First Canadian breast cancer program to receive prestigious accreditation

North York General Hospital’s (NYGH) Karen, Heather & Lynn Steinberg Breast Services is the first comprehensive breast cancer care program in Canada to receive full accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.

“Our cancer surgery wait times are the best in the province, we provided radioactive seed localization as the standard care before anyone else in the GTA, and North York General was the first hospital along the eastern seaboard of North America to use tomosynthesis for breast imaging,” said Dr. Nancy Down, Medical Director, Breast Integrated Care Collaborative and Division Head, General Surgery, NYGH. “Inviting the NAPBC to review our breast cancer program is one more step we have taken to demonstrate our commitment to excellence.”

“There is more pressure today from patients and families to have accreditation processes performed for various healthcare activities, including multidisciplinary breast centers,” said Dr. James Connolly, Chair, NAPBC and staff physician, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston MA. “North York General Hospital is excellent. We (NAPBC) have 29 standards and they passed every standard.”

Breast Cancer Care at NYGH is provided through an Integrated Care Collaborative (ICC). An ICC is a system of health care providers, clinics and services focused on breast cancer patients and their families. This focus means that patients receive evidence-based care, following best practices in a multi-disciplinary, collaborative environment.

“North York General Hospital is performing high-level care. They’re practicing evidence-based medicine. They’re excelling and embracing the standards of a collaborative approach to care, said Dr. Terry Sarantou, Surveyor, NAPBC, and staff physician, Levine Cancer Institute, Carolinas HealthCare System.

Accreditation by the NAPBC is only given to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. During the survey process, the center must demonstrate compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for treating women who are diagnosed with the full spectrum of breast disease.  The standards include proficiency in the areas of: center leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement. A breast center that achieves NAPBC accreditation has demonstrated a firm commitment to offer its patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease.

Receiving care at a NAPBC-accredited center ensures that a patient will have access to:

  • Comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services,
  • A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options,
  • Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options,

And, most importantly,

  • Quality breast care close to home.

“One out of nine Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Even with the research and treatment gains that have been made, breast cancer remains a complex disease requiring a team of experts, like the team we have at North York General, working together towards the best possible outcomes,” said Dr. Tim Rutledge, President and CEO, North York General Hospital.