PHILADELPHIA--Adam Berger, M.D., a Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, recently received an Outstanding Performance Award for going above and beyond the scope of the normal duties of serving as a liaison between the hospital's cancer program and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). As a Cancer Liaison, he is serving a three-year appointment and is among a national network of over 1,600 volunteer physicians who are responsible for providing leadership and direction to establish, maintain and support their facility's cancer program. CLPs are an integral part of cancer programs accredited by the CoC. Dr. Berger is an associate professor in the Department of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and is a member of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.
As a CLP, Dr. Berger, is responsible for spearheading CoC initiatives within the hospital's cancer program; collaborating with local agencies, such as the American Cancer Society; and facilitating quality improvement initiatives utilizing data submitted to the CoC's National Cancer Database (NCDB). The NCDB currently contains patient demographics, tumor characteristics, treatment, and outcomes information for over 25 million malignant cancers diagnosed and treated at hospital cancer programs in the United States. The CoC collects data from its approved cancer programs and provides tools these facilities can use to facilitate the analysis of patterns of diagnosis and treatment.
Nationally, 36 Cancer Liaison Physician Outstanding Performance Awards were recently given to recognize liaison physicians' work in developing and/or implementing an idea that improved the quality of care delivered at their facility; directly contributing to the accreditation status of the cancer program; exceeding the expectations set forth for CLPs to strengthen the cancer program; demonstrating leadership and support for cancer control activities in the community and with the ACS; or serving as a role model for other staff and exhibiting characteristics that truly make them a physician champion for the cancer program.
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. Its membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons and representatives of 46 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care. The CoC's core functions include setting standards for quality, multidisciplinary cancer patient care; surveying facilities to evaluate compliance with the CoC standards; collecting standardized, high-quality data from accredited facilities; and using the data to develop effective educational interventions to improve cancer care outcomes at the national, state, and local level. There are currently more than 1,400 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Editor's Note: For more information about the Commission on Cancer, visit www.facs.org/cancer/index.html.