12-10-10 - Students strive toward graduation day. It's a time of validation of many years of dedication and hard work. Graduation and the certificate received come with the words "well done."

The hard work and dedication of the Scotland Cancer Treatment Center staff were recently validated when the Center earned accreditation with commendation as a Community Comprehensive Cancer program by the American College of Surgeons (ACoS).

By undertaking this voluntary evaluation, Scotland Cancer Treatment Center has demonstrated their commitment to quality care, ongoing improvement, and public accountability.

Dr. Kelvin Raybon, medical oncologist, commented on the purpose of accreditation. "Accreditation as a Community Comprehensive Cancer Center is a major milestone for Scotland Cancer Treatment Center, as it validates and recognizes that our facility delivers the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art cancer treatment available, and does so in a convenient, friendly community setting. All aspects of cancer diagnosis, care, and management are happening everyday here in Laurinburg by a staff of professionals who are exceptionally well trained and experienced."

Camille Utter, RN, BSN, OCN, CBCN, the Center's Director, stated that the accreditation process took several years to complete. "To be accredited we had to meet thirty-six standards established by the ACoS. Many of these standards were already in place so it was just a matter of documenting our efforts to prove that we do indeed meet their standards."

Mrs. Utter added that the accreditation includes the hospital, as well as the Cancer Center, because cancer care includes how our facility diagnoses as well as treats cancer. "Our surgeons were instrumental in this process. General surgeons Brian Parkes, Steve Lanuti, and Frank Yang are very supportive of our monthly Tumor Board and our Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Conference Group, which meets every other week. The surgeons present cases to the multidisciplinary group of physicians at these meetings and are instrumental in the development of a patient's plan of care."

Pathologist Dr. Donna Richardson was the performance improvement chairperson for the survey and was very instrumental in reaching the accreditation goal. "Pathologists play a major role in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer," stated Camille Utter. "Cancer can be treated based on genetic mutations in certain receptors in cancer cells. Pathologists help to identify these receptors. Dr. Richardson consistently provides information on how we can improve our care. Her services drive some of the treatment decisions we make. She attends the Tumor Board the Breast Conference meetings and serves on the Cancer Committee. She's a strong advocate for us."

The Commission on Cancer encourages approved programs to improve the quality of their patient care by implementing multidisciplinary cancer programs to cover issues such as:
• Community outreach programs, including free mammograms provided to women in need
• Medical staff education offered through an annual cancer symposium
• Radiation therapy provided on-site
• Clinical trials
• Staging
• Optimal treatment
• Rehabilitation
• Surveillance for recurrent disease and multiple primary tumors
• Psychosocial support
• End of Life care

Mrs. Utter credits Dr. Kelvin Raybon, medical oncologist, and Dr. Ernest Helms, radiation oncologist, and the entire Scotland Cancer Treatment Center staff, in driving and implementing the goals involved with the accrediting process. "Accreditation may be one of the best values in health care. The institutions involved in the accreditation program represent a broad-based network of comprehensive cancer programs that offer the entire spectrum of cancer control activities, from prevention to rehabilitation and long term follow-up. It is estimated that accredited programs annually diagnose and treat 80% of all new cancer cases. This statistic emphasizes the level of commitment to resources that Commission-accredited program have made to the care of patients with cancer."

For additional information about Scotland Cancer Treatment Center, call 910-291-7630 or toll free at 1-877-762-2735.

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