MedStar Health Baltimore Cancer Program Honored for Exceeding Standards

BALTIMORE—(July 11, 2018)—MedStar Health’s four Baltimore area hospitals have been granted a three-year accreditation with commendation – indicating it exceeded the standard requirements – for their regional cancer program by The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons.

To earn the CoC accreditation, the MedStar Health Cancer Network must meet or exceed the organization’s quality care standards and maintain excellence in patient-centered care. The cancer program is reevaluated every three years.

The MedStar Health Cancer Network exceeded standard requirements in six areas: clinical research accrual, cancer registry education, public reporting of outcomes, oncology nursing care, accuracy of data, and Rapid Quality Reporting System. The Rapid Quality Reporting System is a reporting and quality improvement tool from CoC that helps hospitals track their quality of cancer care. The program is at four Baltimore-area hospitals: MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital and MedStar Harbor Hospital.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-2496
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569 
[email protected]

MedStar Health Cancer Network Adopts Advanced Breast Cancer Technology

Dr. Maen Farha First in State to Use Savi SCOUT to Locate and Remove Breast Lumps

BALTIMORE—(August 15, 2017)Dr. Maen Farha, director of the MedStar Union Memorial and MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital breast centers, is the first and only physician in the state to offer patients electromagnetic wave technology to locate and remove breast lumps that are not detectable by touch. The medical device, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, uses real time guidance to deliver a reflector directly into the breast lump, giving a precise target that will be removed with the lump during surgery, up to 30 days later.

The standard treatment, known as wire localization and developed over three decades ago, requires a radiologist to insert a wire through the breast to the tumor, to guide the surgeon to the target tissue. But with the wire extending out of the breast skin until the biopsy or surgery, the procedure can be uncomfortable and plagued by scheduling challenges, making the patient experience less than optimal.

“The new technology uses radar to triangulate the reflector already placed in the breast tumor,” said Dr. Farha. “Patients can have the reflector inserted anytime within a week before the surgery, so the convenience factor alone is an advancement that we are pleased to be able to offer. More importantly is the level of precision afforded by this technology gives us an increased probability of removing all the cancer.”

During the lumpectomy procedure, Dr. Farha scans the breast with a hand held device that employs an infrared light and a micro-impulse signal to detect the location of the reflector. Real-time, audible and visual indicators then assist him to accurately locate the reflector, along with the target tissue, and surgically remove them.  The precision tracking also results in better cosmetic outcomes.

Click here to learn more about the MedStar Health Cancer Network and how they turn breast cancer patients into breast cancer survivors.

About the MedStar Health Cancer Network

The MedStar Health Cancer Network, comprised of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor, and MedStar Union Memorial hospitals, represents a true collaboration in oncology care. Our dedicated team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, oncology nurses, and cancer support staff collaborate to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of cancer patients and their families throughout the greater Baltimore region. Our goal is to provide evidenced-based, quality care with a focus on service and easy access.

Why Choose Us

The Cancer Network has recently been granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). The Cancer Network is committed to delivering the highest standards of care—this national endorsement further validates the quality of care its experts provide to cancer patients in the Baltimore community.

Types of Cancer Treated 

Our oncology experts provide all the cancer treatments you expect, plus some you might not. Treatments are always supported or driven by the latest research, including such sophisticated offerings as CyberKnife radiation, leading clinical trials, targeted therapies, and minimally invasive surgery—endoscopic, laparoscopic, or robotic-assisted. Our physicians, including a dedicated orthopaedic & urologic oncology teams, are specially trained to treat complex cancers. Our seamless oncology care is backed by electronic medical records and top support services like genetic counseling and cancer rehab.

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]

MedStar Health Cancer Network to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Baltimore—(April 25, 2016)—The MedStar Health Cancer Network has joined forces with the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable by pledging to support the “80% by 2018” initiative – a nationwide goal to increase colorectal cancer screening rates to 80% in the next two years.

The Cancer Network, comprised of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals, joins the shared commitment to raise the bar on the percentage of adults aged 50 and older who get regular colorectal screenings from 65% in 2010 to 80% in 2018. By achieving an 80% screening rate for colorectal cancer by 2018, research shows that 277,000 cases of colorectal cancer and 203,000 colorectal cancer deaths would be prevented by 2030.

“In our ongoing commitment to keep our community healthy, the Cancer Network is proud to take this pledge and unite with organizations nationwide in the fight to prevent and eliminate colorectal cancer,” said Albert J. Aboulafia, MD, Medical Director, MedStar Health Cancer Network. “Colorectal cancer is highly preventable and treatable, but you have to catch it early. By raising awareness of the importance of early detection and working together to increase screening rates, the “80% by 2018” initiative will help save thousands of lives.”  

Colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. by men and women combined; however it is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented. Both highly detectable and treatable, colorectal cancer can be prevented through screening. Through screening, doctors are able to find and remove hidden growths (called “polyps”) in the colon, before they become cancerous.

The goal is shared by health care providers, health systems, communities, businesses, community health centers, government, non-profit organizations and patient advocacy groups, among others, who are committed to getting more people screened for colorectal cancer to prevent more cancers and save lives.

Click here for more information about the “80% by 2018” initiative. To learn more about colorectal cancer care at MedStar Health, click here

About the MedStar Health Cancer Network

Comprised of four MedStar Health hospitals, the MedStar Health Cancer Network represents a true collaboration in cancer care. Our dedicated team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, oncology nurses and cancer support staff collaborate to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of cancer patients and their families throughout the greater Baltimore region. Our goal is to provide evidenced-based quality, care with a focus on service and easy access.

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Phone: 410-274-1260
Email: [email protected]

MedStar Health Baltimore Cancer Network Recognized Nationally for Commitment to Cancer Care, Receives 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award from American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer

 

Baltimore—(August 11, 2015)—The MedStar Health Baltimore Cancer Network has been awarded the 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). As one of only 20 programs in the nation and one of two in Maryland to receive the award, the Cancer Network joins an elite group to be endorsed nationally for achieving excellence and delivering the highest standards of cancer care.

 “This national recognition further validates the Cancer Network’s commitment to not just meeting national standards, but exceeding them,” said Phyllis Gray, vice president of Oncology for the MedStar Health Cancer Network.“It is through the collaboration and dedication of our entire team—surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, oncology nurses and cancer support staff —that our program strives to raise the bar to deliver our cancer patients with the very best care and outcomes.”

 The Cancer Network, comprised of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals, was evaluated on 34 program standards categorized within one of four cancer program activity areas: cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services and quality improvement. The Cancer Network was further evaluated on seven commendation standards. To be eligible, all award recipients must have received commendation ratings in all seven commendation standards, in addition to receiving a compliance rating for each of the 27 other standards. 

 The Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award is designed to recognize cancer programs that strive for excellence in demonstrating compliance with the CoC standards and are committed to ensuring high quality cancer care. The award raises awareness on the importance of providing quality cancer care at health care institutions throughout the country. In addition, the award is intended to:

  • Motivate other cancer programs to work toward improving their level of care
  • Facilitate dialogue between award recipients and healthcare professionals at other cancer facilities for the purpose of sharing best practices
  • Encourage honorees to serve as quality-care resources to other cancer programs
  • Educate cancer patients on available quality-care options

Click here to learn more about the Award. To learn more about the Cancer Network, click here.

 About the MedStar Health Cancer Network

Comprised of four MedStar Health hospitals, the MedStar Health Cancer Network represents a true collaboration in cancer care. Our dedicated team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, oncology nurses and cancer support staff collaborate to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of cancer patients and their families throughout the greater Baltimore region. Our goal is to provide evidenced based quality, care with a focus on service and easy access.

 About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

 About the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer

Established in 1922 by the ACS, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care.  The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program.  The CoC’s accreditation program encourages hospitals, treatment centers, and other facilities to improve their quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs.  For more information on the CoC, visit: www.facs.org/cancer/index.html

 

Media Contact

Megan Lutz
410-554-2781
[email protected]

 

MedStar’s Baltimore Region Cancer Network Earns National Accreditation with Commendation by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons

Baltimore—(June 2, 2015)—MedStar's Baltimore Region Cancer Network has been granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). The Cancer Network, comprised of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals, is committed to delivering the highest standards of care—this national endorsement further validates the quality of care its experts provide to cancer patients in the Baltimore community.

“MedStar Health Cancer Network recognizes the importance of our multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer,” said Phyllis Gray, vice president of Oncology for the MedStar Health Cancer Network. “We are proud of our commitment to providing the best possible care and outcome. This achievement speaks to the quality of our program and the opportunity to impact lives because of the team focus on a complex group of diseases. Cancer treatment relies on consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists.”

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-centered care. Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation is only awarded to a facility that exceeds standard requirements at the time of its triennial survey. 

The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for the four Baltimore MedStar Hospitals to improve the 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 follow-up for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care.  When patients receive care at a CoC facility, 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.

