St. Bernard's appoints cancer liaison 

News release

St. Bernards Medical Center


St. Bernards surgeon receives appointment

A.H. (Buck) Rusher, Jonesboro surgeon, has received a three-year appointment as cancer liaison physician for the cancer program at St. Bernards Medical Center.

Cancer liaison physicians are an integral part of cancer programs approved by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC).

Dr. Rusher is part of a national network of more than 1,600 volunteer physicians who provide leadership and direction to establish, maintain and support cancer programs in facilities throughout the country. He is a member of the multidisciplinary cancer committee at St. Bernards, an institution dedicated to the delivery of comprehensive quality cancer care.

Data from the 1,400-plus CoC-approved cancer programs are compiled and reported back to individual facilities to analyze patterns of care. The database contains patient demographics, tumor characteristics, treatment and outcomes information for more than 17 million malignant cancers diagnosed and treated at hospital cancer programs in the U.S. between 1985 and 2003.

Cancer liaison physicians spearhead CoC initiatives within their cancer programs, collaborate with local agencies and facilitate quality improvement initiatives utilizing data submitted to the committee’s national cancer database. They also facilitate participation in the facility information profile system, a data-sharing activity of the commission and the American Cancer Society that provides the public with information about resources, services and annual cancer caseload at commission-approved facilities.

The CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving the survival and quality of life for cancer patients. It achieves its goal through standard-setting, cancer prevention, research and educational activities and monitoring of comprehensive quality care. Patients battling many different forms of cancer find both physical and emotional care at the St. Bernards Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment Center, a facility accredited by the American College of Surgeons.

At its last accreditation, the St. Bernards program was recognized for efforts above and beyond requirements. Commendations included recognition “for the excellent quality of data submitted to the national cancer database, for 100 percent compliance on on-site surveyor chart review, for an excellent clinical research program, for a exemplary community outreach program, for having an eligible certified tumor registrar attend a national meeting between survey cycles and for excellent improvements that have been implemented.”


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