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For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:
Gloria O'Connell, 763-236-3777 

   
   

Mercy & Unity Hospitals' Cancer Program among the nation's best

COON RAPIDS and FRIDLEY, Minn.  02/19/2007--Mercy & Unity Hospitals' Cancer Program is among the top programs nationally, according to the nation's principal accrediting organization. 

Mercy & Unity's Cancer Program has received accreditation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. Only one in four hospitals that treat cancer receives this approval.  In addition, the program is eligible for the Commission's Outstanding Achievement Award.  

"We are proud to be recognized for excellence in cancer care by this distinguished organization," said Rickie Ressler, president of Unity Hospital and interim president of Mercy Hospital. "This achievement recognizes that our cancer patients receive a quality of care that is rarely found outside of university settings."  

Mercy & Unity's Cancer Program has been accredited since 1984 and is resurveyed every three years.  The most recent survey was completed in September.  Hospital officials received official accreditation with commendation notification in January.

Excellence in nine standards for a complete scope of cancer patient care

The accreditation with commendation demonstrates excellence in nine standards designed for a complete scope of cancer patient care. Among those standards, Mercy & Unity's Cancer Program:

  • has a higher level of patient participation in clinical trials (8 percent versus the required 4 percent) – so that more patients have access to cancer research and newest treatment options
  • offers more community education options for cancer prevention and early detection
  • keeps medical records more accurate and up-to-date (100 percent) than the required guidelines
  • employs three certified tumor registrars (only one is required) who receive national training and education
  •  

In addition, the commission recognized recent cancer program improvements, such as the Neighbors Caring for Neighbors program and new message boards on the program's Web site.

The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons

The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons establishes standards to ensure that cancer patients receive care that is multidisciplinary and comprehensive.  For accreditation, the ACoS evaluates a program's patient outcomes, clinical management, data accuracy, quality improvement activities, research, support services and professional education.  

The Cancer Program at Mercy & Unity Hospitals

The Cancer Program at Mercy Hospital & Unity Hospital offers all of the services of comprehensive cancer care including risk assessment and genetics counseling, cancer screening, diagnostic and interventional radiology, and treatment by surgery, radiation therapy and medical oncology. Ongoing care is provided for those in remission, as well as for those living with cancer. Care is given in both outpatient and inpatient settings. As an acknowledgement of this achievement, our cancer program is designated a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the Commission on Cancer.  

Nearly 30,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in Minnesota in 2005, and more than 1,250 of those were patients at Mercy and Unity, according to the American Cancer Society.

Mercy & Unity Hospitals, located in Coon Rapids and Fridley, are non-profit hospitals that serve the northern Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The hospitals, which are part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics.

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