WILLIAMSPORT – The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has granted Three-Year Accreditation to the cancer program at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Williamsport. To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care.
“UPMC Hillman Cancer Center stands for unsurpassed excellence in cancer care,” said Michelle Gaida, executive director, cancer care services, UPMC in North Central Pa. “We are harnessing the power of our nationally recognized services and programs across the system to take the battle against cancer to the next level locally. We make a difference by focusing on providing innovative, high quality, and individualized care to our patients right here in northcentral Pennsylvania.”
Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Williamsport 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.
The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Williamsport 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 psycho-social 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.
“Our cancer center has received accreditation with ACS for over 41 years, and it validates our commitment to continually investing in providing a full continuum of cancer services for our patients,” said Gaida. “In addition to the latest surgical advancements and treatments, including over 500 clinical trials, we also provide services to support their journey mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Some examples include offering cooling caps to reduce hair loss, distributing care bags with personal items and activities, providing therapeutic massage, hosting survivorship support groups, and connecting survivors with our social workers for guidance on how to connect with resources for financial assistance and other community incentives.”
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Williamsport maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (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. 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.
In addition to accreditation from the ACS Commission on Cancer, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is also one of only five National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Centers in Pennsylvania.
For a list of all cancer programs in the U.S. that received accreditation in 2022, visit FACS.org.
To learn more about UPMC Hillman Cancer Center services available in north central Pa., visit UPMC.com/CancerNCPA.