Gifford Cancer Program Earns National Accreditation

Commission on Cancer logoRANDOLPH – The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons has granted accreditation with commendation to the cancer program at Gifford Medical Center through 2013.

A facility receives accreditation with commendation following an onsite evaluation by a physician surveyor during which the facility demonstrates a commendation level of compliance with one or more standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program (cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach, and quality improvement). In addition, a facility receives a compliance rating for all other standards.

Through its oncology department, Gifford in Randolph offers area patients access to an experienced oncologist, Dr. John Valentine; care from a specially certified oncology nurse; and treatment planning and options, including outpatient chemotherapy and hormone therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Cancer patients and their families additionally benefit from Gifford’s specialists and surgeons and the hospital’s robust palliative care program. Gifford also has a Cancer Committee, a patient care navigator program for women undergoing breast biopsies, and data management and quality oversight. It promotes cancer prevention, screenings, and treatment to the public through patient education and outreach efforts.

“We’re honored to be accredited once again by the Commission on Cancer,” Gifford Vice President of Surgery Rebecca O’Berry said. “This accreditation is a quality indicator for patients choosing cancer care, and an indicator that quality cancer care can be found close to home at Gifford.”

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, 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. Its membership includes fellows of the American College of Surgeons and 49 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care.

Gifford’s program has been accredited by the Commission on Cancer since 1965.

The core functions of the Commission on Cancer include setting standards for quality, multidisciplinary cancer patient care; surveying facilities to evaluate compliance with the 36 Commission on Cancer standards; collecting standardized and quality data from accredited facilities; and using the data to develop effective educational interventions to improve cancer care outcomes at the national, state, and local level.

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.6 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2012. There are currently more than 1,500 Commission on Cancer-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico, representing close to 30 percent of all hospitals. This 30 percent of hospitals diagnose and/or treat 80 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. In addition, a national network of more than 1,650 volunteer cancer liaison physicians, including internal medicine physician Jim Currie of Gifford, provides leadership and support for the Commission on Cancer Accreditation Program and other activities at local facilities.

The Accreditation Program, a component of the Commission on Cancer, sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to ensure they conform to those standards. Accreditation is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. To maintain accreditation, facilities with Commission on Cancer accredited cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.

Gifford Receives $35,000 Grant from Avon Breast Health Outreach Program

Randolph hospital is state’s only BHOP grant recipient for 11 years running

Cheryl Manns

Cheryl Manns travels the state talking to women about the importance of early detection of breast cancer through clinical breast exams and mammograms. Her work is funded by the Avon Foundation Breast Health Outreach Program.

RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center has been awarded a $35,000 grant from the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer.

The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) supports community-based, non-profit breast health programs across the country and is part of the Avon Foundation for Women, the largest corporate philanthropy dedicated to women’s causes globally.

This is the 11th consecutive year that Gifford’s Breast Health Program has received funding from the Foundation, resulting in a more than $415,000 investment regionally to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of mammograms and clinical breast exams.

The only Vermont recipient, Gifford was selected as one of 120 grantees nationwide. Organizations like Gifford are chosen based on their ability to effectively reach women, particularly minority, low-income, and older women, who are often medically underserved.

Through the grant, Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Manns travels the state speaking to women where they live, work, and socialize about the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer and sharing information on resources like Ladies First.

Since Gifford received its first grant in 2002, it has provided more than 4,500 mammograms and nearly 3,500 clinical breast exams through the program, and referred countless others to hospitals in their region of the state for care. In 2011 alone, Gifford breast care personnel spoke to more than 5,000 Vermonters in communities near and far about having annual mammograms after age 40, annual clinical breast exams, and doing self-breast exams so women know what is normal for them.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States and in Vermont. It’s also the nation’s leading single cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, about 473 breast cancer cases are diagnosed among Vermont women each year. About 92 people each year die from the disease. Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes and a death from breast cancer every 14 minutes.

While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment. According to the Avon Foundation, programs such as Gifford’s help ensure that all women have access to early detection information and options, even poor and medically underserved women.

Pam Caron serves as director of ancillary services at Gifford and oversees the grant.

“I am so pleased and humbled that we have been given the Avon Foundation grant again this year. The importance of spreading the information about early detection of breast cancer to our communities is a passion our entire team of breast care personnel shares. I am very proud of the work they do, and the care and compassion they show to our patients is phenomenal. The Avon grant supports our efforts, and I look forward to continuing the mission in 2012,” Caron said.

Since 1993, the Avon Foundation has awarded more than 1,550 grants to community-based breast health programs across the United States. These programs are dedicated to educating underserved women about breast cancer and linking them to early detection screening services.

The Avon Foundation for Women and Breast Cancer Crusade

The Avon Foundation for Women, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and today is the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which observes its 20th anniversary in 2012, has placed Avon at the forefront of the fight against breast cancer; today, Avon is the leading corporate supporter of the cause globally. In the 20 years since the Crusade’s launch, Avon breast cancer programs in 58 countries have donated more than $740 million for research and advancing access to care, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Avon raises funds for the Crusade through the sale of Avon “Pink Ribbon” products, and through events and walks, such as the U.S. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series, which is the Foundation’s largest fund-raising source.

The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program

The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program is administered by Cicatelli Associates Inc. to support community-based, non-profit breast health programs across the country. The Fund’s National Advisory Board selected the Breast Health Program at Gifford Medical Center as one of 120 new grant recipients nationwide in the 2012 cycle of Avon Breast Health Outreach Program grants. These organizations were chosen based on their ability to effectively reach women, particularly minority, low-income, and older women, who are often medically underserved.

For More Information

For more information on breast care at Gifford or to have Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Manns visit your organization, call her at (802) 728-2317. For more information about breast cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or www.cancer.org, or the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER or www.cancer.gov.

To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women, call 1-866-505-AVON or visit www.avonfoundation.org, where you can access free printable Breast Health Resource Guides in English and Spanish. For information or to register or support Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 1-888-540-WALK.

Gifford's Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Manns

Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Manns poses with Gifford Medical Center’s stereotactic breast biopsy equipment, including special comfort padding. Stereotactic breast biopsies are relatively new to Gifford and use image guidance to exactly pinpoint and remove a sample of suspicious tissue to be tested for cancer.