Palos Community Hospital has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer for it’s excellence in cancer care. Palos is the only hospital in the southwest suburbs — and one of only six hospitals in the entire state — to earn this distinguished honor. This award puts Palos Community Hospital at the forefront of cancer care in Illinois.
“Palos Community Hospital has always ranked highly as an accredited comprehensive community cancer program,” says Thomas Vasdekas, M.D., Palos Community Hospital’s Cancer Liaison Physician for The Commission on Cancer. “We have very strong cancer outcomes, and we continuously strive to ensure the highest level of cancer care for our patients. This award is the pinnacle of quality care, and it is an acknowledgement of our achievements.”
The Outstanding Achievement Award was presented following an onsite evaluation performed by a physician surveyor from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) in 2011. The CoC requires that all accredited cancer programs undergo reassessment every three years to maintain accreditation. Palos Community Hospital has been an accredited comprehensive cancer facility since December 20, 1991.
The cancer program at Palos, headed by Oncology Committee Chairman S. Javed Shirazi, M.D., combines the expertise of a number of physicians from Family Practice, Oncology, Radiation Oncology and Surgery, as well as several hospital departments, including Administration, Cancer Registry (a division of Medical Records), Nursing, Pastoral Care, Social Services, Pharmacy, Nutrition & Food Service, Radiology, Rehabilitation, Public Relations, Laboratory, Palliative Care, and Home Health and Hospice Care. Skilled professionals from each of these areas come together along with a representative from the American Cancer Society to form Palos Community Hospital’s Oncology Committee. The committee evaluates and monitors all types of cancer cases diagnosed and treated at Palos Community Hospital to ensure the best possible care for our patients and ongoing quality of the program.
Established in 2004, the CoC 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 eight standards that represent six areas of cancer program activity: cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical management, research, community outreach and quality improvement. In addition, facilities must also receive a compliance rating for the remaining 29 cancer program standards. Just 22 percent of the 489 programs surveyed during 2011 received the Outstanding Achievement Award.
Established in 1922 by the American College or Surgeons, the Commission on Cancer is the only multidisciplinary accreditation organization for cancer programs in the United States. The CoC’s Accreditation Program sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and then reviews to ensure that these programs comply with standards. Accreditation by the CoC is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and undergo a rigorous evaluation process. Dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients, the CoC consists of a consortium of professional organizations, which includes the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.