The CoC Source - April 30, 2013
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79 Cancer Care Facilities Receive National Achievement Award

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons has granted its Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) to a select group of 79 accredited cancer programs across the United States.

Established in 2004, the CoC Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients. The award is granted to facilities that demonstrate a Commendation level of compliance with seven standards that represent six areas of cancer program activity: cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical management, research, community outreach, and quality improvement. The level of compliance with the seven standards is determined during an onsite evaluation by a physician surveyor. In addition, facilities must receive a compliance rating for the remaining 29 cancer program standards. 79 programs received the OAA as a result of surveys performed in 2012. This number represents approximately 19 percent of cancer programs surveyed during this period.  A majority of recipients are community-based facilities; however, there were also teaching hospitals, NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, VA hospitals, and Network Cancer Programs that received the award.

The CoC press release announcing the 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award recipients is now online.  You can find it at  OAA Programs are also listed at

National Cancer Survivors Day

The CoC encourages your CoC-accredited program to organize an event in honor of National Cancer Survivors Day®.   Sponsored by Coping®, this day is always the first Sunday in June and was established to bring cancer survivors together showing that there is life after receiving a diagnosis of cancer.  

June 2 marks the 26th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day.  Take this opportunity to promote your program and your CoC Accreditation.  Reach out to your community and sponsor activities that:

  • Recognize cancer survivors
  • Support patients with cancer
  • Screen and educate community members on cancer prevention and detection

Make sure your register your event on the official National Cancer Survivors Day website at  Register your event on this site to gain access to a number of resources and tools to help you plan for and execute a successful event.   

To help you promote your event within your program and the community, the CoC has developed a poster that you can customize, download, and print. CoC-accredited programs can  access and download the poster by logging into CoC Datalinks and clicking on the marketing link. 

Please let the CoC know about your celebration.  Please send photos and information to Susan Rubin.


Visit us at the NCRA Annual Meeting May 30 - June 2 in San Francisco

Are you attending the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco May 30-June 2, 2013?  If so, plan to hear a number of engaging speakers representing the Commission on Cancer (CoC), the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

Speakers include: Daniel McKellar, MD, FACS, Introducing and Implementing the CoC Quality Measures (June 1, 8 - 8:45 am); Cindy Burgin, The Future of the NAPBC (June 1, 11:30 am -12:15 pm); Robert Sticca, MD, FACS and Asa Carter, CTR, CoC Standards and Survey Overview (June 1, 3:45 - 5:15 pm); Donna Gress, RHIT, CTR, Data Harmonization Efforts Across the Cancer Staging System (June 2, 12 - 12:30 pm); Marty Madera, Collaborative Stage Version 02.05: Updates for 2014 (June 2, 12:30 - 1 pm); Deborah Etheridge, CTR, Donna Gress, RHIT, CTR, and Jerri Linn Phillips, CTR, The Best of CAnswer Forum FAQs (June 2,  2:30 – 3:15 pm); and  Erica McNamara, MPH and Catherine Telford, CTR, Importance of Implementing the CoC Rapid Quality Report System (RQRS) (June 2, 3:15 - 4:30 pm). 

These valuable sessions will provide you with the information you need to meet the 2012 standards, the CoC survey process, staging and data resources, and be providing multidisciplinary care for the cancer patient. 

Also, please take the opportunity to visit with staff from the CoC, the AJCC, and the NAPBC in the exhibit hall on Friday, May 31 from 5:45 - 8 pm; Saturday, June 1 from 7:00 am - 3:45 pm, and Sunday, June 2 from 7:00 am - 2:30 pm.  The staff looks forward to seeing you and answering any questions you may have.

Are You Receiving the Weekly CoC Brief?

Are you receiving the weekly CoC Brief

The first issue of The CoC Brief debuted on March 6. This weekly news brief is sent every Wednesday and is a digest of current information on cancer care trends, treatments, legislative activity, and issues. To ensure that you receive The CoC Brief in your inbox, you should whitelist the sending e-mail address at

Take The CoC Brief with you on your smartphone or tablet. To find the app, search for MultiBriefs on iTunes for iPad and iPhone, on under Apps and Media, and Appworld for your Android.

Click here for the iPhone app.
Click here for the Android app.
Click here for the Blackberry app.

You can access The CoC Brief from the CoC homepage.  If you cannot access The CoC Brief, please contact Susan Rubin.

