MMC Cancer Program Earns National Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer

Aug 11th, 2014


Las Cruces (August 6, 2014)--The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation to Memorial Medical Center and the Memorial Medical Center Cancer  Program(MMC Cancer Program).  To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-Memorial Medical Centercentered care.  Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation is only awarded to a facility that exceeds standard requirements at the time of its triennial survey.  

Because it is a CoC-accredited center, MMC Cancer Program takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases. MMC’s approach to treatment requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists.  This multidisciplinary partnership results in improved patient care.  

John Harris, CEO of Memorial Medical Center (MMC), stated “Achieving a three-year CoC accreditation is a major milestone for the partnership of UNM Cancer Care and MMC. We are particularly grateful for the outstanding efforts by our physicians, Dr. William Adler, Dr. Cherie Hayostek and Program Director Lynn Arnold, RN, who led the Cancer Program at MMC to this achievement. I am extremely proud of our affiliation with UNM, one of the top cancer care programs in the United States. Through this affiliation, Southern New Mexico patients are receiving outstanding cancer care in their own backyard.”

The CoC accreditation provides the framework for MMC Cancer Program to improve its quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long followup for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care.  When patients receive care at MMC Cancer Program, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling, and patient centered services including psycho-social support, a patient navigation process, and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.   
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, Memorial Medical Center and MMC Cancer Program maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society (ACS).  This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world.  Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed through the NCDB and used to explore trends in cancer care.  CoC-accredited cancer centers, in turn, have access to information derived from this type of data analysis, which is used to create national, regional, and state benchmark reports. These reports help CoC facilities with their quality improvement efforts.   

The American Cancer Society reported that more than 1.6 million cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2013.  There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing 30 percent of all hospitals.  Memorial Medical Center and MMC Cancer Program is the only program in the southern part of New Mexico with this accreditation. CoC-accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients.  When cancer patients choose to seek care locally at a CoC-accredited cancer center, they are gaining access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care close to home.