National recognition emphasizes Markey's vital role in treating cancer in Kentucky

national recognition - annual report

In August 2017, the UK Markey Cancer Center was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Top 50 cancer centers in America – another accomplishment in a growing list of achievements that, together, paint a picture of the high-quality comprehensive cancer care provided at Markey.

Nationally Ranked Cancer Center

Markey was included in the Top 50 – coming in at No. 50 – while remaining the top hospital for cancer care in the state of Kentucky. Additionally, UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital was ranked as the No. 1 hospital in the state.

Markey has consistently been designated as high-performing by U.S. News & World Report for many years. Still, the move up into the national rankings is indicative of Markey’s continued emphasis on providing exemplary care as the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated center.

Markey was also designated as high-performing in Colon Cancer Surgery and Lung Cancer Surgery, two recognitions that reinforce the center’s commitment to treating the cancer types that affect Kentuckians the most, said Markey Director B. Mark Evers, MD.

“We see 50 percent of our patients coming from Eastern Kentucky, which has some of the highest rates of cancer in the country – particularly lung cancer and colon cancer,” Evers said. “So the Markey Cancer Center is vitally important to our region.”

Commitment to High-Quality Patient Care

The U.S. News & World Report ranking is the latest in a long line of accomplishments that speak to Markey’s excellent patient care.

In addition to being the state’s only cancer center designated by the NCI, Markey also achieved three-year accreditation renewal in 2017 from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons. CoC accreditation demonstrates a cancer center’s commitment to high-quality cancer care.

As part of UK HealthCare, Markey and its nurses have also achieved Magnet status – the highest honor awarded by the American Nurses Association for nursing excellence and patient-centered nursing care.

Subspecialty Recognition

Additionally, several subspecialty areas within Markey’s breadth of service have also been recognized for high-quality care, including radiation medicine and imaging, breast cancer care, and cellular therapy.

In 2017, the American College of Radiology accredited UK Radiation Medicine in all nine of its focus areas, a recognition that Markey and UK HealthCare are committed to providing excellent medical imaging and radiation treatment.

UK was accredited in Radiation Oncology, Computed Tomography, Nuclear Medicine, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ultrasound, while the UK Comprehensive Breast Care Center was accredited in Mammography, Breast Ultrasound, Breast MRI and Stereotactic Breast Biopsy. The Breast Care Center was also named a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.

The Breast Care Center also achieved accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, which recognizes the center’s efforts to provide the most efficient and effective care for patients with diseases of the breast.

In addition, Markey’s Hematology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation Program has been accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy, or FACT, since 2009. FACT accreditation is for bone marrow transplant programs that demonstrate excellence in the care and treatment of patients with blood disorders such as leukemia and lymphoma.

Continuing Success

Evers stresses that the center’s many recognitions and accolades are important only because of what they mean to Markey’s patients and their families.

“We do all of this because we want to end cancer and help as many patients as possible until a cure is found,” Evers said. “As our recognition and influence continue to grow, Markey will be in a better position to treat and cure the patients we serve.”

The next – and perhaps most challenging – goal for Markey is achieving Comprehensive Cancer Center status from the NCI. As a Comprehensive Cancer Center, Markey would join an elite class of cancer centers around the country and be held to an even higher standard of care.

Evers acknowledged the challenge, but said he’s confident that past achievements and the progress happening at Markey right now has put the center on the path toward continued success.

“I know that we are capable of holding ourselves to our own high standards, and now is the time to prove it,” he said. “I believe we are among the best.”