Sarasota Memorial Hospital certified as Breast Cancer Center of Excellence for demonstration of ‘high-level performance’

It is among only 61 in the nation to earn that designation

A rendering shows the new oncology tower planned for the Sarasota Memorial Hospital campus in Sarasota. Image courtesy SMH

Sarasota Memorial Hospital recently earned recognition as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence — “the highest quality designation awarded by the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers,” the hospital has announced.

The certification was awarded during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, as Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) prepares to break ground on a new oncology tower and outpatient radiation oncology center, the release points out.

SMH is the only Florida hospital (and among 61 in the nation) designated a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence, the release adds. “The community hospital has made cancer care one of its top priorities in recent years because of the rising incidence of cancer across the nation and in our region,” the release says.

“Here in Sarasota, we are fortunate to live in a community that has excellent and skilled cancer specialists,” said SMH Chief Operating Officer Lorrie Liang in the release. “Yet, we know that the incidence of cancer continues to rise and that over 12 percent of women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime,” she added in the release. “That is the impetus behind our many breast health and cancer care initiatives. Attaining Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence certification is a source of pride for our health system and reflects our multi-disciplinary team’s commitment to providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate breast care,” Liang said in the release.

“To earn certification, hospitals must demonstrate high-level performance on a number of quality measures, including imaging, surgery, radiation, cancer registry, pathology and patient satisfaction,” the release explains.

“Over the next few years, SMH is creating a premier Cancer Institute that will offer services across the entire continuum of cancer care, from prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment, to survivorship, follow-up care and support, all in one location on the hospital’s main campus,” the release continues. “Earlier this year, the Hospital Board approved $220 million to build a 170,000-square-foot, eight-story oncology tower on SMH’s main campus and a 17,500-square-foot outpatient radiation oncology center on the health system’s University Parkway/Honore campus,” the release notes. Groundbreakings on both facilities are slated for early next year, with the radiation center expected to open in 2020, followed by the tower in 2021, the release says

“When complete, the facilities will offer a widening range of fellowship-trained oncology specialists and subspecialists in the region and offer individual patients a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach to diagnose and treat their unique cancer,” the release points out.