Newsroom

Date: 6/22/2011

Breast Cancer program gains Accreditation from National Agencies

Community Hospital’s Breast Cancer program has received a three-year, full accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program of the American College of Surgeons.

Women looking for the highest quality breast cancer care - from diagnosis through recovery - will find it at Community Hospital in Munster. The hospital’s comprehensive breast cancer program and Community Healthcare System’s department of Pathology have earned distinctions that attest to the excellence of care provided to patients.

Community Hospital’s Breast Cancer program has received a three-year, full accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program of the American College of Surgeons. NAPBC accreditation is given only to those breast care centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest quality care in breast disease diagnosis and treatment, and that have undergone rigorous evaluation and review of their program standards.

In addition to the Breast Center accreditation, Brenda Eriksen, M.D., medical director of Community Healthcare System’s department of Pathology has achieved CAP (College of American Pathologists) accreditation for breast tissue processing and interpretation. Community Healthcare System’s Pathology department is the only department in the state of Indiana to earn this level of distinction that goes above and beyond the CAP accreditation already achieved by the system’s Central Laboratory.

“Accreditation by national agencies of this caliber tells our patients that they can expect a higher quality of care from our healthcare professionals,” said Don Fesko, CEO and Administrator of Community Hospital. “Our patients gain peace of mind knowing we’ve met the most stringent standards for quality in personnel, facilities, and technology.”

The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers is a consortium of national, professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and the monitoring of outcomes for patients with diseases of the breast. This mission is pursued through standard-setting, scientific validation and patient and professional education. Its board membership includes professionals from 15 organizations that reflect the full spectrum of breast care.

NAPBC-accredited breast centers, including Community Hospital in Munster, offer a complete range of state-of-the-art services; a multidisciplinary team approach to coordinating 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; and ongoing monitoring and improvements in cancer care.

Supporting this exemplary breast cancer care at Community Hospital are:
*Surgeons who are members of the American Society of Breast Surgeons
*CAP “Breast Predictive Factors Testing” accreditation of the Pathology department
*Radiation oncologists who participate in PAAROT (Performance Assessment for the Advancement of Radiation Oncology Treatment)
*A High Risk Clinic — currently the only such clinic in Northwest Indiana
*A Lymphedema Clinic, with certified lymphedema therapists

“Breast cancer is at the top of the list of a woman’s worst fears,” said Mary Nicholson, M.D., fellowship-trained, dedicated breast radiologist at Community Hospital and regional director of breast imaging services for Community Healthcare System. “We’re working to help women believe the truth that early breast cancers can be treated successfully.”

Earlier this year, HealthGrades® named Community Hospital among the top five percent in the nation for women’s health. This marks the third consecutive year Community Hospital has been named as one of the top-performing hospitals for quality outcomes with female patients.

For more information about women’s care at Community Hospital, visit online at www.comhs.org/community/services.asp.