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WVU-East cancer program approved

February 07, 2008

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The West Virginia University Hospitals-East Regional Cancer Program based at City Hospital has been granted a three-year approval with commendation by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons.

The program received a three-year approval with commendation following an on-site evaluation. Accreditation with commendation is awarded when a program exceeds all standards, delivering an exceptionally high level of care.

The standards exceeded include cancer committee leadership, cancer data management and cancer registry operations, clinical services, community outreach, professional education and staff support, and quality improvement, according to a news release from WVU Hospitals-East.

"We are dedicated to offering the best in cancer care," said Dr. Tim Bowers, medical director.

"The fact that our cancer program has been recognized at this level by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons speaks to the quality of our comprehensive, multidisciplinary program," he added.

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The CoC approvals program sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to ensure they conform to those standards. Approval by the CoC 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 approval, facilities with CoC approved cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.

Receiving care at a Commission on Cancer approved cancer program ensures that a patient will have:

· comprehensive care offering a range of state-of-the- art services and equipment;

· a multi-specialty, team approach to coordinate the best treatment options;

· information about cancer clinical trials and new treatment options

· access to cancer-related information, education, and support;

· a cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up

· ongoing monitoring and improvement of care

· quality care close to home

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.4 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2008. There are currently more than 1,400 CoC approved cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing close to 25 percent of all hospitals. This 25 percent of hospitals diagnose and/or treat 80 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients each year.

The WVUH-East Regional Cancer was initially established in 1991 at City Hospital. Current service offerings include medical oncology, radiation oncology, oncology unit, surgery department, chemotherapy, vascular therapy, pathology & laboratory services, diagnostic radiology, pharmacy, social services, food & nutritional services, and cancer support groups and programs. The program was approved to begin offering clinical trials for new and innovative cancer treatments in July 2007.

"This advancement, which was a direct result of our affiliation with WVU and the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center in Morgantown, gives patients in the Eastern Panhandle direct access to the newest cancer drugs and protocols," Bowers said, adding, "We are proud to offer the very best in today's cancer treatment close to home."

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