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Release Date: 05/20/2014

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons announced recently that Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island is one of 74 accredited cancer programs nationwide – and one of just two in Rhode Island – to earn its 2013 Outstanding Achievement Award.

"The Commission on Cancer is a respected national organization that will only send a team to evaluate a cancer program if it meets certain criteria. To earn one of its Outstanding Achievement Awards is a distinct honor and tribute to the tireless, compassionate and innovative ways the leadership and staff in our Program in Women's Oncology help women with cancer every day," says Mark R. Marcantano, president and chief operating officer of Women & Infants.

The Program in Women's Oncology earned a three-year accreditation with commendation from the CoC in late 2013 after a successful site visit in September.

"Everything we do in the Program in Women's Oncology – every doctor we hire, every service we offer, every decision we make – is based on our desire to help women with cancer. Our entire purpose is to diagnose as early as possible, treat them as effectively and compassionately as possible, and support them as they face the world as survivors," says Cornelius "Skip" Granai III, MD, director of the Program in Women's Oncology. "We have access to the full scope of services, research and leading technology and science, but it is our humane approach and the way we are always looking to answer the question 'What more can we do?' that continues to set us apart."

The purpose of the award is to raise the bar on quality cancer care, with the ultimate goal of increasing awareness about quality care choices among cancer patients and their loved ones. In addition, the award is intended to:

  • Recognize those cancer programs that achieve excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients.
  • Motivate other cancer programs to work toward improving their level of care.
  • Facilitate dialogue between award recipients and health care professionals at other cancer facilities for the purpose of sharing best practices.
  • Encourage honorees to serve as quality-care resources to other cancer programs.

"More and more, we're finding that patients and their families want to know how the health care institutions in their communities compare with one another," said Daniel P. McKellar, MD, FACS, chair of the CoC. "They want access to information in terms of who's providing the best quality of care, and they want to know about overall patient outcomes. Through this recognition program, I'd like to think we're playing a small, but vital, role in helping them make informed decisions on their cancer care."

The 74 award-winning cancer care programs represent approximately 14 percent of programs surveyed by the CoC in 2013.

"These 74 cancer programs represent the best of the best when it comes to cancer care," McKellar added. "Each of these facilities is not just meeting nationally recognized standards for the delivery of quality cancer care, they are exceeding them."

Established in 1922 by the ACS, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care. The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program at

For more information go to the Program in Women's Oncology or to make an appointment, call (401) 453-7520.

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About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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