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AVMC Re-Accredited as a Top Cancer Center

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The cancer program at Antelope Valley Medical Center (AVMC) has earned a three-year re-accreditation as a National Comprehensive Community Cancer Center from the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a multidisciplinary program of the American College of Surgeons. AVMC is the only hospital in the area to receive this accreditation, which was initially granted in 2016.

To earn CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 specific quality care standards, be re-evaluated every three years, and maintain excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered cancer care. The intensive evaluation process to maintain accreditation includes an on-site review by a physician surveyor who assesses AVMC’s compliance with stringent standards pertaining to cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, community outreach and quality improvement.

“Getting accreditation from The Commission on Cancer is a hallmark of a solid cancer program, but keeping the quality consistent takes our oncology program to a new level,” said Waheed Murad, M.D., cancer committee co-chair and an oncologist with City of Hope. “This re-accreditation is a testament to our team of doctors and nurses for exceeding expectations and providing excellent care here in the Antelope Valley.”

AVMC takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer, relying on the expertise and coordination of medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists.

“Our collaboration provides improved patient care and better outcomes,” said Amartej Merla, M.D., cancer committee co-chair and an oncologist with Antelope Valley Cancer Center.

Accreditation is granted only to cancer treatment facilities that deliver quality patient care through a variety of cancer-related programs focusing on prevention, screening, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease and end-of-life care. CoC-accredited programs offer access to information on clinical trials and new treatments; genetic counseling; and such patient-centered services as psycho-social support, a patient navigator, and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.

“The Commission on Cancer re-accreditation for our program speaks to the consistently high quality of care at Antelope Valley Medical Center,” said Patricia Karnstedt, RN, MSN, OCN, cancer program coordinator for the hospital. “This re-accreditation is the next step in elevating our program and validating our commitment to providing outstanding care here at home.”

Antelope Valley Medical Center offers the latest technology in diagnosing and treating cancer, including robotic surgery. The hospital provides staff nurses who are certified by the Oncology Nursing Society in the administration of chemotherapy and specialized care for oncology patients. Its partnerships with the leading medical groups in the Antelope Valley ensure that local residents have access to the best cancer care close to home. Partners include the City of Hope, Antelope Valley Cancer Center, High Desert Medical Group, High Desert Regional Health Center and Kaiser Permanente.