To learn more about the Cancer Network, click here.

About the MedStar Health Cancer Network

Comprised of four MedStar Health hospitals, the MedStar Health Cancer Network represents a true collaboration in cancer care. Our dedicated team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, oncology nurses and cancer support staff collaborate to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of cancer patients and their families throughout the greater Baltimore region. Our goal is to provide evidenced based quality, care with a focus on service and easy access.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

About The Commission on Cancer (CoC)
Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes 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.  For more information, visit: www.facs.org/cancer

Media Contact: Debra Schindler
Phone: 410-274-1260
[email protected]



The Breast Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital Earns National Accreditation

BALTIMORE—(April 1, 2015) —The Breast Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital has received a three-year/full accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), an endorsement demonstrating the hospital’s commitment to delivering the highest standards of care. From routine mammography screenings to the detection and treatment of breast cancer, the accreditation, administered by the American College of Surgeons, further validates that MedStar Union Memorial provides exceptional breast health services.

To receive accreditation, MedStar Union Memorial voluntarily underwent rigorous evaluation and review of its performance and compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for treating women who are diagnosed with the full spectrum of breast disease. The standards include proficiency in the areas of: center leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education and quality improvement. To maintain accreditation, centers must monitor ongoing compliance on an annual basis and undergo an onsite review every three years.

Receiving care at a NAPBC-accredited center ensures that a patient will have access to:

  • Comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services
  • A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options
  • Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options
  • Quality breast care close to home

 "This accreditation is a testament to the high level of care we provide to our breast cancer patients,” said Maen Farha, MD, FACS, medical director of the Breast Center at MedStar Union Memorial. “From early diagnosis to cutting-edge treatment and the latest clinical trials, we are proud to offer our patients the strength and depth of a nationally recognized program designed to best meet their individualized needs.”

As one of few sites in the region and the country to participate in vaccine trials for breast cancer, the Breast Center at MedStar Union Memorial features advanced technology and cutting-edge treatment options. The Center offers a full array of services to support breast health including breast surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, clinical trials, genetic counseling, and a wide range of support services — all in one convenient location. 

In addition, the Center is part of the MedStar Health Cancer Network, an alliance comprised of the expertise and resources of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, as well as MedStar Union Memorial. As part of the Network, patients at the Breast Center at MedStar Union Memorial have access to comprehensive cancer care throughout the greater Baltimore region.

Click here to learn more about the Breast Center at MedStar Union Memorial.

Media Contact:

Megan Lutz
410-554-2781
[email protected]

MedStar Health Offers Free Screening to Protect Baltimore City Residents against Colorectal Cancer

In partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department, MedStar Health has been named the exclusive  subcontractor providing free lifesaving colorectal cancer screening for eligible Baltimore City residents. Helping to reduce colorectal health disparities among high-risk populations, this partnership further enhances MedStar Health’s continued commitment to protecting the community from the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Maryland.

“Early detection is key to the treatment of all types of cancer,” said Linda Wieczynski, RN, BSN, Program Coordinator at MedStar Health. “Regular screening can prevent many cases of colorectal cancer altogether by finding and removing certain types of polyps before they have the chance to turn into cancer.”

The colorectal cancer screening program, which originated at MedStar Health in November 2011, offers free colonoscopies for city residents ages 50 and older who are uninsured or underinsured and have limited income. Screenings are available at MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial hospitals. Since its inception, the MedStar program has provided 620 colonoscopies and 331 biopsies. Based on the provided screenings, the program has detected five cancers and provided evaluation to three persons to rule out colorectal cancer.

 “This increased funding affords us the additional resources needed to recruit eligible members of our community, and help them receive vital preventative tools to protect them against colon cancer,” said Wieczynski.

Through its expanded partnership with the City Health Department, MedStar will receive additional funding to increase screening and outreach in the community. The $648,164 contract, effective through April 2015, will help MedStar hire a full time outreach representative to identify eligible residents for screening, increasing the number of provided colonoscopies from 200 to 320 per year.

To find out if you or a loved one is eligible for free screening, call 410-350-8216. Click here to learn more about colon cancer screening at MedStar Health.

 
About the MedStar Health Cancer Network

Comprised of four MedStar Health hospitals, the MedStar Health Cancer Network represents a true collaboration in cancer care. Our dedicated team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, oncology nurses and cancer support staff collaborate to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of cancer patients and their families throughout the greater Baltimore region. Our goal is to provide evidenced based quality, care with a focus on service and easy access.

 

Media Contact:

Megan Lutz
410-554-2781
[email protected]