CoC Recognizes Long-Standing Programs

CoC-accredited cancer programs provide their community with high-quality, multidisciplinary, patient-centered care. CoC programs evolve in response to new diagnostic and treatment modalities, quality assurance and improvement initiatives, and the needs of cancer patients and their families. Currently, there are nearly 1,500 CoC-accredited programs throughout the U.S.

This month the CoC recognizes accredited programs that have maintained their accreditation for 65–69 consecutive years (starting in the years from1944 to 1948). Congratulations to the following programs for reaching this milestone:

Bassett Healthcare, Cooperstown, NY
Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx, NY
Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, IL
Centra Health, Lynchburg, VA
Charleston Area Medical Center, Charleston, WV
Danville Regional Medical Center, Danville, VA
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH
Lancaster Regional Medical Center, Lancaster, PA
Lutheran Hospital, Cleveland, OH
Palmetto Health Richland, Columbia, SC
Saint Francis Hospital, Evanston, IL
Saint Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Saint Vincent Hospital at Worcester Medical Center, Worcester, MA
Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, Jacksonville, FL
St. Mary's Hospital, Rochester, NY
St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport, CT
Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, FL
The Unity Hospital of Rochester, Rochester, NY
University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL
University of Louisville Hospital, Louisville, KY
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Stakeholders Discuss Patient Quality of Life and Palliative Care at April Meeting

On Wednesday, April 3, more than 40 groups gathered in Washington, DC, to discuss potential Congressional and Executive action on patient quality of life and palliative care. The meeting, hosted by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), convened representatives from organizations across the health care spectrum, among them providers, advocacy groups, associations, researchers, and foundations. Dan Smith, former Staff Director of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and current principal at the Sheridan Group in Washington, DC, facilitated the discussion, as the group identified specific and concrete policy changes that will expand access to quality palliative care for every individual who needs it and across all health care settings.

While public awareness and policy around palliative care have advanced significantly over the past decade, the delivery of quality palliative care still faces significant barriers, including a lack of large-scale research on quality of care and cost-effectiveness, limited professional development opportunities, and inadequate reimbursement policies. Participants spoke candidly at the meeting about the potential to break down these barriers. By the end of the meeting, the group reached consensus on specific avenues for federal action that could substantially advance palliative care policy for the coming decade.

As millions of Americans face increasingly complex and challenging decisions over their own health care and care for their loved ones, the need for access to quality palliative care is growing exponentially. This meeting was an important step forward for a community that has been trailblazing palliative care in the American health care system for decades. As Dick Woodruff of ACS CAN expressed after the conversation, “There was real energy in the room and a feeling of momentum going forward. Working together, this high-powered group has the potential to transform the way we deliver health care for millions of patients by giving them better care and better choices.” Many in the group expressed eagerness to continue collaboration on this issue and advance plans currently in development.


Clarification of Standard 1.1 and 1.9

The Standards Advisory Group for Excellence (SAGE) clarified the requirements for two standards.  These clarifications should assist programs to interpret the standards and understand how to comply with the requirements.

Standard 1.1: Physician Credentials

SAGE clarified that the standard applies to physicians in the following specialties:
Diagnostic radiology
Radiation oncology
Medical oncology
General surgery
And, surgeons who care for patients that are in the facility’s five major sites of cancer. 

SAGE recognizes that there may be some variability in each facility’s 5th major site, however, this is primarily a stable group.  Programs will aggregate their top 5 sites over the 3 year accreditation period and supply board certification or CME information for this group of physicians.  Internal medicine and primary care physicians will not be included in this requirement.

Standard 1.9: Clinical Trial Accrual

Previously, SAGE had determined that CoC-accredited programs could count accrued patients only if the cancer-related clinical trial included a defined research question.  This excluded most bio repository and tissue banking trials and patients enrolled in a registry (similar to the PET registry).  SAGE has reconsidered this position and determined that patients with cancer from CoC-accredited programs who provide tissue and other specimens for bio repositories can be counted toward the clinical trial enrollment for this standard.

In addition, patients with cancer who are enrolled in registries for research purposes, e.g. PET registry, can also be counted toward this standard.

Please note that this clarification does not change the decision that patients accrued to the American Cancer Society CPS-3 study cannot be counted toward this standard.

Threads on both topics posted to the CAnswer Forum have been updated to reflect these decisions.  The SAR and the manual will be updated to reflect both changes as well.

If you have questions about either interpretation, please post your questions to the CAnswer Forum at

Recent Publications and Forthcoming Presentations from the NCDB PUFs

The National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) continues to serve as a resource for findings published in scientific peer-reviewed journals and presentations at national meetings.  The following items have all come from the NCDB Participant User Files (PUFs).  These PUFs are available to researchers at CoC-accredited cancer programs as a perquisite of accreditation.

