Newsroom

Date: 10/3/2012

Radiation Oncology earns Top Distinction in Quality, Safety

Members of Community Hospital’s Radiation Oncology department who are setting the bar and delivering the highest level of care include (front row, left to right) Andrej Zajac, M.D., radiation oncologist and medical director; Jackie Katz, manager; Paula Ashley, aide; Jean Juskiw, operational assistant; Kim Waznonis, R.N.; Santosh Kar, physicist; (middle row, left to right) Al Castro, radiation therapist, Donna Glass, R.N.; Amy Dyrhaug, therapist; Ken Woo, physicist; Jayson Jenkins, aide; Melissa Arrendondo, radiation therapist; Linda Hobbs, receptionist; Xiaofei Song, physicist; (back row) Amy Sullivan, radiation therapist; Jessica Grabowski, dosimetrist; Brian Blonigen, M.D., radiation oncologist; Mirel Palamaru, director of Physics; Stacy Millsap, radiation therapist, Melissa Plasva, nurse practitioner and Neil Seif, M.D., radiation oncologist.

After a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), Community Hospital has been awarded a three-year accreditation for the Radiation Oncology department. With this distinction, cancer patients can be reassured that their treatments meet the highest levels of quality and safety in the nation.

“A diagnosis of cancer can be a life-changing experience for a patient,” said Community Hospital CEO Don Fesko. “When selecting where they will receive treatment, cancer patients need to know that they are receiving the best possible, safest care. We are proud of this achievement which was earned after rigorous evaluation of our healthcare professionals’ qualifications, equipment specifications, and quality assurance and control procedures,” he said.

The ACR-ASTRO seal of accreditation is awarded only to facilities meeting specific Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. They conduct a thorough assessment of patient care and treatment, patient safety, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs. Their findings are reported to the ACR-ASTRO Committee on Radiation Oncology Accreditation, which subsequently provides the hospital with a comprehensive report that can be used to update ongoing best practices.

“The evaluation team worked with us and gave us an opportunity to dot the ‘I’s’ and cross the ‘T’s’ on our documentation and processes,” said Jackie Katz, manager of Radiation Therapy Services at Community Hospital. “We are excited and happy about our accomplishment which represents the hard work and dedication of the 24 healthcare professionals — the doctors, physicists, nurse practitioner, nurses, radiation therapists, practice manager, aides, clerk and operational assistant/scheduler — who give their best to our patients each day.”

Accrediting agency ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services. ASTRO is a professional organization serving more than 10,000 radiation oncologists, medical physicists and other health care professionals involved in the treatment of cancer patients.

For more information about Community Hospital’s Radiation Oncology services,click here. To find a radiation oncologist on staff at Community Hospital in Munster, please call toll-free 1-866-836-3477 or 219-836-3477.