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Sentara Cancer Network Earns National Accreditation
Date:11/16/2009

NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- As a two-time cancer survivor, Bill Still of Hampton, Virginia has experienced the development of the Sentara Cancer Network first-hand. When Bill's prostate cancer was diagnosed in 2003, he joined the Man-2-Man support group with the help of a community outreach nurse at Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton. However, as a patient navigating the care delivery system, he was largely on his own.

Bill defeated the prostate cancer. However, in 2007, he was diagnosed with rectal cancer, which led to more surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. That's when Bill met Glenda Williamson, RN, OCN, a Sentara cancer navigator who became his mentor and guide through the process.

"That time, it was totally different," Bill says of his patient experience.

After Bill's first cancer, Sentara Healthcare and physicians throughout Hampton Roads began working together to improve the coordination of cancer care and to bring a multidisciplinary, patient-centered approach to treatment.

"Things have definitely progressed," Bill says. "Now, they really work like a team."

'Network' accreditation from ACOS is 1(st) in Virginia, was 29th in U.S.

The Sentara Cancer Network is the first system in Virginia to earn accreditation as a 'Network Cancer Program' from the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer. The Sentara Cancer Network is now among just 32 systems in the nation to achieve this designation.

Sentara Healthcare and supportive community physicians, including Virginia Oncology Associates, have worked together for three years to earn ACOS accreditation.

"We think this Network designation is a remarkable achievement," says Thomas Alberico, M.D., a medical oncologist with Virginia Oncology Associates and Chair of the Sentara Cancer Network Committee. "We've brought together a very diverse group of professionals for the common goal of superior patient care," Alberico asserts, "and it's working for our community."

The four Network accredited hospitals are Sentara Norfolk General, Sentara Virginia Beach General, Sentara CarePlex in Hampton and Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center.

The Sentara Cancer Network coordinates a broad spectrum of medical specialties, the latest technologies and therapies for diagnosis and treatment, a vigorous program of clinical trials, prospective tumor boards to design treatment plans and benchmarked outcomes data to assure that cancer patients receive the most individualized and thorough treatment.

Other Sentara hospitals are working to be added to the ACOS accredited network.

SOURCE Sentara Healthcare


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SOURCE Sentara Healthcare
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