Fox Chase Cancer Center Announces New Name and Recertification for Palliative Care Program

“Our program focuses on a host of quality-of-life-related issues that may affect patients in the course of their disease," said Dr. Chwistek. Managing symptoms and supporting patients as they cope is crucial to our patients. The ‘supportive oncology’ reflects that better.”

PHILADELPHIA (February 28, 2020) – To more accurately reflect the mission and vision of the program, Fox Chase Cancer Center recently announced that the name of the Pain and Palliative Care Program has been changed to the Supportive Oncology and Palliative Care Program (SOPCP). The program has also received, for the third time, the Joint Commission’s Special Certification in palliative care.

“The focus of this recently re-accredited interdisciplinary program is to provide high-level comprehensive care to patients and their families throughout their journey with cancer,” said Marcin Chwistek, MD, FAAHPM, the program’s director and an associate professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology.

The mission of the program is to reduce the burden of cancer through all phases of the disease by providing patient- and family-centered care focused on the alleviation of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual distress.

“Cancer-related pain remains the leading cause of referral to our service, and we will continue to provide pain-management services to our patients. Luckily, cancer patients are living longer, often receiving new therapies for cancer of all stages,” Chwistek said.

“Our program focuses on a host of quality-of-life-related issues that may affect patients in the course of their disease. Managing symptoms and supporting patients as they cope is crucial to our patients. The ‘supportive oncology’ reflects that better,” he added.

Dr. Molly Collins

The program’s mission also includes training of future leaders through a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship program under the leadership of Molly Collins, MD, FACP, an assistant professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology. The program is certified through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the body responsible for accrediting graduate medical training programs for physicians in the United States. Education in palliative medicine is also provided to trainees and faculty in medical oncology, nursing, and other fields.

Additionally, the program was recently recertified in palliative care for the third time by the Joint Commission, which accredits health care organizations and programs in the United States and globally. The recertification recognizes SOPCP as a quality palliative care program with exceptional patient- and family-centered care.

“The Joint Commission’s role is to verify that our program meets the standards of providing high-quality palliative care to patients. We passed with flying colors. The Joint Commission surveyor was impressed with the quality of clinical care provided to our patients, but also with our educational and research efforts in palliative care on the regional and national level,” said Chwistek.

Chwistek said he anticipates an exciting future for SOPCP as it continues to expand the scope of palliative care services for cancer patients and caregivers.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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