St. Luke’s Earns Prestigious Recognition from the Commission on Cancer
St. Luke’s is one of only two health care networks in the state of Pennsylvania to receive this distinction, and one of only 51 health care networks nationwide. Recent Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons distinction followed a rigorous survey.
St. Luke’s University Health Network has earned national Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation as an Integrated Network Cancer Program (INCP) from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons (CoC), one of only two health care networks in the state of Pennsylvania to receive this distinction, and one of only 51 health care networks nationwide.
To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed 34 CoC quality standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care. The Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation is only awarded to a facility that exceeds standard requirements at the time of the triennial survey.
Prior to being named an Integrated Network Cancer Program, St. Luke’s was the first and only Comprehensive Community Cancer Program in Pennsylvania to earn the CoC's highest quality recognition, the Outstanding Achievement Award, for three consecutive terms (2004, 2007,2010) and the only Pennsylvania program to receive the award in 2010.
To be considered an INCP, an organization must have multiple facilities providing integrated cancer care and comprehensive services. All facilities that are part of the network must be CoC-accredited cancer programs. Each entity of the INCP meets performance expectations of quality measures and participates in cancer-related clinical research.
Multidisciplinary Approach to Treating Cancer
Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, St. Luke’s takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary partnership results in improved patient care.
“Cancer is a very complex disease requiring multidisciplinary care,” says Lee B. Riley, MD, PhD, FACS, Medical Director, Oncology Services, St. Luke’s University Health Network. “Our affiliation with the Commission on Cancer continually helps us improve and grow our already extraordinary cancer program, assuring we provide all of the necessary clinical and psychosocial support our patients require.”
“I am very proud of our team,” says Joe Pinto, Vice President, Network Operations, St. Luke’s University Health Network. “Each day our dedicated, talented group of cancer experts and support staff focus on making sure our patients receive the most appropriate, comprehensive care with the goal of improving outcomes and saving lives.”
Full Spectrum of Cancer Care
The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for St. Luke’s to improve its quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care. When patients receive care at a CoC facility, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling, and patient-centered services including psychosocial support, a patient navigation process, and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors' quality of life.
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, St. Luke’s maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society (ACS). This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed through the NCDB and used to explore trends in cancer care. CoC-accredited cancer centers, in turn, have access to information derived from this type of data analysis, which is used to create national, regional, and state benchmark reports. These reports help CoC facilities with their quality improvement efforts.
ACS estimates that more than 1.6 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2013. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing 30 percent of all hospitals. CoC-accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients. When cancer patients choose to seek care locally at a CoC-accredited cancer center, they are gaining access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care close to home. The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program through the CoC Hospital Locator at facs.org/cancerprogram/index.html.
About the Commission on Cancer
Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care. Its membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons. For more information, visit: facs.org/cancer
About St. Luke’s University Health Network
St. Luke’s University Health Network is a nationally recognized, regional, integrated network of non-profit hospitals, physicians and other health-related organizations providing care in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania, and in Warren County, New Jersey. Learn more.
About St. Luke’s Cancer Program
St. Luke’s provides cancer services throughout its network, providing care to approximately 2,400 patients each year. St. Luke’s has three comprehensive outpatient cancer centers in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton (Anderson Campus), and also provides cancer services in Quakertown, Coaldale and Warren County, NJ.
St. Luke’s Cancer Center is staffed by a team of fellowship-trained cancer experts specializing in surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, gynecologic oncology, thoracic surgery, urologic surgery and neurosurgical oncology. The Center emphasizes patient satisfaction and treats all types of cancer, including: abdominal, bones and joints, brain and spine, breast, colon and rectum, cancer of the digestive system, gynecologic, head and neck, liver, lung/thoracic, lymphoma/leukemia, melanoma, prostate, thyroid/endocrine system and urinary. The Center offers advanced programs for melanoma, lung, breast, brain and spine, prostate, gynecological and gastrointestinal cancers.