April 18, 2013 – The Hallmark Health System CHEM Center for Radiation Oncology has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in radiation oncology as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Radiation oncology (radiation therapy) is the careful use of high-energy radiation to treat cancer. A radiation oncologist may use radiation to cure cancer or to relieve a cancer patient’s pain.
The ACR is the nation’s oldest and most widely accepted radiation oncology accrediting body, with nearly 500 accredited sites, and 25 years of accreditation experience. The ACR seal of accreditation represents the highest level of quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting specific Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards developed by ACR after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Patient care and treatment, patient safety, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Radiation Oncology Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.
At the Center, conveniently located on Montvale Avenue in Stoneham, patients are offered the perfect blend of clinical expertise coupled with compassionate, personalized care to help them beat cancer and return to healthy living. The Center has been caring for area patients for more than 20 years and was the first freestanding radiation oncology site in Massachusetts. The Center’s multi-disciplinary team is made up of physicists, nurses, dosimetrists and radiation therapists and is led by Medial Director Paul McKeough, MD, who is a board-certified in radiation oncology and a fellow of the American College of Radiology. The Center uses the most up-to-date equipment and techniques available in radiation oncology, which even rivals what is offered at some of the teaching hospitals in Boston.
Dr. McKeough said the staff communicates with patients’ primary care physicians so that all of their providers are on the same page, ensuring continuity of care. He said the Center also has great relationships with Boston hospitals, adding many of their patients receive their radiation therapy at HHS.
“The strength of our Center is being able to provide patients with the best cancer care without leaving the communities they live and work in,” said Dr. McKeough. “That is what we are all about.”
When patients are first referred to the Center they have a consultation with Dr. McKeough followed by a planning session with the multi-disciplinary team, who then develop a treatment plan that will outline how best to attack the cancerous cells while protecting the area of healthy tissue around it. Most patients receive radiation therapy Monday through Friday for about 20 minutes a day for a period of seven weeks.
“We pride ourselves on being a community center where people aren’t just a number,” said Glenn Davis, RTTR, operations manager of oncology for HHS. “We see our patients every day for several months so we really get to know and build up those relationships.”
To learn more about the Center, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org and select “Programs” or call (781) 279-0655.
Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology and the Joslin Diabetes Center for diabetes care.