Recent Publications from the NCDB PUFs

Chagpar R, Chiang YJ, Xing Y, et al. Neuroendocrine tumors of the colon and rectum: prognostic relevance and comparative performance of current staging systems. Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Apr;20(4):1170-1178. doi: 10.1245/s10434-012-2746-z. Epub 2012 Dec 1.

Sherman KL, Merkow RP, Bilimoria KY, et al. Treatment trends and predictors of adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy for gastric adenocarcinoma in the United States. Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Feb;20(2):362-370. doi: 10.1245/s10434-012-2552-7. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Bristow BE, Powell MA, al-Hammadi N, et al. Disparities in ovarian cancer care quality and survival according to race and socioeconomic status. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Apr 4. [Epub ahead of print].

Forthcoming Presentations from the NCDB PUFs

Corcoran A, Handorf E, Canter D, et al. Does adherence to candidate quality measures for muscle-invasive bladder cancer vary by hospital type? Presentation at: American Urological Association Annual Meeting; May 4–8, 2013; San Diego, CA.

Pesce C, Yao K, Czechura T, Huo D, Winchester DP, Winchester DJ. Axillary surgery among estrogen receptor positive women 70 years of age or older with clinical stage I breast cancer, 2004-2010: a report from the National Cancer Data Base [presentation]. Presentation at: American Society of Breast Surgeons 14th Annual Meeting; May 1–5, 2013; Chicago, IL.

Czechura T, Winchester DJ, Pesce C, Barrera E, Winchester DP, Yao K. Impact of bilateral versus unilateral mastectomy on short term outcome and adjuvant therapy. Poster presented at: Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Cancer Symposium; March 6–9; National Harbor, MD

Czechura T, Yao K, Pesce C, Huo D, Winchester DP, Winchester DJ. Partial breast irradiation versus whole breast irradiation for early stage breast cancer patients undergoing breast conservation, 2003–2010: a report from the National Cancer Data Base. Presentation at: American Society of Breast Surgeons Annual meeting; May 1–5, 2013; Chicago, IL.

Wiznia LE, Lannin DR, Evans SB, et al. The number of lymph nodes dissected in breast cancer patients matters.  Presentation at: Joint International Oncology Congress; May 27–29, 2013; San Francisco, CA.

Al-Hamadani M, Go RS. Use of stem cell transplantation (SCT) as initial therapy in multiple myeloma (MM) and impact of socio-demographic factors in the era of novel agents: analysis of the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB). Presentation at: American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting; May 31–June 4, 2013; Chicago, IL.

Esfandiari NH, Hughes D, Yin H, Banerjee M, Haymart MR. The effect of extent of surgery on overall survival in patients with medullary thyroid cancer. Poster presentation at: Endocrine Society Annual Meeting and Expo; June 15–18, 2013; San Francisco, CA.

Cancer Liaison Physician Activity Report

The Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) Activity Report appears in the Survey Application Record (SAR). Each year and in preparation for a CoC survey, the CLP is asked to report on their activities. CoC program staff and the assigned surveyor review the response. Responses are used to make program improvements, to gauge the work of the CLP in the field, and to inform the surveyor of the CLP’s activities. Please be sure to access this report and complete it. 

CLP NCDB Quality Reporting Tools Training at American Society of Clinical Oncology

If you are a CLP planning to attend the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting, May 31–June 4 at McCormick Place, in Chicago, IL, and you are interested in learning more about the CoC’s National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) Quality Reporting Tools, we want to hear from you!  A two-hour training session will take place at the ACS headquarters on Monday, June 3 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.  Participants must arrange their own transportation. Space is limited. Reservations will be taken at on a first-come, first-served basis.


Register Today for Survey Savvy and the Optional RQRS Workshop

Registration for Survey Savvy: Enhance Quality – Commit to Patient Centered Care, June 27-28, 2013 and the optional RQRS Workshop, June 26, 2013 is now open. Registration can be completed online with a credit card or through printing the online brochure and mailing in with a check.  The deadline to register is June 5, 2013.

This year’s Survey Savvy will highlight best practices and strategies, presented by speakers from CoC-accredited cancer programs, focusing on the patient-centered and quality standards. The two-day workshop will include panel presentations from over 20 speakers, and break-out sessions on various topics. Multiple participants from a facility are encouraged to attend in order to gain the most benefit from the breakout sessions.

