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Vincent Dollard, 404/ 778-4580,
July 25, 2002


Atlanta V.A. Medical Center Cancer Program Earns National Approval

The Atlanta Veteran Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) recently received accreditation from the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) as an approved cancer program. All approved programs must meet the standards set by the ACoS Committee on Approvals to ensure that they provide patients with a full range of diagnostic, treatment and supportive services either on-site or by referral.

"We are extremely proud that we are able to offer our veterans this high assurance of quality care," said Maria Ribeiro, MD, director of oncology at the VAMC and assistant professor at Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute.

The ACoS Commission on Cancer Approvals program is recognized by national health care organizations, including the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, as a method for establishing performance measures for high-quality cancer care.

In addition, the Commission requires all staff members within the approved program to participate in ongoing cancer education to remain abreast of current knowledge and changes to cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care.

"Ongoing cancer education and medical training are a top priority for us," said Dr. Ribiero.

Accreditation of its cancer program also qualifies the VAMC to partner with the ACoS Commission on Cancer in the American Cancer Society's national cancer information and referral project. The VAMC will share information on resources and experience for the American Cancer Society's National Call Center and Web site, which provides patients with information on approved cancer programs that provide services in their local area.

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