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Harris Health System Receives Elite Commission on Cancer Accreditation

HOUSTON (Feb. 9, 2022) — Cancer patients at Harris Health System receive top treatment and care, affirmed by its recent accreditation from the Commission on Cancer by the American College of Surgeons. The three-year recognition assures patients that its comprehensive cancer programs meet stringent quality care standards.

The accreditation places Harris Health among elite cancer institutions across the country that follow a multidisciplinary approach to treat cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists. This approach is proven to improve patient care. 

“The Commission on Cancer accreditation by the American College of Surgeons is yet another validation that Harris Health patients are receiving the best and highest-quality cancer care and treatment when they come to us,” says Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, president and CEO, Harris Health. “Our patients deserve the best care available and we at Harris Health are dedicated to provide it when they need it most.”

Harris Health, through its comprehensive cancer program at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, Ben Taub Hospital and Smith Clinic, currently treats nearly 15,000 cancer cases annually. Last year, about 2,200 patients were diagnosed as new cancer cases, the majority among the areas of breast, colorectal, lung, prostate and uterine.

To earn this prestigious recognition, a cancer program must meet 34 quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process and maintain high levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care.

“This accreditation is the result of a lot of hard work by the doctors, nurses, case managers and social workers who take care of our patients with support from Harris Health administration and the fantastic work of our cancer registry,” says Dr. Martha Mims, chief, Internal Medicine-Hematology/Oncology, Ben Taub Hospital, and professor, Internal Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine. “I am particularly proud of the innovative programs we have developed including access to clinical trials, the diagnosis and screening clinics and cancer education and prevention strategies we have rolled out to the community.”  

Through their care at Harris Health, patients have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling and patient-centered services including psycho-social support, a patient navigation process and a survivorship care plan that seeks to improve a patient’s quality of life.

Like all accredited facilities, Harris Health maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Database, a joint program of the Commission on Cancer and the American Cancer Society. This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed and used to explore trends in cancer care. 

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2022, an estimated 1.9 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed and more than 600,000 cancer deaths in the U.S. In Texas alone, an estimated 140,000 new cases will be diagnosed.

There are currently more than 1,500 commission accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. These facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 71% of all newly diagnosed patients with cancer. Receiving care at a commission-accredited cancer program hospital or facility ensures patients receive high-quality, comprehensive care from teams of specialists who can coordinate the best treatment options available.