Commission on Cancer Accreditation

West Suburban Medical Center is Commission on Cancer (CoC) accredited by the the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). Explore each year in review, quality highlights and recent improvements below.

 

Our Successful Cancer Crusade
Cancer never stops, and neither does West Suburban Medical Center in our fight to prevent, detect, treat and learn more about this devastating disease.

Accolades and Distinguished Recognition
West Suburban Medical Center is honored to have achieved accreditation by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

Accreditation by the CoC a quality program of the American College of Surgeons, demonstrates a cancer program’s commitment to providing high-quality, multidisciplinary, patient-centered cancer care.

The NAPBC designation means patients can be assured that they are at a center that is being held to the highest standards of care.

The River Forest Medical Campus houses a Breast Center of Excellence which offers comprehensive breast care treatment focused around patient-centered care. A multi-disciplinary team reviews each individual patient case prior to the initiation of treatment.

Clinical Research Onsite and Through Alliances
As part of our multi-disciplinary team, West Suburban Medical Center has a robust research program. All of our patients are continuously screened for eligibility for clinical trials and network with our surrounding hospitals. As of December 1, 2019, West Suburban/River Forest has screened 385 patients for participation in our clinical trials alone.

Currently, the cancer center has seven active accruing trials (one bladder, four breast, one colon and one lung) with seven additional trials in our pipeline ready to be reviewed and opened for participation in 2020.

We currently have nine patients on active treatment and 42 patients in follow-up care.

A Link to a Cure
Research is critical to present and future advancements. Patients participating in clinical trials tend to receive high-quality cancer care, while contributing to researchers’ understanding of cancer and the development of new treatments, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

“Clinical trials offer individual cancer patients access to novel ther­a­pies that may improve outcomes, prolong sur­vival, and enhance qual­ity of life. It is a long­stand­ing and firmly held belief in oncol­ogy that the option to par­tic­i­pate in a clin­i­cal trial is a key com­po­nent of high-quality can­cer care and should be a read­ily acces­si­ble option for any can­cer patient,” says acting Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Administrator Mar­i­lyn Taven­ner, RN, BSN, MHA.

Cancer clinical trials are wholly essential for the identification of new and more effective treatment therapies. Clinical trials also play a significant role in improving disease prevention, detection, treatment, and rehabilitation. Most therapies used currently were previously validated through the clinical trials process.

It is important to note that delays in clinical trial completion are not unusual and occur quite frequently. This is usually attributed to low rates of participant accrual and low completion of all clinical trial requirements.

Learn more about the cancer research and clinical trials at West Suburban Medical Center by visiting: Cancer Research Program.

The Human Touch
The nurse navigators at the River Forest Medical Center Breast and Cancer Centers are central to a patient’s care, commitment and improved mental and physical health. The nurse navigators provide patients with continuous support and resources, in all shapes and forms – from the time of the biopsy thru survivorship. The close bonds that are formed are directly linked to better compliance and positive outcomes.

Patient care does not stop with treatment. The nurse survivorship care coordinator has provided 51 percent of all our breast cancer survivors with survivorship care plans, creating a reliable road map for the start of their new journey to come. The care plans allow patient access to the YMCA Livestrong program, Free Yoga for cancer survivors, wellness house, dietician, social workers, and many other necessary support services.

Cancer Survivor Day
West Suburban Medical Center proudly hosts a beloved annual Cancer Survivor Day to celebrate the patient and medical team’s many triumphs over cancer. This year, on Friday, June 7, more than 75 patients, family members and care team colleagues were treated to a complimentary dinner hosted by the hospital and held at popular upscale restaurant, Maya Del Sol.

Integral to the celebration were speaking presentations by medical staff. All patients and guests were invited to share testimonials and affirmations to help inspire attendees to see how much has been accomplished together, as a team and individually. The event grows in number each year, and reservations are always increased to accommodate everyone’s participation. Laughter, tears, joys and sorrows are told to an audience who truly understands and appreciates the significance of what this day means.

Professional Partnerships
Our breast center has long been a partner with A Silver Lining Foundation to provide underinsured patients the opportunity to receive quality screenings to foster early detection and prevention. We are proud that we have screened more than 100 underserved patients and detected four cancers this year alone. Thanks to our highly concentrated outreach efforts this year, we quadrupled the number of patients we screened in October, 2019, over the previous year. More than 35 patients were underserved, and their screenings funded by A Silver Lining Foundation.

Community Partnerships
The River Forest campus program was selected by the highly regarded free trade merchant, Ten Thousand Villages, for a special customer promotion during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October 2019. Store customers were given the opportunity, for five dollars, to purchase a scented, handmade soap or a smooth stone imprinted with a word of inspiration. More than 110 scented soaps and pebbles were purchased by patrons, and gifted to our patients. Local media covered the powerful story of a community coming to the aid to rally our most vulnerable.

