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June 10, 2013
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Upstate receives top achievement award for cancer care

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Upstate University Hospital is the only hospital in the Central New York Region to receive the highest award from The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS)—the 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award.

Upstate is among a select group of 79 accredited cancer programs throughout the United States to receive the award that recognizes programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients.

“We are so pleased to have received this prestigious designation for our cancer program,” says thoracic surgeon Leslie Kohman, M.D., SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and medical director of the Upstate Cancer Center. “We are grateful to our entire cancer team. It is because of their continued dedication to provide the absolute best care, and latest treatment options to our cancer patients that we continue to maintain the highest level of recognition available from the Commission on Cancer. “

Award criteria were based on qualitative and quantitative surveys conducted last year.

The purpose of the award is to raise the bar on quality cancer care, with the ultimate goal of increasing awareness about quality care choices among cancer patients and their loved ones.

In addition, the award is intended to:

Recognize those cancer programs that achieve excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients.

Motivate other cancer programs to work toward improving their level of care.

Facilitate dialogue between award recipients and health care professionals at other cancer facilities for the purpose of sharing best practices.

Encourage honorees to serve as quality-care resources to other cancer programs.

“These 79 cancer programs surveyed in 2012 currently represent the best of the best—so to speak—when it comes to cancer care,” said Daniel P. McKellar, M.D., F.A.C.S., chair of the CoC. “Each of these facilities is not just meeting nationally recognized standards for the delivery of quality cancer care, they are exceeding them.”

The 79 award-winning, cancer-care programs represent approximately 19 percent of programs surveyed by the CoC in 2012. A majority of recipients are community-based facilities. However, teaching hospitals, National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, Veterans Administration hospitals, and Network Cancer Programs also received this year’s award.

In 2012, Upstate University Hospital was granted a three-year accreditation with commendation by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

Upstate is expected to open the Upstate Cancer Center in 2014. The center will bring all of Upstate’s outpatient cancer services for both children and adults under one roof. The 90,000 square foot facility will encompass three stories and feature 27 private infusion areas, four-season rooftop healing gardens, meditation room, family resource center, multidisciplinary practice locations, private space for genetic, financial and other counseling services, a boutique for patient apparel and other personal products and three linear accelerator rooms. The facility will include two additional floors to accommodate future expansion.

Caption: The Upstate Cancer Center team includes, from left, Linda Veit, project manager for the Cancer Center; Bonnie Chapman, director of quality for the Cancer Center; Rose Valentino, assistant director of nursing for the Cancer Center; Richard Kilburg, Cancer Center administrator; Jeanmarie Glasser, assistant director of the Cancer Center; Kathy St. Onge, director of Tumor Registrar; Leslie Kohman, M.D., medical director of the Upstate Cancer Center; and Heidi Chapman, Cancer Center administrative assistant.

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