The optional Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) Workshop, held the day before Survey Savvy, will introduce participants to RQRS. This workshop will cover data submission requirements, navigation of the reporting application and other key information to assist you in gaining the most from this system for your cancer program.

For more information and to register, click on either of the links below:
Online Brochure
Registration Site

Survey Savvy: Enhance Quality – Commit to Patient Centered Care

June 27-28, 2013
The Westin Michigan Ave.
909 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

Hotel rate
: $239/night
Hotel Deadline: June 12, 2013

Registration Fees:
$600 per person – CoC-accredited cancer programs
$700 per person – all other participants

Optional RQRS Workshop
June 26, 2013 | 1-5 pm
American College of Surgeons Headquarters
633 N. Saint Clair, 28th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Registration Fees:
$200 per person with Survey Savvy
$250 per person - Workshop only


Pursuing Excellence Through Accreditation Workshop

Limited seats available!

Join us for the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) full-day workshop Pursuing Excellence Through Accreditation in Chicago. Workshop attendees will receive detailed information regarding NAPBC components and standards, survey process, quality measures, and related requirements for 2013 and beyond. Attendance at this workshop will assist centers applying for accreditation, as well as centers due for reaccreditation in 2013.

DATE: Friday, May 24, 2013
TIME: 7:30 am–4:30 pm
WHERE: American College of Surgeons, 633 N. Saint Clair Street, Chicago, IL 60611
FEE: $500/person

Want to maximize your on-site visit?
Through information presented by NAPBC Board members, surveyors, and staff, the workshop will offer pertinent information about issues specific to NAPBC components and standards, including requirements for compliance with each standard. The workshop will also incorporate any recent changes to the standards so that there is a clear understanding of what is expected and how it will be measured. A detailed presentation, “What to Expect on the Day of Survey” will walk you through a site visit from a surveyor’s perspective. Learn what the surveyor is looking for throughout the survey.

Who should attend? This workshop is designed for individuals involved in the delivery of multidisciplinary breast health care, including physicians, nurses, administrators, cancer registry professionals, and others involved in the day-to-day operations of the breast center.

CE credit hours pending approval from the National Cancer Registrars Association.

Register today! Learn more about the workshop, including the agenda and hotel accommodations.

NAPBC Exhibit Schedule

The NAPBC will have an exhibit at the following meetings:

The American Society of Breast Surgeons 14th Annual Meeting
May 1–5
Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
Chicago, IL

National Cancer Registrars’ Association (NCRA)
May 30–June 2
Hilton Union Square
San Francisco, CA

Commission on Cancer Survey Savvy
June 27-28
Westin Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

Health Forum and American Hospital
July 25-26
Manchester Grand Hyatt
San Diego, CA

If you will be attending these meetings and have questions, or wish to pick up an NAPBC Information Kit, stop by these exhibits.

To learn more about the NAPBC, visit, e-mail, or call 312-202-5185.

American Cancer Society News

American Cancer Society Celebrates its Centennial

Like the American College of Surgeons, the American Cancer Society is observing its 100th anniversary in 2013. Throughout their shared history, the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society (the two ACSs) have collaborated on many programs, including the establishment of what are now known as the Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).  The American Cancer Society will officially recognize its centennial on May 22.

The progress that has been made in treating all forms of cancer is remarkable, and the American Cancer Society’s 100th anniversary is an opportunity to acknowledge the progress the two ACSs have made together this past century and to celebrate the millions of lives saved. The American Cancer Society reports that today, two out of three people diagnosed with cancer are surviving for at least five years. Since the early 1990s, the cancer death rate in the U.S. has declined by 20 percent.

To commemorate its milestone anniversary, the American Cancer Society has launched a campaign aimed at achieving the following goals:

  • Raise an additional $100 million to support cancer research and care
  • Help position the American Cancer Society as the premier organization  that will solve the cancer problem this century
  • Increase public knowledge of the progress and accomplishments made

To help eliminate cancer, the American Cancer Society intends to continue to ensure that lifesaving cancer research gets funded and is undertaking a historic research project called the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). The goal is to enroll at least 300,000 adults from various racial/ethnic backgrounds from across the U.S. in the study by the end of this year. The society will work to provide cancer patients with access to quality health care and that all Americans have access to lifesaving screenings and clean air.

