SARASOTA, Fla. (March 22, 2018) – The Commission on Cancer (CoC) has granted national accreditation to Sarasota Memorial Health Care System’s expanding cancer program. The prestigious recognition is awarded sparingly to cancer programs that meet more than 30 CoC quality care standards and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive, patient-centered care.
Sarasota Memorial is among the top cancer programs in the nation, maintaining continuous CoC accreditation since 1988. To accomplish this, SMH undergoes a rigorous voluntary survey every three years.
Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder credits the three decades of continuous accreditation to the diligence of SMH’s cancer team and its dedication to providing patients with highly specialized, comprehensive care.
SMH’s cancer program offers a full spectrum of care, from prevention, early diagnosis and cancer staging, to evidence-based treatments, rehabilitation and life-long follow-up. The health system also provides access to clinical trials, genetic counseling, psycho-social support, patient navigators and the Thrive program, which offers an array of therapies and ongoing support to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life after treatment.
“Our goal is to provide cancer patients with access to not only highly trained teams of specialists and the most promising treatments, but also state-of-the-art, patient-centered facilities that support people through diagnosis, treatment, recovery and beyond,” Verinder said.
In January, the hospital approved $220 million to further expand its cancer program, moving forward with plans for a new inpatient and surgical oncology tower on its main campus and radiation oncology center at its University Parkway outpatient campus. SMH’s new Cancer Institute is designed to be a destination cancer program that concentrates an expanding range of fellowship-trained oncology subspecialists in the region.
The CoC said a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases improves patient care. SMH’s collaborative care process involves consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists who discuss complicated cases and reach consensus on the optimal approach for treating individual 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,” noted the CoC, a quality program of the American College of Surgeons. “CoC accreditation provides value through improved patient outcomes across all domains of care: access and service, satisfaction and well-being, quality of care and cancer outcomes.”
As a CoC-accredited facility, SMH joins a network of comprehensive cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all patients newly diagnosed with cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.7 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2018.
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, SMH maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Database (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society. 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. As a CoC-accredited cancer center, SMH has access to information derived from this type of data analysis, which is used to create national, regional, and state benchmark reports.
About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits each year. Its flagship 829-bed, acute-care hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s largest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services – from urgent care, trauma and emergency services to laboratory and diagnostic imaging, home health, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. SMH is the only hospital in Florida to have consistently earned the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid's Services highest five-star quality award since the rating system launched in 2016.
About the Commission on Cancer
Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC encompasses the best minds in cancer care utilizing expertise from the entire oncology community to set the highest standards of care for CoC-accredited cancer programs. The consortium of professional organizations is 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: www.facs.org/cancer