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Monday, August 13, 2007 - SJH Receives ACR Accreditation for Radiation Oncology

VINELAND, NJ (August 13) – South Jersey Healthcare has again earned three-year accreditation for Radiation Oncology as the result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The health system’s radiation oncology services, which are provided in the SJH Frank and Edith Scarpa Regional Cancer Pavilion at the Regional Medical Center in Vineland, have been accredited by the ACR since 1998.

ACR accreditation was awarded to SJH after a rigorous review process to ensure its radiation oncology services meet nationally accepted standards. During an on-site survey, board certified radiation oncologists assess not only the quality of work performed by physicians and medical physicists, but also staff efficiency, quality assessment, improvement activities including peer review and the adequacy of space and equipment.

“ACR accreditation is the highest level of service performance that a community hospital radiation oncology program can receive,” said Joseph Fanelle, M.D., medical director of the SJH Frank and Edith Scarpa Regional Cancer Pavilion. “This intensive review of our hospital/physician practice highlights the quality of our program. Our community can rest assured that the radiation oncology services provided at SJH meet or exceed all national quality assurance and safety guidelines.”

At SJH’s state-of-the-art cancer center, two linear accelerators perform the latest radiation therapy treatments, including Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). IMRT utilizes thousands of tiny beams which enter the body from several angles and intersect on specific cancerous tumors, rather than passing a single, large radiation beam through the body. This precise treatment results in higher doses of radiation to the tumor and less damage to surrounding tissues. Utilizing technologies including global positioning systems (GPS), ultrasound and CT scans, IGRT helps to locate and target tumors even more accurately just prior to radiation therapy treatment. As a result, the amount of healthy tissue exposed to radiation is reduced, minimizing the incidence of side effects.

The ACR is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic-interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, and nuclear medicine and medical physicists. Their programs focus on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology, as well as the delivery of comprehensive health care services. The ACR accreditation process is designed to be educational in nature, with all survey findings reported to an accreditation committee that provides the sites with a comprehensive report.

SJH Cancer Services has been in partnership with the Fox Chase Cancer Center for 12 years, and recently received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. SJH offers the only cancer program in Cumberland, Salem, or Gloucester counties designated as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons – Commission on Cancer.

The SJH team of board-certified physicians, registered radiation therapists and nationally-certified oncology nurses has provided state-of-the-art radiation therapy, medical oncology and cancer support services to thousands of patients in the region for more than 25 years.

SJH is a nonprofit, integrated health care system, providing access to a continuum of health services. SJH provides hospital services, numerous community health clinics, home health services, and specialty services, which serve the medical and health care needs of Southern New Jersey residents