Ten Thousand Villages was so impressed by our center, that they conducted a second fundraiser to raise money to support cancer research.

Community Health & Wellness Fair
Each year, in March, the Oak Park-River Forest business community comes together to offer a free health fair for area residents. Held at the upscale Formula Fitness Center (FFC) in Oak Park, West Suburban Medical Center identified the breast center to participate and represent the hospital. Breast Center colleagues staffed a large table and offered a plethora of information, medical facts and statistics, resources and education to the more than 500 attendees. Particularly popular and impactful were the actual silicone breast reproductions that offered a hand’s on opportunity to feel different lumps and bumps to identify what is a “good” bump and what is one that needs to be medically examined at a physician office. The staff smartly recruited men, as well as women, to become educated in breast examination and it was appreciated by many couples.

Breast Cancer Walk
The Chicago, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, walk on Sunday, October 6th- included a robust team from the River Forest Medical Campus who raised almost $2,000 in support of the cause. The runners and walkers donated their personal time and money to participate and brought family members and friends of all ages to represent the hospital at this high profile event.

Colleague Screening Reinforcement and Education
The center is not just here for patients but also our own health staff. To help facilitate screening during October, employees were given access to a direct phone line to the center to make a screening appointment convenient to their schedule. By “staying local,” appropriate staff were able to take advantage of the convenience of the facilities. A special evening was dedicated to participants and included educational discussions led by Breast Program Director Rabia Bhatti, MD, and indulgences such as massages, aromatherapy, meditation, gentle exercise and hearty refreshments. As a special bonus, women were given complimentary DEXA screenings and educated about the importance of bone health.

Medical Staff Education
Grand Rounds are held every Wednesday at lunch in the hospital auditorium and offer a talk by a leading medical expert, and hospital-funded complimentary lunch, for all physicians and medical staff. Continuing Medical Education credits are awarded.

Our oncology/hematology physician, Isoken Koko, MD, discussed “Testing in the Age of Immunotherapy” during a Ground Round this year. She spoke about the importance of the American Joint Committee on Cancer staging, prognostic factors, genomic studies, options for immunotherapy and National Comprehensive Cancer Network guideline treatments.

Community Colon Cancer Initiative
A concerted effort to increase awareness of colon cancer and the importance of early detection and prevention tactics was undertaken by the cancer center. Nina Yedavalli, MD, hematology and oncology specialist, led “What you should know about colorectal cancer prevention and education” on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. A dozen community members participated in this program.

Our ethnically diverse community is united in that cancer remains as one of the top health concerns among Latinas, Latinos, African-Americans, Caucasians, Asians and more. The recent community needs assessment conducted by the cancer center indicates that cancer overall is the third greatest health concern, with 70 percent of those responding indicating that they or a family member has experienced cancer.

The program was developed by the American Cancer Society and included the most current research on good nutrition as a means of fighting cancers. A summary of the effectiveness of patient education and planned activity, pre- and post- tests, was administered. The responses to the affective questions indicated that the majority of participants (92 percent) felt the program was of great importance to them. Only 55 percent of the participants indicated that they felt knowledgeable about cancer prior to the presentation. After the presentation, 89 percent of the respondents indicated that they had increased their knowledge of the topic.

From the pre-test to the post-test, a greater percentage of the respondents also indicated that they would proactively discuss cancer risk factors with their primary care physician (55 percent before and 89 percent after the presentation).

For most of the cognitive questions, the attendees learned important information and increased their overall score from a 28 percent pre-test to the average score of 42 percent post-program. The important take-aways were the importance of participation in regular screenings, participating in various types of screenings, and the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Pet Therapy and also the Lymphedema Program

Meghan Bisping, PT, DPT, director, rehabilitation services, is pioneering several hospital wide programs involving cancer treatment and recovery.

Meghan and her department implemented this year, a popular animal assisted therapy intervention, with the help of a specially trained black Labrador at the outpatient Cancer and Breast Program at River Forest and the main hospital West Suburban Medical Center subacute rehab unit.

Lymphedema can often be prevented or avoided for many years after an operation or radiotherapy. The primary risk for lymphedema development is the first (3) three years following surgery and radiation therapy. The best treatment option to ensure maximal quality of life is through early identification, referral, education, and treatment. We have the opportunity to get all patients post sentinel lymph node biopsy, axillary radiation, and axillary dissection to therapy services when medically appropriate. This is achieved through the participation in a multi-disciplinary breast conference that fosters conversations between the referring physicians and the therapy clinicians.

All patients meeting this criterion are scheduled for a comprehensive initial evaluation with physical therapy that emphasizes education on lifestyle modifications, prevention strategies, and general upper extremity care through education handouts and the prescription of a home exercise program.

