University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Cancer Center

Vermont Cancer Center Receives Top Rating from National Commission

Vermont Cancer Center researcher Yvonne Janssen-Heininger (right) in her lab with a graduate student
Vermont Cancer Center researcher and Professor of Pathology Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., (right) in her lab with a graduate student (photo by Raj Chawla, UVM Medical Photography)

The Vermont Cancer Center has been awarded a “Three Year Accreditation with Commendation” from the Commission on Cancer, a component of the American College of Surgeons.  It is the highest performance rating granted by the Commission, and is based on comparisons to all accredited cancer programs in the nation.

The Vermont Cancer Center (VCC) earned this renewed designation for surpassing numerous standards that encompass research activity, clinical care, quality improvement and community outreach.  Seven areas were given special recognition including outcomes analysis, the number of clinical trials underway, and strong efforts to educate the public on prevention and early detection.

“Earning the highest rating is a testament to the teamwork of dozens of specialists and staff who are all dedicated to providing our patients and their families with the excellent care they need from diagnosis to survivorship support,” said Claire Verschraegen, M.D., co-director of the Vermont Cancer Center.

“It is a privilege to provide leadership for the only comprehensive clinical and cancer research center in the state,” said Gary Stein, Ph.D. co-director of the Center. “This designation from the Commission on Cancer acknowledges that we are a destination cancer center for our region, which delivers critical benefits to our community at the highest level.”

This news comes as the University of Vermont, the College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen are investing more than $20 million in key VCC programs in basic sciences, clinical and translational research, and recruitment of additional researchers with the goal of making the greatest possible contribution to advancing the fight against cancer.

Amonth the key areas evaluated by the Commission on Cancer include:

  • Quality of care
  • Comprehensiveness of care
  • State-of-the-art services and equipment
  • A team approach to coordinating the best treatment options available to patients
  • Information about cancer clinical trials, education and support
  • Lifelong patient follow-up through a cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results
  • Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care

 Watch brief reactions to news of the top ranking from the co-Directors of the Vermont Cancer Center in this video.

About the Vermont Cancer Center
The Vermont Cancer Center is a not-for-profit comprehensive clinical and research cancer center, the only such organization in the state of Vermont. Founded in 1974, the Vermont Cancer Center is located within the University of Vermont (UVM) College of Medicine and enjoys a clinical partnership with Fletcher Allen Health Care, Vermont's academic medical center with UVM. The organization is comprised of more than135 scientists and physicians engaged in a full range of basic, translational, clinical, and outcomes research that seeks to uncover new knowledge and understanding about cancer and the issues that affect people with the disease.

About the Commission on Cancer
The Commission on Cancer (CoC) 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. Established by the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) in 1922, the multidisciplinary CoC establishes standards to ensure quality, multidisciplinary, and comprehensive cancer care delivery in health care settings; conducts surveys in health care settings to assess compliance with those standards; collects standardized data from CoC-accredited health care settings to measure cancer care quality; uses data to monitor treatment patterns and outcomes and enhance cancer control and clinical surveillance activities, and develops effective educational interventions to improve cancer prevention, early detection, cancer care delivery, and outcomes in health care settings. Commission membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons and 49 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care.