Details regarding the longstanding partnership between the two ACSs were published in an article by LaMar S. McGinnis, Jr., MD, FACS, titled “Common origins: The two ACSs—100 years of collaboration to improve the lives of cancer patients.” The article was published in the April 2012 Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons (vol. 97, no. 4, pp. 6–15). For more information on the American Cancer Society, go to


NCRA Launches New Center for Cancer Registry Education
The National Cancer Registry Association’s (NCRA) new Center for Cancer Registry Education ( provides easy access to high-quality educational programming to support both seasoned professionals and those who are new to the cancer registry field. The website offers a variety of products and services, allowing registrars to tailor their training and manage continuing education (CE) credits. Visitors to the site can take a complimentary Learning Module to earn a CE credit! Members use their NCRA website log-in and password! If you have any questions, please call 703-299-6640, ext. 317 or e-mail

Live Webinar! Strategic Abstracting: Breast at 2:00 pm (ET) on May 15
NCRA will host the final one-hour webinar in its three-part series on Strategic Abstracting. The May 15 webinar will focus on the breast and will be presented by SuAnn McFadden, CTR. She will address the complex relationships among editing, coding rules, site-specific coding, and clinical workups in the abstracting process. Attendees will learn to distinguish sentinel nodes from regular regional nodes when not specifically named or stated as well as more about the circumstances under which different sizes mentioned in a pathology report together to code a tumor size, and clarify multiple primary rules for coding breast primary. Visit to learn more.

NCRA’s Annual Educational Conference, May 30–June 2, in San Francisco
More than 1,200 cancer registrars will convene at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel (CA) on May 31 to kick-off NCRA’s three-day annual educational conference. It will be the largest gathering of cancer registrars in the world. Cancer registrars—like many health information professionals—confront a rapidly changing work environment. Advancements and medical breakthroughs make it a challenge to keep current. NCRA’s annual conference is designed to provide access to high-quality training on critical industry topics. To learn more and to register, visit


Focus Under Forty Curriculum Offers Professional Education Opportunities

The CoC is a partner in a collaborative group that includes the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the LIVESTRONG Foundation.  This collaborative effort centers on the unique and challenging medical and supportive care issues that affect adolescents and young adults (AYAs) diagnosed with cancer.  In contrast to the progress in cancer survival rates overall, the survival rates for patients aged 15 through 39 who have cancer have not improved in more than 30 years.  The Focus Under Forty™ Curriculum is designed to help cancer care professionals enhance their awareness and understanding of the care issues, and facilitate improved care of this population.

The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, along with access to comprehensive references and resources.  Content may be found online on ASCO University® or on iTunes University. A series of audio podcasts were recently developed to offer special focus on key areas of need.  For example, in one podcast, Arnold Baskies, MD, FACS, discusses the unique body image and sexuality issues faced by AYAs.  Other topics addressed in the podcasts and courses include fertility preservation, survivorship, and supportive care.

The Focus Under Forty Curriculum is offered at no charge and includes the opportunity to earn CME credit.


Surgical Investigators Meeting at the American Society of Breast Surgeons Annual Meeting

Do you want to participate in clinical trials but don’t know where to begin? Learn more at the Surgical Investigators Meeting on Friday, May 4, from 12:30 - 1:30 pm in the Columbia room at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. Sponsored by the American College of Surgeons Clinical Research Program (ACS CRP) and the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, the lunch meeting will provide an informal networking venue for surgical investigators navigating the often complex world of clinical trials. In addition, information on Alliance breast cancer trials and how you can get more involved in the opportunities offered by the ACS CRP and the Alliance will be presented. Network with other surgical investigators and learn more about research opportunities at the Alliance! For more information, please contact  

Joint International Oncology Congress

The recent successful biennial meetings of the Sentinel Node Oncology Foundation (SNOF) in San Francisco, CA, and New York, NY, as well as  previous International Sentinel Node Society (ISNS) meetings, have spurred the development of other global meetings. The Joint International Oncology Congress (JIOC)—May 27–29 at the Hilton San Francisco (CA) Financial District Hotel—will present an international faculty representing both the ISNS and the SNOF. Renowned international faculty and leading experts in the field of oncology and cancer research will participate in the congress, fostering uniform dialogue among the disciplines responsible for discovering and delivering cancer therapies. The congress will provide updates in the understanding of cancer metastases, especially sentinel node biopsy concepts and technology. There will be a focus on studies of biomarkers and their diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer progression and metastatic cancer, as well as their usefulness in radioimaging and molecular-targeted therapy. Participants will also explore recent developments in understanding the cancer microenvironment, the molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of cancer cells to metastasis, and immune trafficking and responses to cancer cells. Sessions will include discussions of recent clinical trials of emerging therapies.