During this initial evaluation, the clinician additionally determines whether the patient would benefit from continued physical therapy services to address shoulder or upper extremity musculoskeletal dysfunction, referral for management of lymphedema through manual drainage techniques, or referral to occupational therapy services to address ADL (activities of daily living) dysfunction.

The hospital has partnered with a company specializing in custom lymphedema garments and other modalities such as pneumatic compression pumps. Specialists are available to come onsite to discuss continued lymphedema management options beyond their established therapy plan of care with each patient individually. While our patients may need to change their way of life may to prevent excessive stress to their involved limb, we are here to educate and guide them to the best quality of life.

Contact information for the Rehabilitation Director is provided to all patients with emphasis on the need to reach out immediately for return to therapy services when patients present with the following symptoms: increased size in the affected extremity, feelings of heat or bursting or aching sensation in the affected extremity, red patches or pitting on the affected extremity, in addition to swelling on the opposite side or throughout the body.

Our goal is that by identifying these early exacerbation signs and symptoms and open communication, we can re-establish a comprehensive therapy plan of care to prevent progression or loss of function.

West Suburban Medical Center has achieved accreditation by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the National Accredited Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

Accreditation by the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons, demonstrates a cancer program’s commitment to providing high-quality, multidisciplinary, patient-centered cancer care.

The River Forest Medical Campus houses a Breast Center of Excellence which offers comprehensive breast care treatment focused around patient-centered care.  A multi-disciplinary team reviews each individual patient case prior to the initiation of treatment.

At the River Forest Breast Center we don’t just diagnose breast cancer but actively work on the prevention of breast cancer.  This is done by performing a risk assessment for breast cancer for every patient who comes for a mammogram.  Patients fill out a basic questionnaire and the information will be transferred into the Tyrer-Cuzick web-based risk assessment tool, providing the Radiologist with a percentage of lifetime breast cancer risk.  The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines and the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends an annual screening breast MRI to be considered in patients with a lifetime breast cancer risk of 20-25%.  It is also recommended that if patients have a lifetime risk over 12% a referral is made to medical oncology for chemoprevention.  In 2018, the breast centers received two new state of the art Breast Ultrasound machines and are now offering whole breast screening ultrasounds for dense breasts.  It is the obligation of all healthcare professionals who have access to patient records or communication to hold that information in confidence.

How a patient looks and feels after mastectomy is an important element of our breast program.   The River Forest Breast Care Program has active participation from Plastic Surgeons.  Breast reconstruction is offered to every mastectomy patient and patients have expressed satisfaction with the cosmetic outcome.  A quality standard that our program continues to excel in is Breast Conservation Rate (Patients only needing minimal surgery verses a mastectomy).  The benchmark set by NAPBC is 50% and for 2018 we exceeded that goal having a 79% breast conservation rate!  This excellent percentage we continue to attribute to our dedicated Breast care team!

Our cancer program on annual basis evaluates performance based on nationally recognized metrics.  Aggregate data from the Commission on Cancer National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) provides comparison data. The last available data is for the 2016 calendar year and the target rate established by the CoC is to be at 90% or better.

Female Breast Cancer Accountability Metric: patients that had a mastectomy with regional lymph nodes (4 or more) involved require radiation therapy within one years’ time.   We were compliant and our rates were at 100%.

Female Breast Cancer Accountability Metric:  Tamoxifen or third generation aromatase inhibitor is administered within one years’ time for positive hormone receptor with an early stage diagnosis. We were compliant and slightly exceeded the 90% target.

RESEARCH DATA
Cancer clinical trials are essential for the identification of new, more effective therapies and play a significant role in improving disease prevention, detection, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Clinical trial participants have access to novel therapies that may improve their outcome and quality of life.  Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stated “it is a long¬standing and firmly held belief in oncology that the option to participate in a clinical trial is a key component of high-quality cancer care and should be a readily accessible option for any cancer patient.”

Did you know that nationally, only 3% of patients with cancer participate in clinical trials?  In 2018, 17% of the River Forest Cancer Center’s patients enrolled on a clinical trial.  RFCC works closely with their oncology cooperative group partners, pharmaceutical companies and the surrounding academic centers to provide many clinical trial options.

Learn more about the cancer research and clinical trials at West Suburban Medical Center by visiting: Cancer Research Program.

COMMUNITY CANCER AWARENESS PROGRAMS

Prevention Programs
West Suburban Medical Center and the River Forest Medical Campus provide health education, nutrition and fitness class to assist individuals in leading a healthier life and thus reduce the risk for cancer.  Some of the programs held have been: “Eat Right, Be Healthy,” “Making Healthier Choices when Life gets Stressful,” and “Foods that Fight Cancer.”   The fitness classes include: Building Balance with Paul, Community Yoga, Beginner’s Yoga and Yoga for Cancer Survivors.  All of these programs are free of charge to participants.  All require registration for each event.  If you have any questions, need assistance, or don’t see a class/topic you are looking for, please call us at 888-888-2872Please click here to find out about and register for our free cancer prevention and education seminars.

