I’m currently serving a three-year term as the Cancer Liaison Physician for the cancer program at Parkwest Medical Center. I have accepted this post because of my strong interest in cancer care and my commitment to ensuring that patients receive the highest quality care available.

The Commission on Cancer (CoC), established by the American College of Surgeons in 1922, is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care.

Applying for and maintaining CoC accreditation is voluntary, but it isn’t easy. Earning and keeping accreditation takes an intentional commitment to providing high quality cancer care as a whole, which includes the services required to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate, and support cancer patients and their family members.

I’m fortunate to be at Parkwest, where our cancer treatment facility has maintained accreditation for years. Instead of working to bolster our program to help it meet standards for accreditation, my job is to guide the process of cancer care and ensure that we continue to meet quality performance benchmarks. As physician liaison I regularly meet with our Cancer Committee; together we work to ensure that we maintain our high standards and improve quality when possible.

A good example is our current work with regard to the Parkwest Breast Center, recognized as a Breast Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. We’re seeking additional accreditation with the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), also established by the American College of Surgeons. Launched in 2005, the NAPBC program is very similar to the Commission on Cancer but is focused specifically on breast centers and breast cancer care. NAPBC accreditation adds another layer to ensure that we’re meeting all standards of care.

We have a great team here at Parkwest, and I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to help “guide the ship” in our fight against cancer.