Cancer Center:
A Recognized Center for Excellence

The Franciscan Healthcare Cancer Center has been awarded the Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award in 2005, 2008 and 2011. It is one of only a handful of centers that have won this award during all three review periods. Less than ten percent of all cancer programs surveyed have received this award.

The Cancer Center, which opened in La Crosse in the Summer of 2004, integrates Mayo Clinic Health System medical oncology practice with radiation oncology services provided by the Division of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic Rochester to create a comprehensive and patient centered cancer program. Guided by the values we espouse, the Cancer Center recognizes that we are part of a continuum of care for our patients and work toward incorporating a spirit of collaboration and cohesiveness with other departments in the clinic, medical center and community.

"There is no question that receiving this award reaffirms our commitment to quality care for its patients in the community," says Cancer Committee Chairperson Michael Roskos, M.D. "Obtaining this award is a wonderful achievement made possible by dedicated individuals in a dedicated institution interested in improving cancer care for individual patients as well as the community."

Established in 2004, the Commission on Cancer (CoC) Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) is designed to recognize cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients. A facility receives the OAA following the on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor during which the facility demonstrates a Commendation level of compliance with seven standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program. Those standards include cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach, and quality improvement. In addition a facility receives a compliance rating for the remaining 29 standards.

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the Commission on Cancer is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care.

The Approvals Program, a component of the CoC, sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to ensure that they conform to those standards. Approval by the CoC is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and the undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. To maintain approval, facilities with CoC-approved cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.

Receiving care at a CoC-approved cancer program ensures that a patient will have access to:

  • Comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment
  • A multispecialty, team approach to coordinate the best treatment options
  • Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options
  • Access to cancer-related information, education, and support
  • A cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up
  • Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care
  • Quality of care close to home

Cancer patient data are reported by each CoC-approved cancer program to the CoC's National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program with the ACS. The NCDB currently contains patient demographics, tumor characteristics, and treatment and outcomes information for more than 16 million cancer patients diagnosed and treated at hospital cancer programs in the US between 1985 and 2003. These data account for approximately two-thirds of newly diagnosed cancer cases in the US each year.