The Cancer Committee here at WSMC and River Forest Medical Campus became accredited by the NAPBC (National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers) in January 2017. A quality standard that our Breast Program excels at is in the Breast conservation rate. Our Breast Conservation rate (patients only needing minimal surgery verses a mastectomy) for 2017 was at a rate of 74%! The Commission on Cancer benchmark to meet is 50%. We attribute this excellent percentage to early detection with our dedicated Breast care team. In March 2017, the Breast Care Center implemented a high-risk assessment program to ensure all patients that are at an increased risk for developing breast cancer are identified and the appropriate testing and prevention methods are recommended.

Survivorship Care has become an essential part of accreditation for the COC and NAPBC and we believe every patient should receive a comprehensive treatment summary and follow up plan after their treatment is complete. In order to provide care plans to our patients, in May 2017 we hired a Nurse Navigator whose sole focus is to partner with our survivors and establish a follow-up care plan to improve their health and quality of life.

With Lung cancer being the 2nd most prevalent cancer in men and women, West Suburban Medical Center’s River Forest Medical Campus is now part of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Lung Screening Registry and in December 2017 became accredited by ACR, the gold standard in medical imaging, as a designated center for Lung Cancer Screenings. Specific elements must be met in order to qualify for this screening and letters were sent to physicians to inform them of the measurements and that our facility can now accept insurance rather than self-pay. Please Call the River Forest Imaging Center today at 708-488-2300 to see if this preventative screening could save you or someone you know.

Please click here to find out about and register for our free cancer prevention and education seminars.

This past summer, WSMC acquired use of a Trident Specimen Radiograph System. The Trident system revolutionizes breast tissue imaging resulting in sharp, high quality images right at the point of care, and reduces the patient’s procedure times. It provides accurate findings to ensure all tumors are taken out at the time of surgery.

With Lung cancer being the 2nd most prevalent cancer in men and women, WSMC and the River Forest Centers offer a low price of $85 for a Low Dose CT Chest Screening. Specific elements must be met in order to qualify for this screening. Please Call the River Forest Imaging Center today at 708-488-2300 to see if this preventative screening could save you or someone you know.

The Cancer Committee here at WSMC and River Forest Medical Campus are working diligently to become NAPBC (National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers) accredited. The NAPBC survey is scheduled for January 2017.  One standard that our Breast Program excels in is the Breast conservation rate.  Our Breast Conservation rate (patients only needing minimal surgery verses a mastectomy) for 2016 was at a rate of 76.4%!  The Commission on Cancer benchmark to meet is 50%. We attribute this excellent percentage to early detection with our dedicated Breast care team.

Please click here to find out about and register for our free cancer prevention and education seminars.

In September, 2015, West Suburban Medical Center was once again Accredited by Commission on Cancer, a program of the American College of Surgeons, which recognizes cancer care programs for their commitment to providing comprehensive, high-quality and multi-disciplinary patient-centered care. This accreditation is awarded on a three-year basis for maintaining over 30 cancer care quality standards.

The paradigm (or model) of cancer care is measured by The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).

Additionally, West Suburban Medical Center has a current Breast Conservation Rate of 68.8 percent, which is nearly 19 percent better than the national benchmark of 50 percent.  This means that at West Suburban, we detected and treated a large group of low-stage breast cancer patients who did not need a mastectomy.  We are grateful to our dedicated staff and community volunteers for their enthusiasm, talent and time they devote to West Suburban’s breast-cancer prevention, early detection and education efforts, such as “Manicures & Mammograms” and “Breast-Cancer  101”.

West Suburban Medical Center happily welcomed gynecologic oncology surgeon Summer Dewdney, MD, who joined our medical staff in the summer of 2015. Dr. Dewdney received her medical degree from University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. She completed her Residency Program in Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Chicago Medical Center. Dr. Dewdney was fellowship- trained in Gynecologic Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Her research interests are robotic/minimally invasive surgery, endometrial and ovarian cancer as well as outcomes data.

West Suburban Medical Center began testing our patients using the Lymphedema Index (L-DEX®) to measure and prevent lymphedema.

We have purchased and installed a state-of-the-art Siemens 64-slice CT scanner, which offers the following benefits to our patients: greatly improved image quality and level of detail for more precise detection, diagnosis and treatment, significantly reduced scan time, which means lower radiation level.

Please click here to find out about and register for our free cancer prevention and education seminars.