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Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Hackensack University Medical Center: First in Nation to Receive Joint Commission Certification for Quality and First in New Jersey to be Named a Blue Distinction(R) Center for Specialty Care.

HACKENSACK, N.J., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation Program at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is the first in the United States to receive Disease Specific Care Certification for stem cell transplantation from The Joint Commission, the nation's leading accrediting agency for hospitals and healthcare organizations. The Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program also recently became the first and only program in New Jersey to be named a Blue Distinction(R) Center for Specialty Care by the nationwide Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

Both of these designations attest to the high quality of the program's clinical services, the expertise of its faculty and staff, stringent quality indicators that are maintained, research studies that are under way, and a rigorous quest for continuous improvement. The Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation Program is one of the 10 largest in the United States. Nearly 300 adults and children throughout the country with cancer and serious blood disorders come to the John Theurer Cancer Center each year to undergo a life-saving stem cell transplant at the program. Last year, the program reported outcomes success rates of more than 95 percent for the procedure.

"These designations attest to the high level of expertise offered by our Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation Program's chief, Dr. Scott Rowley, by his associate, Dr. Michele Donato, and by the entire transplantation team," says Andrew L. Pecora, M.D., chairman and executive administrative director of the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center.

The Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation Program received Disease Specific Certification after a rigorous on-site, unannounced, day-long evaluation on August 29 that assessed clinical practices, policies and procedures, and performance measurement requirements. Four specific program measures were monitored, including discharge criteria, survival at 100 days, acute graft-versus-host disease documentation, and donor follow-up. The reviewer evaluated the program's adherence to the clinical standards of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy.

The Blue Distinction(R) Center for Specialty Care designation is awarded by the BC/BS companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated experience in delivering quality healthcare. The Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation Program is one of 70 Blue Distinction(R) Centers for Transplants nationwide, but the only one in New Jersey. The designation is based on evidence-based selection criteria established with leading medical specialists and societies, including the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research and the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy. In achieving the Blue Distinction(R) Center designation, the program was evaluated on volume of cases, survival, a stable team of transplantation experts and subspecialists, the facility, data management, patient management plans, post-operative phase, patient education, policies and procedures, quality management, and patient satisfaction review process.

The John Theurer Cancer Center's Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation Program is the only one in New Jersey that is approved by the National Marrow Donor Program to perform all types of transplants: autologous (using the patient's own stem cells), allogeneic (using a donor's stem cells), and umbilical cord (using stem cells collected from umbilical cords). Many of the advances in stem cell transplantation techniques used today were developed here. There are currently more than 50 clinical trials under way at the program.

The John Theurer Cancer Center provides extraordinary cancer care by offering multidisciplinary care, personalized treatment, innovative research, superior outcomes, and patient satisfaction within 14 disease-specific divisions. For more information, call 201-996-5900 or visit

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Scott Rowley, M.D |.

Michele L. Donato, M.D. |

SOURCE John Theurer Cancer Center
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