Patient Care

Wilmot Cancer Center Awarded Prestigious Accreditation with Commendation from American College of Surgeons

Jul. 14, 2009

The James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center has received accreditation with commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. The cancer program performance report issued a three-year accreditation award with six commendations.

Only one in four cancer programs in the country are accredited by ACoS. Even fewer receive commendation, the highest level of accreditation. Approximately 80 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients seek care at an ACoS accredited cancer program.

“We are very pleased that the quality of the Wilmot Cancer Center and our programs has met the College’s high standards,” said Richard I. Fisher, M.D., director of the Wilmot Cancer Center. “Receiving the highest level of accreditation, with commendation, places the Wilmot Cancer Center among the best cancer programs nationwide.”

The ACoS Commission on Cancer is a consortium of organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for people with cancer through prevention, research, education programs, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care. People with cancer regularly seek care from centers with accredited by the ACoS.

The Commission on Cancer believes that the best cancer care is multidisciplinary in nature. To qualify for accreditation, cancer programs must successfully demonstrate compliance with a rigorous examination of 36 standards that include prevention, early diagnosis, pre-treatment evaluation, staging, optimal treatment, and rehabilitation.

Approved programs must also demonstrate surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists collaborate to provide quality patient care.

In addition, centers must provide follow-up of patients after treatment, continuous quality review of management, a high level of support services, as well as end-of-life care.

In making its recommendation, the Commission cited Wilmot Cancer Center’s “phenomenal accrual rate to clinical trials,” prevention and education programs and the “impressive” new facility for cancer care and translational research.

Fisher praised the Wilmot Cancer Committee, led by Kristin Skinner, M.D., chief of surgical oncology, for its outstanding work, and additional efforts by David Hicks, M.D., director of surgical pathology, Margie Richardson, cancer registry coordinator, and Catherine Lyons, R.N., M.S., N.E.A.-B.C., F.N.A.P., associate director of clinical services. However, the success of the cancer center relies upon the dedication and commitment of all faculty and staff.

Over the past decade the Wilmot Cancer Center has seen tremendous growth in its multidisciplinary programs that bring teams of doctors together to provide comprehensive care for each patient. The center has developed large clinical and research programs in lymphoma and leukemia, and genitourinary, gastrointestinal, breast, head and neck, and lung cancers.

The ACoS accreditation is yet another measure of the Wilmot Cancer Center’s excellence, along with the award of a Specialized Program of Research Excellence from the National Cancer Institute last fall.