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St. Mary’s Medical Center Earns National Accreditation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons

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Only 30 percent of hospitals nationwide receive this recognition

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 19, 2019) – The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACOS) has again granted a three-year accreditation to Dignity Health St. Mary’s Medical Center —a designation given to less than 30 percent of hospitals nationwide.

“This accreditation represents a true team effort by everyone associated with providing cancer care at St. Mary’s,” said St. Mary’s Medical Center President John Allen. “It is a testament to the dedication of our leaders, physicians, and staff who work together to help anyone diagnosed with cancer get access to the best possible treatment and support.”

St. Mary’s Medical Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, cancer specialists, and other health professionals. 

“Our multidisciplinary approach results in improved patient care,” said Carol C. Towarnick, C.T.R., director of cancer services at St. Mary’s Medical Center. “We are dedicated to improving outcomes and proud to offer patients a full range of advanced services based on nationally established standards of care for quality cancer treatment.”

Patients at St. Mary’s have access to many options for care in one central location, including clinical trials, new treatments, and genetic counseling referrals. They can also access patient-centered services including a caring team of physicians, nurses, and therapists, psychosocial support, and a patient navigator to provide support throughout the process. St. Mary’s also offers a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.  

St. Mary’s maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society. This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world.  Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed through the NCDB and used to explore trends in cancer care.  CoC-accredited cancer centers, in turn, have access to information derived from this type of data analysis, which is used to create national, regional, and state benchmark reports. These reports help St. Mary’s with quality improvement efforts.   

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.7 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2019. When cancer patients choose to seek care locally at a CoC-accredited cancer center, they are gaining access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care close to home. The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC accredited cancer program through the CoC Hospital Locator at


About Dignity Health St. Mary’s Medical Center
Dignity Health St. Mary's Medical Center is an accredited, not-for-profit community hospital that has been caring for the people of San Francisco since 1857. Located across from Golden Gate Park, it is the longest continually running hospital in San Francisco. St. Mary’s cardiac program offers diagnostic services, treatment, and rehabilitation. St. Mary’s also was recognized as one of the Top 100 Orthopedic Programs nationally by Becker’s Hospital Review and is a Certified Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. St. Mary’s state-of-the-art Cancer Center offers the full-range of oncology, radiation, and imaging services. Offering the most comprehensive breast imaging services in San Francisco, St. Mary’s has been designated as a Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, a recognition that represents the national gold standard. Beyond clinical care, St. Mary's is committed to furthering the healing ministry, and to providing high-quality, affordable healthcare to the community it serves. For more information, call (415) 668-1000 or visit

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Publish date: 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Media Contact

Christine McMurry, Director of External Communications

p: (415) 250-4440

[email protected]