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Linear Accelerator Acquisition, Recent Accreditation Renewal Expand Joint Venture’s Mission

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8/24/2015

The John P. Murtha Regional Cancer Center, a joint venture with UPMC CancerCenter and Conemaugh Health System, has acquired a new linear accelerator offering cutting-edge radiation treatment and bringing UPMC’s investment in the center to more than $1 million. The acquisition comes as the American College of Radiology (ACR) has reaccredited PET and CT services at the center, which are some of the most powerful cancer diagnostic tools available today.

The investment into this new equipment and reaccreditation demonstrates the joint venture’s commitment to the highest quality patient care, said Dwight Heron, M.D., director of radiation services for UPMC.

“We believe everyone should be able to have access to the latest breakthroughs in cancer technology,” Dr. Heron said. “The new linear accelerator offers two key features the previous model didn’t – onboard imaging and Rapid ARC. Onboard imaging will ensure the accuracy of radiation treatment and possibly allow radiation oncologists to use smaller treatment fields, potentially reducing patient exposure, while Rapid ARC will help improve the speed of treatment delivery and protect surrounding healthy tissue.”

The ACR reaccreditation is for three years and comes after a long and rigorous process.

“The successful completion of this reaccreditation means our patients can have the highest level of confidence knowing our cancer center delivers exceptional clinical care along with the compassion and understanding we are already recognized for providing,” said Thomas Pyo, regional manager with UPMC CancerCenter.

The ACR is a national organization that awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation of the practice. Evaluations are conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. They assess the qualifications of the personnel and the adequacy of facility equipment. The surveyors report their findings to the ACR’s Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report.

“Over the last 13 years, the joint venture has continually sought to improve cancer care in our community,” Pyo said. “We are looking forward to the future, building upon everything we have done to make cancer care accessible and seamless for people who require it.”