American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

July 2016 CoC Source

(HTML Version)

CoC News

Survivorship Care Plan Research Study in Development

A national study assessing the perceptions of cancer program administrators regarding survivorship care plans (SCP) is currently under development.

David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, Cancer Programs Medical Director, has signed a letter of support on behalf of the CoC for the national study being conducted by the University of Toledo, OH, “The Perceptions, Beliefs, and Practices of Cancer Center Program Administrators Regarding Cancer Survivorship Care Plans”.

Cancer program administrators can directly influence if, when, and how new health care processes may be implemented. Although cancer center program administrators are critical to the implementation of SCPs, it appears few researchers have attempted to involve them in research. For example, from 2009 to 2013 only three research studies focused on cancer program administrators.

The results of the study will yield significant benefits to the scientific literature in cancer survivorship. Furthermore, the results of the study could lead to the education of administrators on the development of better SCP procedures, staff training, delivery processes, methods, and materials. Improved SCP processes will likely have many benefits including assisting patients with understanding and following their SCPs; facilitating better communication among clinicians, patients, and other members of the medical team; and aiding administrators with cost containment and resource allocation.

We are very excited about the opportunity to add to the scientific literature on this topic and encourage all Cancer Program Administrators to participate in this important activity. Information on study progress will be included in future issues of the CoC Source.

Call for Commission on Cancer Members

It is the time of year when we look for the next group of Commission on Cancer (CoC) Members.

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is seeking eight Fellows to fill vacancies on the CoC. The initial term of appointment is three years with eligibility for re-election to a second term. Members may hold office or serve as Vice-Chair of a committee or subcommittee during their second term. New members will be recommended by the Nominating Committee, selected in October by the Executive Committee, and then brought before the full CoC membership for approval at the CoC’s Annual Meeting. The ACS Board of Regents will confirm the final list of new members, and the CoC will announce the new members in late October.

Surgeons who meet the criteria below and are interested in becoming a member of the CoC should contact to receive an application. To move to the next level, a completed application, curriculum vitae, and any letters of recommendation must be received at the same e-mail address by Friday, August 19.

CoC member criteria are as follows:

  • May not be a former CoC member who represented the ACS
  • Full ACS Fellowship status
  • Staff appointment at a CoC-accredited cancer program and a participant in cancer program activities
  • Serve as an effective State Chair or Cancer Liaison Physician
  • Knowledge of the CoC’s goals and initiatives
  • Represent a surgical specialty, geographic area, or diverse group not currently represented on the CoC
  • Interest in contributing to and enhancing CoC programs and committee work
  • Ability to serve on at least one CoC committee
  • Attend and participate in at least two in-person meetings annually and committee conference calls

Please contact if you have any questions.

Accreditation Corner

Guidelines for Standard Rating Appeal Process

The CoC’s process for appealing a standard rating following survey has been updated effective immediately.

An appeal signifies that a cancer program disagrees with a standard rating and that the compliance (or commendation) criteria was documented and met at time of survey for all three years of the survey cycle.

Programs should be aware of the guidelines for the appeal process. Uploaded documents will no longer be accepted on the appeals page. Appeals must be based directly on documentation or information that has already been submitted for survey and entered into the Survey Application Record (SAR).

Cancer programs will need only to enter text describing the justification for the appeal(s). The text you provide for the appeal will tell the CoC why you are appealing, which standards, and the location of the documentation to be reviewed by the CoC demonstrating compliance to the standard for each year of the survey cycle.

Appeals will still be required to be submitted within 30 days of receipt of the initial Performance Report.

This modified appeal process will help cancer programs ensure that all necessary documentation is provided at time of survey and streamline the appeal review to only the relevant information for each appeal.

Keep in mind it is not up to the surveyor to remind you a document is missing, but it is the responsibility of the cancer committee to make sure the SAR is complete for survey and all appropriate documentation is submitted to demonstrate compliance or commendation for the three years of the survey cycle.

Resources for Cancer Liaison Physicians

What's New for CLPs?

The Cancer Liaison Initiatives staff has been hard at work to improve the resources available to you online. We have reorganized the navigation and content on our website. The page labels to the left side of the page are more specific to your needs. Under What a CLP Should Know, you will find the CLP orientation video, various webinars, updates, news, and meeting recordings and presentations.

The new CLP Orientation video will be posted to the website by June 30, 2016. If you are a newly appointed CLP or have been in the role for some time, be sure to view it.

We would love to hear your feedback about the improved website and the new CLP orientation video. E-mail us and let us know your thoughts.

Cancer Liaison Breakfast at ASCO

Attendance at the Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) Breakfast during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting tripled from last year. Guest speakers led a provocative program. Larry Shulman, MD, Commission on Cancer (CoC) Chair-Elect, spoke about his vision for the CoC. Daniel Boffa, MD, FACS, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, talked in-depth about the use of the Participant User File (PUF). A recording of this meeting will be posted on the CLP website, along with the PowerPoint presentations.

Save the Date for the Annual CLP Breakfast Meeting during Clinical Congress

During the 2016 Clinical Congress, the Committee on Cancer Liaison will hold a breakfast meeting for Cancer Liaison Physicians (CLPs) to hear new initiatives and to network with CLPs from across the U.S. The meeting will be held in Washington, DC on Monday, October 17 from 6:30 - 8:00 am.

Invitations for the meeting will be sent out around mid-July.

We hope to see you there!

Educational Programs and Resources

Fall Accreditation 101 in Chicago

The next Accreditation 101: Learning the Basics of CoC Accreditation and Standards, will be held on Friday, September 9, 2016 in Chicago, IL. Registration is set to open in early July.

