The Commission on Cancer (CoC) is a group of professional organizations dedicated to improve survival and quality of life for patients with cancer, through standard settings, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care.

In March 2017, the Commission on Cancer surveyed Orange Park Medical Center's Cancer Program, and in October, Orange Park Medical Center was deemed accredited status. Our next Commission on Cancer survey will take place in the spring of 2020.

The Orange Park Medical Center Cancer Committee has been very active and met quarterly in 2017. The Committee membership is defined by the Commission on Cancer and the required members (by specialty) have successfully attended at least three of the four meetings required. Orange Park Medical Center required members include:

  • Emily Tanzler, MD, Radiation Oncologist,
  • Dr. R. Buxton, Diagnostic Radiologist
  • Dr. J. Panaccione, Diagnostic Radiologist
  • Dr. Sylvia De Paz, Pathologist
  • Dr. Yan Zhijie, Pathologist
  • Dr. Elizabeth Kent, Medical Oncologist
    and Cancer Liaison Physician
  • Dr. Yan Makeyev, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. Mendhi Moezi, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. Augusto Villegas, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. Joseph Parra, CMO,
    Program Administrator
  • Dr. Neil Karnani, Palliative Care
  • Dr. Walter Hayne-Surgeon
  • Cheryl Jones, MHA, RN, Vice President
    Quality Services
  • Nelida Toledo, MSN, RN, Cancer Program Coordinator
  • Crysty Cornett, Certified Tumor Registrar
  • Terry Kacmarynski, MSN, RN Oncology Director
  • Cindy Atkins, Social Worker, Oncology Unit
  • Andrea Hepburn, Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Sharon Pitcher, Cancer Conference Coordinator
  • Jenni Bachhofer, Clinical Research Coordinator

The committee also includes representation from Administration, Nutrition Services, Pharmacy, and the American Cancer Society.

The Commission on Cancer standards and eligibility requirements must be met annually during three years for re-accreditation. Some of those standards required Quality and educational studies. These are some of the projects completed by members of the Oncology Committee in 2017:

  • Bi- monthly tumor conferences attended by physicians, nurses, social workers to review newly diagnosed patients and discuss the diagnosis, latest innovation and optimal treatment plans.
  • A multidisciplinary quality study and improvement project were the Oncology Educator, Radiology and Nursing Supervisor study ways to provide patients with early access to intravenous PICC Lines.
  • The Pharmacy, Oncology staff, including the Oncology Educator, performed a quality study focusing on improving wait times and intervals between dispensing and administering chemotherapy.
  • Another quality improvement project was completed by the Cancer Registrar and the Cancer Coordinator to evaluate and improve the process for obtaining additional treatment information on surgery patients who are referred to external clinics and programs for subsequent treatments.
  • Dr. Makeyev, Medical Oncologist and Dr. De Paz, Pathologist in conjunction with the Cancer Registrar collected and analyzed information on Margins for Breast Conserving Surgery with Whole Breast Irradiation in Ductal Carcinoma Situ. The in-depth analysis study and findings were presented to the Cancer Committee.
  • An education opportunity about Brain tumor new modalities in therapy was presented by Dr. Tanzler to a multidisciplinary team of professional health care.

Cancer screening and prevention:

1) The Radiology department organized and offered an event to the community, "Ladies Night Out: Mamos and Mimosas", where breast exam education and mammography were scheduled and performed while patients waited and enjoyed and atmosphere of great food, education and relaxing mimosas.

The event had three exceptional and knowledgeable speakers:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Kent, Medical Oncologist - she provided an insightful view of breast cancer and genetics.
  • Dr. Emily Tanzler, Radiation Oncologist and Orange Park Medical Center Chair of the Cancer Committee, brought to the audience interesting concepts, treatment and comprehensive approaches for the patient with breast cancer
  • Dr. John Panaccione, Orange Park Medical Center Radiologist, provided a very informative and visual information piece on breast imaging.
  • 26 patients participated, 13 mammograms were performed. Of those 13, two had positive findings and were referred to their primary physicians for follow up and care. The Cancer Committee members participated in this event.

2) During the year, several colorectal prevention education presentations were given to the community by our Graduate Medical Program physicians, with huge attendance rates.

Within the last two weeks of November, our first colorectal cancer screening was provided to the community with the assistance of our awesome Laboratory staff. Seventy-five people from the community participated, and from that 56 patients that returned their specimen to the laboratory, three had positive findings and were referred, per agreement on the consent, to go to their primary physicians for follow-up and care.

To culminate the year, The American Cancer Society presented Orange Park Medical Center with the Relay for Life Crystal Award for sponsorship and participation in the 2017 Relay for Life of Orange Park event. Relay for Life is an annual fundraiser which celebrates the lives of cancer patients, survivors, and those we have lost to cancer.