1+1=3, explained ACS' Dr. LaMar McGinnis

Collaboration was the mission, and truly the spirit of the first-time, statewide conference focused on quality cancer care put on by Georgia CORE on Nov. 27. Attended by nearly 140 administrators, doctors, nurses, navigators, genetic counselors and registrars, “Best and Promising Practices in Quality Cancer Care: Meeting the 2012 Commission on Cancer Standards” was targeted to multi-disciplinary representatives of CoC accredited programs.

To set the stage, Dr. Fred Schnell, Georgia CORE’s chief medical officer told the history of Georgia CORE and how it was born out of the very spirit of, and need for, collaboration. Dr. LaMar McGinnis from the American Cancer Society took the audience through 100 years of collaboration as guided by ACS and used the numerical analogy, “1+1=3” depicting that the whole is truly better than each of our individual parts when it comes to quality cancer care.

Additional speakers at the conference included Dr. Thomas Eisenhauer of the American College of Surgeons, who discussed the value of CoC Accreditation and Andrew K. Stewart, senior manager of the National Cancer Data Base who explained that it’s not just about data, but about quality data. “Not any data will do,” said Stewart. He went on to walk the conferees through the improvements that have been made in data collection and reporting here in Georgia as compared to throughout the U.S.

Tamara Lopata, a cancer survivor, gave the inspirational keynote address over lunch, and the afternoon was spent in breakout sessions for conference attendees to dig deeper into the various accreditation standards of care. Quite a successful conference, it promises to be the first of an annual event.