Accreditation 101 is aimed at those who work for programs not yet CoC-accredited but seeking more information to make that decision or to prepare for their application. It is also aimed at those staff new to CoC-accredited programs to provide further information and insight into the value and benefit of CoC accreditation, as a well as a basis overview of the CoC standards.

Registration fees will be $750 prior to August 12. The hotel rate will be $219/night.

Stay tuned to your email, the CoC website, the weekly CoC Brief, and the monthly Source for further information.

News from ACoS Cancer Programs


Announcing AJCC Disease Sites Webinars

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) announces the availability of five disease site webinars this summer and early fall. The AJCC Disease Site webinars highlight the five most common site chapters for AJCC 7th edition staging. The diseases featured are: melanoma, lung, breast, colorectum, and prostate. There will be pre- and post-education quizzes to serve as a self-assessment for the information learned. The webinars will provide information on the uniqueness, differences, exceptions, or special concerns for the disease sites.

Each lecture will contain the following topics:

  • Overview and Learning Objectives
  • Anatomy Affecting Stage
  • Classification Issues
  • Assigning T, N, M, Stage Group
  • Information & Questions on AJCC Staging and Summary

*No continuing education (CE) hours will be provided.

The first live webinar (Melanoma) will take place on July 27. Register today. This will be recorded for anyone who is not able to attend the live session.

You can visit the AJCC website to learn more about the Disease Sites webinars and stay informed.


NAPBC Accredits First Canadian Breast Center

The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) continues to grow internationally and announces the NAPBC accreditation of the North York General Hospital’s (NYGH) breast cancer program in Toronto, ON. NYGH’s Karen, Heather and Lynn Steinberg Breast Services is the first comprehensive breast cancer care program in Canada to receive NAPBC accreditation, and only the second NAPBC-accredited program outside of the U.S. Read the NYGH press release.

NAPBC Welcomes New Surveyors to the Team

In June, the NAPBC welcomed five new surveyors to the team. The new surveyors have attended their first trainings and will be taking part in the surveyor mentorship program.

Meet the new members of the team:

Arnold M. Baskies, MD, FACS
Dr. Arnold Baskies is currently the chief science officer of the American Cancer Society. In 2016, he will serve as the vice chairman of the Board, and in 2017, he will be chairman of the Board of the American Cancer Society. Read More

Maureen Chung, MD, PhD, FACS
Dr. Maureen Chung is a breast surgical oncologist and medical director of the Southcoast Breast Center located in southeastern Massachusetts. She completed her surgical oncology fellowship at Brown University, Providence, RI, where she earned a doctorate in Pathobiology. Read More

Mario R. Contreras, MD, FCAP
Dr. Mario Contreras’ professional career has spanned 31 years, including as associate pathologist at Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Elk Grove Village, IL and chairman of the pathology department of Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health, Lafayette, IN. Since January 2014, he has been a surveyor for the Commission on Cancer and in his retirement has continued to serve as an inspector for the American College of Pathologists. Read More

Caren Greenstein, MD
Dr. Caren Greenstein is the director of breast imaging at White Plains Hospital, NY, and oversees the breast imaging at three additional outpatient imaging centers in Rye Brook, New Rochelle, and Armonk, NY. Locally she is known as a leader in the field of high-risk screening for breast cancer. Read More

Jan H. Wong, MD, FACS
Dr. Jan H. Wong is a professor of surgery in the department of surgery, division of surgical oncology at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, and he serves as director of the Breast Care Center at the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center, Greenville. Read More

News from the Oncology Community


Submit a Presentation Abstract for NCRA’s 2017 Annual Conference by August 19
Share your expertise with the cancer registry community. The call for abstracts for the National Cancer Registrars Association’s (NCRA’s) 2017 annual educational conference opens on July 1. The conference is April 5–8, 2017, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, DC. Oral presentation and poster abstracts will be accepted online. All submissions will be acknowledged and reviewed by the 2017 Program Committee. The deadline is August 19. Learn more at For more information, e-mail Mary Maul, NCRA's Education Manager, at

Linda Corrigan Installed as President of NCRA
Linda Corrigan, MHE, RHIT, CTR, was installed as president of the NCRA at its annual educational conference in Las Vegas, NV, on April 13. Corrigan, the cancer registry program coordinator with Atlantic General Hospital, Berlin, MD, will focus her presidency on helping cancer registrars become more proactive regarding cancer data collection changes and more involved in national decisions related to cancer data. She is also interested in NCRA working with partners to expand the position of the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) credential in those states without this requirement.

Now Available! NCRA’s 2016 Conference Sessions on a USB Drive
The educational sessions from the 2016 NCRA annual conference are now available on a USB drive. Watch your favorite presentations again or share with coworkers who were unable to attend the 2016 conference in Las Vegas. The Encore Sessions USB contains high-quality video and audio. Continuing education (CE) credits can be earned by completing the viewing form on the USB. (Additional fees for CEs required.) Earn up to 20+ CEs. Order today at

NCRA Posts Online Quizzes from the Journal of Registry Management (JRM)
NCRA offers cancer registrars the opportunity to earn CEs by taking a quiz based on an article in the Journal of Registry Management (JRM). Recently posted quizzes include: “Linking the National Health Interview Survey with the Florida Cancer Data System: A Pilot Study” and “Validating Procedures Used to Identify Duplicate Reports in Haiti's HIV/AIDS Case Surveillance System.” Take the quizzes at

September 16 Application Deadline for the Last CTR Exam Testing Window in 2016
The deadline to submit an application to take the CTR Exam in fall 2016 is September 16. The last 2016 testing window is October 15–November 5. Learn more and download the 2016 CTR Exam Candidate's Handbook at