The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute received three-year reaccreditation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons in May. The cancer program at Christiana Care has received Commission on Cancer accreditation since 1951.

To earn voluntary accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed 34 Commission on Cancer quality-care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive, multidisciplinary patient-centered care.

Leaders of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute celebrate a successful reaccreditation by the ACS Commission on Cancer.
Leaders of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute
celebrate a successful reaccreditation by the ACS Commission on Cancer.

“The dedication of our physicians and staff to consistently meet and surpass the standards for accreditation by the Commission on Cancer speaks volumes to our patients who expect high-quality cancer care and services close to their own communities,” said Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America endowed medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute. “Our goal is to continue to meet and exceed those expectations in every aspect of our cancer program.”

In its performance report, the Graham Cancer Center received Commission on Cancer commendation ratings (highest possible) in six areas, including praise for “an especially high rate of clinical trials.” Patient enrollment rates into clinical trials at the Graham Cancer Center are at 20 percent, five times the national average.

The report also commended the Graham Cancer Center for excellence in oncology nursing, “at the forefront of patient navigation, with 19 nurse navigators on board.” Nurse navigators are key to helping break down barriers to care in our communities and in facilitating timely access to clinical services and resources for patients, families and caregivers.

The report also highlighted the quality of cancer registrar education at the Graham Cancer Center. As a Commission on Cancer accredited facility, the Graham Cancer Center maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base, the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Certified, well-trained cancer registrars are essential to maintaining the level of quality in registry data necessary to accurately assess treatment outcomes and patient survival.

Other areas singled out for commendation include public reporting of outcomes and promoting evidence-based care through participation in the Commission’s Rapid Quality Reporting System.

Receiving care at a Commission on Cancer accredited cancer program ensures patients receive:

  • Quality care close to home.
  • Comprehensive care, including prevention, early diagnosis and a full range of state-of-the- art services and equipment.
  • A multidisciplinary, team approach to coordinate the best cancer-treatment options available and improve patient care.
  • Access to cancer-related information and education, and to patient-centered services such as navigation and psychosocial distress screening.
  • Options for genetic assessment and counseling, and palliative care services.
  • Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care and assessment of treatment planning based on evidence-based national treatment guidelines, and opportunities for clinical trials and new treatment options.
  • Follow-up care at the completion of treatment, including rehabilitation and a survivorship care plan.
  • A cancer registry that collects data on cancer type, stage and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up.