Tri-State Regional Cancer Center

Dr. Jeffrey Lopez (left) and Dr. Terry Justice of the Tri-State Regional Cancer Center have been awarded an accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Submitted photo

ASHLAND The Tri-State Regional Cancer Center has again been awarded a three-year term of accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Since 2007 the center has maintained this accreditation in radiation oncology, making it the fourth center in Kentucky to receive one.

The ACR seal of accreditation signifies the top level of quality and patient safety in practices that provide radiation therapy.

It is awarded only to facilities meeting specific Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards established by the ACR after a peer-review assessment by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are specialists in the field.

Dr. Jeffrey Lopez, who works alongside Dr. Terry Justice, explained the assessment is strenuous, but also a learning experience that benefits patients.

“It allows us to give the best quality care to our patients and have some guide for that because you can assume you’re giving quality care but if you don’t have someone coming in reviewing you, are you really?” said Lopez.

Even though receiving the accreditation is not a requirement, Lopez feels that it is important to obtain it in order to make the center better and to assure patients they are in good hands. The assessment for the award costs $9,500, but Lopez assured the price does not affect treatment charges.

During the evaluation equipment is also reviewed. Lopez said the True Beam linear accelerator installed last summer probably helped with the accreditation. The accelerator allows precise radiation treatment on patients, minimizing the dose to surrounding areas that are not affected.

“They want to make sure that you have the current standard of care as far as the equipment goes and we decided to get the state of the art equipment,” said Lopez.

Justice said he is proud of the independent verification that proves the top-notch care the center offers to patients throughout the area.

“It’s rewarding,” said Justice. “It’s nice to be recognized.”

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