SAMH Cancer Program Receives Re-Accreditation


Published on December 18 2012 10:11 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital Cancer Program, in collaboration with Crossroads Cancer Center, was recently granted three-year re-accreditation with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC).

St. Anthony’s received their accreditation following an on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor during which the hospital demonstrated Commendation level compliance with specific standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program: Annual Report, Quality of Data Submission, Pathology, Clinical Trial Accrual, Screening and Prevention, Registrar Education, and Quality Improvement.  The Cancer Program at St. Anthony’s has been in operation since 1977.

Teri Phillips, St. Anthony’s Health Information manager, shared what the survey results mean to the hospital, particularly the commendations received.  “These commendations recognize St. Anthony’s and Crossroads Cancer Center’s leadership, commitment and dedication to providing the best possible care for cancer patients in this region,” she said.

According to the American College of Surgeons, approximately 80 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients in the United States are treated in the more than 1,500 facilities that are accredited by the CoC.  Accreditation of a cancer program is granted only to those facilities that are voluntarily committed to provide the best in cancer diagnosis and treatment, and are able to comply with established CoC standards.

Receiving care at a CoC-accredited cancer program hospital such as St. Anthony’s in collaboration with Crossroads Cancer Center ensures that you will receive:

·         Quality care close to home

·         Comprehensive care offering a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment.

·         A multidisciplinary, team approach to coordinate the best cancer treatment options available.

·         Access to cancer-related information and education.

·         Access to patient-centered services such as psychosocial distress screening and navigation.

·         Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care.

·         Assessment of treatment planning based on evidence-based national treatment guidelines.

·         Information about clinical trials and new treatment options.

·         Follow-up care at the completion of treatment.

·         A cancer registry that collects data on cancer type, stage, and treatment results, and offers patient follow-up.

Two aspects of St. Anthony’s Cancer Program that helped the program achieve its commendations are monthly Cancer Conferences and quarterly Cancer Committee meetings. During the Cancer Conference, current patients are discussed in a multidisciplinary method to improve their care and provide continuous education for providers.  These conferences are faithfully attended by St. Anthony’s Medical Staff and supported by care presentations, discussion and education by local physicians.

Contributors to the Cancer Conferences include Steven Jones, MD, Chairperson; Phillip Dy, MD, Cancer Liaison Physician; Omer Aker, MD, Medical Director of Radiology; Ruben Boyajian, MD, Medical Director of Women’s Wellness and Cancer Care Services, and Michael Bruin, MD, Radiation Oncologist.

St. Anthony’s also has a Cancer Committee comprised of the above physicians and hospital colleagues from various disciplines and departments related to the prevention, care and treatment of cancer. These departments include Administration, Cancer Registrar, Community Relations, Health Information, Medical Care, Pastoral Care, Physical Rehabilitation, Quality Support, Social Services, Surgical Care, Surgical Services and Women’s Wellness.  An American Cancer Society regional representative also attends these quarterly meetings.

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1922, the Commission on Cancer 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.

For more information about St. Anthony’s Cancer Program, contact Jill Navarro, St. Anthony’s Cancer Registrar, at 217-347-1257.  You can download a copy of the most recent Cancer Annual Report on the hospital’s web site at, and click on “News & Publications.” 

Photo Caption: St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Committee: (Seated, left to right) Jill Navarro, Cancer Registrar; Steven Jones, MD, Chairperson; Phillip Dy, MD, Cancer Liaison Physician; and Ruben Boyajian, MD, Medical Director of Women’s Wellness and Cancer Care Services.  (Second row, l to r) Kelly Sager, Director of Patient Services; Janet Strange, Social Services; Shanna Hutchens, Women’s Wellness Nurse Navigator; Angela Kelly, Surgical Services; Denise Hahn, Physical Rehabilitation manager; and Marilyn Boone, Women’s Wellness manager.  (Third row, l to r)  Lisa Hoelscher, Community Relations; Teri Phillips, Health Information manager; Annette Schnabel, Executive Director of Strategy and Administration; Lawrence Underwood, American Cancer Society representative; and Bob Esker, Senior Advisor.  Absent:  Omer Aker, MD, Medical Director of Radiology; Michael Bruin, MD, Radiation Oncologist; Mary Finley, Director of Medical Staff and Quality Services; and Carol Gapsis, Pastoral Care manager.