American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

News from the American College of Surgeons

For Immediate Release

Contact: Devin Rose | 312-202-5324
Sally Garneski | 312-202-5409


San Francisco-Area Cancer Program is the First in the U.S. to Earn Accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer

John Muir Health’s Rectal Cancer Program was granted a three-year accreditation from the new American College of Surgeons-administered accreditation program.

CHICAGO (May 22, 2018): The John Muir Health Rectal Cancer Program, based in Walnut Creek and Concord, Calif., is the nation’s first to earn accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC), a program launched last year and administered by the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

To earn the voluntary accreditation, the John Muir Health Rectal Cancer Program met 19 standards, including the establishment of a rectal cancer multidisciplinary team (RC-MDT) with clinical representatives from surgery, pathology, radiology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology.

Thirteen of those standards address clinical services that the program was required to provide, including CEA testing, MRI and CT imaging for cancer staging, and ensuring a process whereby the patient starts treatment within a defined timeframe. One of the most important clinical standards requires all rectal cancer patients to be presented at both pre- and post-treatment RC-MDT meetings.

“When a cancer center achieves this type of specialized accreditation it means that their rectal cancer patients will receive streamlined, modern evaluation and treatment for the disease. Compliance with our standards will assure optimal care for these patients,” said David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, Medical Director of ACS Cancer Programs.

John Muir Health’s medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek are staffed by board-certified colon and rectal surgeons who collectively have over three quarters of a century of experience.

”We have come a long way in the treatment of rectal cancer, but it remains a very complex disease that can be challenging to treat,” said Samuel Oommen, MD, FACS, a colorectal surgeon and medical director of the gastrointestinal oncology program at John Muir Health. “This accreditation demonstrates to patients that we have an innovative program that is at the forefront of rectal cancer care by following rigorous standards and best practices. Achieving this designation is a recognition of the work done by a dedicated multidisciplinary team providing high quality, patient-centered care to provide superior oncological outcomes while preserving quality of life.,” Dr. Oommen said.

The NAPRC was developed through a collaboration between the Optimizing the Surgical Treatment of Rectal Cancer (OSTRiCh) Consortium and the Commission on Cancer (CoC), an ACS quality program. It is based on successful international models that emphasize program structure, patient care processes, performance improvement, and performance measures. Its goal is to ensure that rectal cancer patients receive appropriate care using a multidisciplinary approach.

For more information about the program, and instructions on how to apply for accreditation, please visit the NAPRC website, or contact

"FACS" designates that a surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

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About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit

About John Muir Health
John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, Alameda, and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, more than 6,000 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa County’s only trauma center, and a behavioral health center. John Muir Health also has partnerships with UCSF Health, Tenet Healthcare/San Ramon Regional Medical Center and Stanford Children's Health. The health system offers a full range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties—neurosciences, orthopedics, cancer, cardiovascular services, trauma, emergency services, pediatrics, and high-risk obstetrics care. For more information, visit