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Montefiore in the News

April 6, 2009

CoC Approval Ensures Patients Have Access to High Quality, Comprehensive Care

NEW YORK CITY, NY (April 6, 2009) -- The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted three-year Approval with Commendation and a prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award to the Cancer Program at Montefiore Medical Center.

Approval by the CoC 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. A facility receives a three-year approval with commendation following the on-site 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). Montefiore is among an elite group of facilities nationwide to receive the CoC's Outstanding Achievement Award, having demonstrated commendation-level compliance in all possible areas.

"A disproportionate number of people in the Bronx are living with cancer and the need for high quality, comprehensive care is extremely important in this community," said Steven M. Safyer, MD, President and CEO, Montefiore Medical Center. "At Montefiore our team of cancer specialists works seamlessly to address the complexities of this disease and its effects on our patients' physical and emotional wellbeing. The Commission on Cancer's accreditation of our program affirms that Bronx residents have access to the best care available anywhere."

Montefiore's cancer program provides a multidisciplinary approach to care and offers patients access to clinical research trials, innovative treatment options and the latest in cancer treatment technology. Specialists in radiation oncology, medical oncology and surgical oncology offer a comprehensive approach to cancer treatment that addresses the unique needs of individual patients. Additional help for patients and those who care for them is provided through a wealth of preventive, educational and support resources at the medical center.

"Montefiore's commitment to quality and state-of-the-art care is evident in the level of oncology expertise that is in place for our patients' benefit," said Richard V. Smith, Vice Chair, Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, and Chairman of Montefiore's Cancer Committee. "The Commission on Cancer's approval with commendation underscores the significance of our team's collaborative approach, which is providing patients with the best possible treatment options."  

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC 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 42 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that more than 1.4 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2009. There are currently more than 1,400 CoC-approved programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing close to 25 percent of all hospitals. These hospitals diagnose and/or treat 80 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. In addition, a national network of more than 1,600 volunteer Cancer Liaison Physicians provides leadership and support for the CoC Approvals Program and other CoC activities at these local facilities.

Receiving care at a CoC-approved cancer program ensures that a patient will have access to:

  • Comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment
  • A multispecialty, team approach to coordinate the best treatment options
  • Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options
  • Access to cancer-related information, education and support
  • A cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up
  • Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care
  • Quality care close to home

For more information about the Commission on Cancer, visit their website at