Weather Forecast


Hospital commended for cancer care

The Douglas County Hospital Cancer Center recently received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer and the following people are part of the multidisciplinary care and committee: Kathy Colgrove, Dr. Spanbauer, Barbara Friederichs, Janet Hamilton, Kevin Weedman, Margaret Kalina, Kathy Fredin, Barbara Schneider, Dr. Raflores, David Gray, Heidi Leach, Dr. Ferguson, Bonnie Freudenberg, Dr. Johnson, Sue Quist, Roberta Strom, Merry Luchau, Jason Peterson and Darlene Spletter. (Contribute...

Douglas County Hospital (DCH) recently received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons.

The award comes as a result of surveys performed during the hospital's accreditation process.

Last fall, DCH earned accreditation from the CoC.

The cancer center not only met and maintained 36 standards to qualify for the accreditation, but the program also received seven out of seven possible commendations.

The accreditation process is like an audit of the cancer center's program.

Multiple aspects of the center's procedure and protocol were looked at in detail as part of the accreditation process, including the program's patient outcomes, clinical management, data accuracy, quality improvement activities, research, support services and professional education.

DCH is one of 1,500 accredited cancer programs across the U.S. The program sets quality-of-care standards that are rigorously evaluated every three years.

Barb Friedrichs, RN and cancer program administrator at DCH, worked on the initial accreditation process and said it's hugely satisfying to receive the award.

Oncologist Dr. Marion Raflores noted, "For me it's very rewarding because we wanted to do our best with the accreditation because we know that implies we're doing our best with cancer care, but at the same time to achieve the highest award is an extra bonus. It's very fulfilling. It was a lot of hard work for all involved in [getting the initial accreditation]."

The cancer center has established multidisciplinary care and the committee includes: surgeons, radiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, primary care physicians and other health care professionals, who hold conferences where patients' cases are discussed, confidentially. Each professional has input on what may be best for that patient's treatment and care.

"We're focusing not on just treating the cancer itself, but providing survivorship support to the patient and the family through cooperation of multiple medical entities in the community," Raflores said.

Heidi Leach, certified tumor registrar at DCH, said, "The award shows that we're committed to making sure our patients are receiving the best quality care possible."

ChaffinsAmy Chaffins After working as a journalist in the Alexandria area for the last 10 years, Amy Chaffins made the move to work as managing editor of the Osakis Review newspaper in December of 2010. She reports on school and city government, any Osakis-related news and writes feature stories as well. Amy also reports for the Review's sister publication, the Echo Press. This is the quote you'll find above her desk at work: "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." ~Steve Jobs 1955-2011 Amy is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, a Minnesota Newspaper Association award winner and admires the writing style of the late Charles Kuralt. Amy and her husband, Brandon, live in Alexandria and have two dogs and a cat to keep track of. Follow Osakis Review Managing Editor Amy Chaffins on Twitter at @AmyReview.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

(320) 763-3133