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Hines VA recognized with surgical cancer Diamond Award

Surgical cancer team poses with the Diamond Award.

The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer recognized Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital for its demonstrated commitment to American Veterans requiring surgical cancer care.

The hospital received the Surgical Quality Partner Diamond Award for to its continued commitment to evidence-based guidelines and best practices. The award is only awarded to hospitals accredited by the commission.  


“I am extremely pleased that Hines VA Hospital has been acknowledged by the American College of Surgeons as a Surgical Quality Partner. That is really huge,” said Dr. Vinod Winston, Hines VA cancer surgeon and cancer liaison physician. “That means the treatment we give to the Veterans at Hines VA Hospital is top-notch. There is no doubt about that.” 


This award is new to the cancer community. The Commission on Cancer didn’t publish surgical standards for until 2019, and diamond designations began in 2023. The three ACS publications provide an examination of protocols and cancer surgery techniques to achieve better outcomes. 


“The reason why we follow the best practices and guidelines is because that brings the best outcome for the patient,” said Winston. “That is extremely important.” 


According to Michelle Popadiuk, Hines VA cancer program administrator, the hospital prepared and educated surgical teams in adopting and complying with the new standards. First by standardizing surgical approaches and then improving clinical documentation.


Hines VA employs a multi-disciplinary approach to cancer treatment, including various surgical specialties and sub-specialties. The approach also includes collaboration with other medical services at Hines VA, including hematology-oncology, radiation-oncology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, hepatology, radiology, pathology, nutrition, social work and more, Winston explained.


Due to this approach, Winston feels this award reflects all Hines VA health care. 


“When the patient sees this plaque, they should feel they are being taken care of in the best possible way and that we at Hines are a team totally committed to their care,” Winston concluded. “The patient should understand that we are with them as they go through their treatment – all the way.”

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