Quebec Government Cancer Agency Gives Top Marks to MUHC Cancer Care Mission

Montreal, May 20, 2009 – The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) announced today that 16 of its Cancer Care Mission teams have received the highest levels of accreditation from the Direction de la lutte contre le cancer. The agency was created by the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services to oversee cancer care across Quebec.

"It is very important that we offer our community the very best and most comprehensive care available," noted MUHC Director General and CEO, the Hon. Arthur T. Porter. "In continuously raising the bar of excellence, in accelerating the translation of our discoveries from the bench to the bedside, and by providing the compassionate programs our patients and their families need through Cedars CanSupport and other means, we will achieve this goal."

In all, 13 tumour-site teams received level-four accreditation after a rigorous assessment of the cancer care services at the MUHC by the Direction de la lutte contre le cancer. These teams set the regional standards for cancer care. Three other teams received level-three accreditation.

"The MUHC’s multidisciplinary pediatric and adult cancer-care teams are active in all major cancers as well as rare ones," underscored Dr. Armen Aprikian, whose appointment as Chief of the Cancer Care Mission will be confirmed at an event later this evening. "The accreditation process evaluates every aspect of care, from early screening and diagnosis to ultra-specialized treatments and innovative support. I am delighted to see our exceptional performance being recognized in such a manner, and am committed to helping our institution to do even better."

Dr. Aprikian is also eager for the Government to announce the provincial results later this year. "Given our performance, I am confident that the MUHC will be at the top," he stated.

The Cedars Cancer Institute President Stephen Hajaly expressed his heartfelt congratulations to the Cancer Care Mission for its achievement. "The superior level of cancer care at the MUHC is no secret to those of us associated with these dedicated healthcare professionals. I am proud to represent the Cedars board and community of donors in reinforcing our commitment to the fulfillment of our longstanding mission to provide resources to fund state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic oncology equipment, treatment facilities, education, research and the Cedars CanSupport program."

The Research Institute of the MUHC (RI-MUHC) continues to distinguish itself on the world stage for the quality of its cancer research. Future research will focus on the study of systemic aspects of human cancer, and the capability to respond to the emerging reality of individualized cancer care. "Our Cancer Care Mission offers several unique adjunct programs," added Dr. Aprikian. "For example, the Cancer Rehabilitation Program works to prevent life-threatening fatigue, weight loss and depression associated with cancer while our Psychosocial Program looks to alleviate psychological distress, an equally devastating reality of cancer."

"The MUHC Redevelopment Project will allow us to make our vision of fully-integrated patient care, research and teaching a reality," concluded the Hon. Arthur T. Porter. "As a cancer physician and the head of the MUHC, knowing that we will offer our patients and their families a state-of-the-art, healing environment in a Comprehensive Cancer Centre on the Glen Campus motivates me to keep our project on schedule. I look forward to announcing our preferred bidder this December."

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is a comprehensive academic health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical programs, research and teaching. Its partner hospitals are the Montreal Children's Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute and the Lachine Hospital. The goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care based on the most advanced knowledge in the health care field and to contribute to the development of new knowledge. www.muhc.ca
For more information please contact:
Rebecca Burns
Communications Coordinator
MUHC Public Relations and Communications
(514) 843 1560
rebecca.burns@muhc.mcgill.ca