Cancer program part of ongoing efforts to provide local, high-qu - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Cancer program part of ongoing efforts to provide local, high-quality care

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Darryl L. Duncan Darryl L. Duncan
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Darryl L. Duncan, FACHE, is president and CEO of Mon General Hospital.

Mon General Hospital recently received accreditation as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Program by the prestigious American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. This designation, along with the construction of a new radiation therapy center, will complete our efforts to provide a fully comprehensive cancer care program for north-central West Virginia. Mon General underwent an evaluation process in order to receive the three-year designation, which was awarded with a gold-level commendation. 

Accreditation awards are based on compliance with the 36 standards, and an award indicates those health care centers that have "established performance measures for the provision of high-quality cancer care." 

For our patients and our region, the quality standards established by the CoC for cancer programs ensure:

 

  • comprehensive care including a complete range of state-of-the-art services and equipment;
  • a multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best available treatment options;
  • information about ongoing cancer clinical trials and new treatment options;
  • access to prevention and early detection programs, cancer education and support services;
  • a cancer registry that offers lifelong patient follow-up;
  • ongoing monitoring and improvements in cancer care; and
  • quality care … close to home.

 

The designation is part of our hospital's soon-to-be-complete efforts to provide a fully comprehensive cancer care program. This will be realized once the state Health Care Authority approves our plans to build a new $7 million radiation oncology treatment center on our Hospital campus.  

Our new center, which will be funded entirely from contributions to the hospital's Foundation, will provide the final component in our comprehensive cancer care program at the hospital. It also will create a convenient, central location for our cancer therapies. 

John Azar, M.D., medical director of Mon General Hospital's Zelda Stein Weiss Cancer Center, said it best recently: "There is a need for this treatment option at Mon General, and our patients — and their families — deserve this coordinated, convenient care under one roof."

The American Cancer Society and the Institute of Medicine have both just recently issued reports that describe the largest flaw in the way our country, and particularly our state, provides cancer care as the disjointed fashion in which the care is delivered. Patients are navigating multiple doctor visits, scheduling surgery, receiving infusion therapies, diagnostic tests and radiation therapy at multiple facilities and are left to decide on their own if they are receiving the latest recommended therapy for their disease. Our plan, which is fully paid for through donations and is designed to accommodate the patients we already serve at Mon General, will go a long way to resolve these important issues for patients.

This Comprehensive Community Cancer Program, or CCCP, accreditation affirms that our staff is providing convenient, quality, patient-centered cancer treatment for this region, and we pledge to continue efforts to provide local, high-quality cancer treatment options for our patients and for our community. We have a fully funded project that will not require any borrowing or increased cost to the patients we serve. We have established there is an unmet need in the region based on the Health Care Authority's need methodology. Moreover, now we can demonstrate we meet the requirements for the Comprehensive Community Cancer Center designation.

Improving cancer treatment and care and providing additional options for West Virginians are important, since each year more than 2,000 Mountain State residents go out of state for such life-saving care. Mon General is proud to be enhancing cancer treatment and providing this care to West Virginians so they can stay close to their families and to their homes.

Mon General Hospital is extremely pleased to have achieved this accreditation and now to be recognized as among the nation's leading, high-quality community cancer programs. We also look forward to approval from the Health Care Authority of our new radiation therapy center.