that we care for at the cancer center are incredible people," said Dr. Laura Joque, oncologist/hematologist and section chair, at the cancer center at Essentia Health - St. Joseph's Medical Center. "It is truly an honor to be recognized for our care and clinical outcomes by this award."

Established in 2004, the commission's outstanding achievement award 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.

Specific areas that set the cancer center at Essentia Health - St. Joseph's Medical Center apart include:

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• A multi-disciplinary cancer committee that meets weekly to review and discuss patient cases to ensure the optimum course of treatment is recommended.

• Participation in the National Cancer Institute's Community Oncology Research Program providing access to clinical trials (cancer research) options for patients as part of their care plan.

• Certification from the STAR Program (survivorship, training and rehabilitation), which ensures that Essentia provides the nation's highest standards in oncology rehabilitation care in the areas of dietary, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work and psychiatry.

The cancer center program was evaluated during an on-site visit in 2014 by a physician surveyor on 34 program standards categorized within one of four cancer program activity areas: cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, and quality improvement. The cancer program was further evaluated on seven commendation standards.

"This is a huge accomplishment and all members of the cancer committee and everyone who works with cancer patients throughout our organization are extremely proud," Dr. Dianne M Kendall, Cancer Committee Chair and pathologist/medical laboratory director at Essentia Health - St Joseph's Medical Center.

The Accreditation Program, a component of the commission, sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to ensure they conform to those standards. Accreditation by the commission is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. To maintain accreditation, facilities with commission-accredited cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years. The Cancer Center at Essentia Health - St. Joseph's Medical Center has held this accreditation since 2008 and is the second time the cancer center has received the outstanding achievement award.

Dr. Dianne

Kendall

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Dr. Laura

Joque

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