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Thursday, July 13, 2006 - SJH Cancer Program Receives Three-Year Approval

SJH Cancer Program Receives Three-Year Approval with Commendation from American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer

VINELAND, NJ (July 13) – The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted Three-Year Approval with Commendation to the cancer program at South Jersey Healthcare. SJH Cancer Services first earned CoC approval as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program in the mid-1980s.

SJH received the CoC approval, which is the highest designation that can be earned by a community hospital, after undergoing a rigorous on-site survey in May. Established in 1922 by the ACoS, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care.

“This is a tremendous honor for the entire cancer team as well as the departments, physicians, and volunteers who support our cancer program,” said Melanie Pirollo, administrative director of Cancer Services at SJH. “To earn approval with commendation, we met the 36 standards measured during the survey and exceeded them in nine areas.”

Today, SJH remains the only Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program in Salem, Cumberland, and Gloucester counties. In addition, the SJH Cancer Program has benefited from an 11-year affiliation with Fox Chase Cancer Center of Philadelphia.

According to the American College of Surgeons, approved cancer programs ensure that patients have access to quality care close to home. Specifically, patients will have access to:

  • comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the- art services and equipment;
  • a multi-specialty team approach to coordinate the best treatment options;
  • information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options;
  • access to cancer-related information, education, and support;
  • ongoing monitoring and improvement of care; and
  • a cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results, and offers life-long patient follow-up.

“Receiving three-year approval with commendation validates our internal benchmarking,” said Joseph Fanelle, M.D., medical director of the SJH Frank and Edith Scarpa Cancer Pavilion. “We are consistently providing excellent clinical care. The survey process also recognizes the comprehensive, multidisciplinary nature of our oncology program.” The cancer program is led by the SJH Cancer Committee, which provides regular monitoring to ensure that national quality standards are met. The Cancer Committee also provides direction for future program development.

“This is a great honor for the SJH Cancer Program because we’re one of a select group in the country to receive this level of recognition,” said David Blom, D.O., former chairman of the SJH Cancer Committee. “This approval with commendation demonstrates that we have an outstanding cancer program in all areas. We should be very proud of our accomplishment and for bringing this level of expertise to patients in our region.”

SJH Cancer services have been affiliated with Fox Chase Cancer Center since 1995. Our SJH physicians, registered radiation therapists and nationally-certified oncology nurses have 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. The system’s new radiation oncology facility is located in the Frank and Edith Scarpa Regional Cancer Pavilion at the Regional Medical Center in Vineland. The SJH team of board-certified medical oncologists has treatment facilities in Cumberland and Gloucester counties.

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. Please visit www.sjhealthcare.net to learn more.

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