The Outer Banks Hospital has been granted Three-year Accreditation with Commendation by the Commission on Cancer of The American College of Surgeons. Pictured left to right are: Robin Hearne, OBH Director Cancer Services; Kathleen Christian, MD FACS, a surveyor for The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer; and Dr. Charles Shelton, OBH Radiation Therapy Center. Dr. Christian is also a general surgeon at the Mayo Clinic Health System & Franciscan Healthcare, La Crosse WI;

To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care. Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation is only awarded to a facility that exceeds standard requirements at the time of its triennial survey.

“The true value of this achievement is reflected in the overall quality of care delivered to our patients and the programs and services provided to our community,” said Robin Hearne, director cancer services. “This has been an amazing journey, made possible by the hard work, commitment and synergy of our cancer services team combined with the leadership and support of administration and our support staff.”

“The CoC encompasses the best minds in cancer care and utilizes expertise from the entire oncology community to set the highest standards of care for COC-accredited cancer programs,” commented OBH President Ronnie Sloan, FACHE. “We are extremely proud of the cancer program here at The Outer Banks Hospital.”

When patients receive care at a CoC facility, they also 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 documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.

Like all CoC-accredited facilities, The Outer Banks Hospital maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society (ACS). This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed through the NCDB and used to explore trends in cancer care. CoC-accredited cancer centers, in turn, have access to information derived from this type of data analysis, which is used to create national, regional, and state benchmark reports. These reports help CoC facilities with their quality improvement efforts.

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, 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. Its membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons. For more information, visit: