Jeffrey M. Farma Appointed State Chair of American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer

Dr. Jeffrey Farma, chief of General Surgery at Fox Chase
Dr. Jeffrey Farma, chief of General Surgery at Fox Chase

PHILADELPHIA (September 21, 2021)—Jeffrey M. Farma, MD, FACS, chief of the Division of General Surgery at Fox Chase Cancer Center, was appointed as the state chair of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) Cancer Liaison Program.

State chairs are volunteer physicians who serve as CoC representatives and provide leadership and support to the CoC-accredited programs and cancer liaison physicians in their state. Farma will serve as state chair for three years. As state chair, Farma is the main contact between the CoC and the local chapter of the American College of Surgeons.

“I’m looking forward to working with the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Cancer to improve screening, treatment, and standardization of cancer care in Pennsylvania,” said Farma.

Farma is among a network of 64 state chairs who guide the activities of more than 1,500 volunteer cancer liaison physicians appointed in cancer programs across the country. Cancer liaison physicians are responsible for evaluating, interpreting, and reporting their facilities’ performance data through the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) and facilitating quality improvement initiatives based on data findings.

In addition, the cancer liaison physician is responsible for leading CoC initiatives within their cancer programs and collaborating with agencies such as the American Cancer Society (ACS) on behalf of the hospital. 

The CoC collects data from its accredited cancer programs and provides tools for these programs to facilitate analysis of patterns of diagnosis, treatment, and quality of care for patients treated at the hospital. The NCDB, a joint program of the CoC and the ACS, is a nationwide oncology outcomes database for commission-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Some 70% of all newly diagnosed cases of cancer in the United States are captured at the institutional level and reported to the NCDB. The NCDB, begun in 1989, now contains approximately 34 million records from hospital cancer registries across the United States. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed. As part of their duties, state chairs work to facilitate the presentation, use, and interpretation of NCDB data at the state or regional level.

Farma will also work with the ACS, state cancer coalitions, and departments of health to support data-driven comprehensive cancer control planning throughout the state. This collaborative effort is an integrated and coordinated approach to reducing cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality. 

In an effort to assist the more than 1.8 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year, state chairs encourage cancer liaison physicians in CoC-accredited programs to share information on their facilities’ resources, services, and annual cancer caseloads for public reporting. 

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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