The congress will bring together basic scientists, oncologists, surgeons, and radiologists from around the world, resulting in an exchange of ideas that will enhance the translation of basic science into clinical application—thereby challenging basic scientists with clinical issues and linking "the bench to the bedside."

Please join us at the congress and visit the JIOC website for more information.

Monthly Spotlight: Oncology Nursing Society

The CoC regularly collaborates with over 50 member organizations in its mission to provide quality cancer care. This month we introduce the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).

ONS is a professional association of more than 35,000 members committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Since 1975, ONS has provided a professional community for oncology nurses, developed evidence-based education programs and treatment information, and advocated for patient care, all in an effort to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with cancer and their families.

The society’s mission is to promote excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care. Under the leadership of President Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, ANP, BC, AOCN®, FAAN, and CEO Paula T. Rieger, RN, MSN, CAE, FAAN, its strategic direction focuses on four pillars: knowledge, leadership, quality, and technology. 

In 2012, ONS completed a three-year project to develop, test, evaluate, and disseminate quality care measures for women with breast cancer and breast cancer survivors. The study was made possible by a generous grant to the ONS Foundation from the Breast Cancer Fund of the National Philanthropic Trust.

In partnership with The Joint Commission, ONS created two sets of quality indicators using 16 of the ONS Putting Evidence into Practice (PEP) topics. Work on these indicators helped ONS to define a quality development and testing process that could be replicated in the future. Sixty pilot sites in diverse practice settings were then tracked to determine how closely they implemented these indicators.

After the project’s conclusion, 26 of those sites continued their work, creating a forum called the Oncology Quality Collaborative. This group holds monthly conference calls to share ideas that will improve patient-centered care for individuals with breast cancer. ONS will use this information to connect the quality measures to our practice change and leadership resources. This will ensure that we can guide nurses and their team members through a continuous quality-improvement process.

As a leading educator in oncology, ONS provides continuing nursing education using a multipronged and flexible approach that meets the needs of today’s busy professionals. Live, in-person, virtual, and online programming options are among the ways ONS reaches not only its member base, but also the growing number of nurses who care for people with cancer in other settings.

ONS’ health policy efforts are geared toward critical issues affecting nurses and patients. This work includes promoting and improving cancer symptom management and pain control; advancing and ensuring access to quality cancer prevention and care; and bolstering the nation’s nursing workforce to safeguard public health. For more information on any of these initiatives, visit

Event Information:

The 38th Annual ONS Congress will be held April 25–28, 2013, in Washington, DC. It’s the perfect place to sharpen your skills, share ideas, and become a part of the ONS community. To learn more, go to

May is Oncology Nursing Month, a worldwide event that honors the work of nurses who care for patients with cancer. Thousands of nurses participate in Oncology Nursing Month activities, ranging from social gatherings, public recognition, educational programming, fundraising to support patients, and efforts to raise awareness of the rewards of an oncology nursing career. This year’s theme, Oncology Nurses: Providing Care for Life, conveys the long-term relationship between nurses and their patients, even after patients complete their treatment.

The second annual Connections: Advancing Care Through Science conference will take place November 8–10 in Dallas, TX. This conference showcases the collaboration between clinicians and nurse scientists and highlights the effect of nursing science on cancer care.

Recent Publications and/or Products
ONS has several new publications and programs available for anyone involved in cancer care. Its newest books include Cardiac Complications of Cancer Therapy, Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary Cancers, Current Trends in Oncology Nursing, and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: A Manual for Nursing Practice (2nd ed). ONS also has a consumer division, Hygeia Media, whose newest publications include In the Shadows: How to Help Your Seriously Ill Adult Child and Self-Healing Through Reflection: A Workbook for Nurses. See our full line of books.

ONS is a leader in providing quality continuing education to oncology nurses. In addition to the two annual conferences, ONS also offers a variety of online continuing education courses. Some of the newest online offerings include the Genetics Online Education Series, an introduction to genetics, and Access Devices: The Virtual Clinic, which uses simulations to examine real-life situations and challenges. 

ONS recently hosted two virtual e-conferences on the topics of radiation oncology nursing and health information technology. ONS now offers the Radiation Oncology Certificate Program, which provides intermediate-level information about radiation oncology therapies, symptom management, and the professional role of the radiation oncology nurse.

For more information on this organization, please contact:
Oncology Nursing Society, 125 Enterprise Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15275
Ph: 866-257-4ONS (866-257-4667) | Fax: 877-369-5497 (toll-free fax)
Email: | Website: