UCSF Recognizes High-Quality Care with Helen Diller Family Award

June 18, 2010

At the recent quality of care award ceremony, from left, are Chief Medical Officer Josh Adler, Peter Carroll, director of Clinical Services and Strategic Planning at the cancer center; Linda Giudice, The Robert B. Jaffe MD Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Lee-may Chen, associate clinical professor; and Gerrie Shields, director of clinical services administration for the cancer center.

By Elizabeth Fernandez

UCSF’s GYN Surgical Oncology practice is the recipient of the 2010 Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Quality Award, which honors exceptional commitment to providing superior patient care.

During a ceremony at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Associate Clinical Professor Lee-may Chen, MD, accepted the award of behalf of John Chan, MD, and the remainder of the practice. 

“Our department is always challenging itself to make new goals, to continue to challenge ourselves,” said Chen. “We hope that our practice remains on the cutting edge of therapeutics for our patients.”

The award was established in 2009 to recognize outstanding achievements in the advancement of the care of cancer patients. The inaugural award went to the Gastrointestinal Oncology Practice. 

Each practice within the cancer center at Mount Zion was asked to identify a significant quality metric for a specific cancer diagnosis, and then to submit a report summarizing the practice’s performance based on that metric.

This year, a four-member physician panel assessed the submissions: Robert Hiatt, MD, PhD, the cancer center’s deputy director; Josh Adler, MD, UCSF’s chief medical officer; Brigid Ide, RN, director of quality improvement; and Ning Tang, MD, medical director for ambulatory quality and safety. 

GYN Surgical Oncology focused on a quality metric of “management of women with advanced endometrial cancer.” Data were obtained for advanced uterine cancer cases first seen at UCSF between October 2007 and June 2008. Altogether, 30 cases of stage 3-4 disease were identified. Two cases, which were consultations, were excluded. Of the remaining, all 28 cases were found to have achieved the quality metric of either receiving therapy or therapy was recommended.   

“You are 100 percent compliant. Congratulations, great work,” said Peter R. Carroll, MD, MPH, professor and chair of the Department of Urology, and director of Clinical Services and Strategic Planning at the cancer center.

GYN Surgical Oncology ranked highest among the 19 practices that participated in the initiative.

“This is something to be extremely proud of,” said Gerrie Shields, MBA, director of clinical services administration for the cancer center.

Honorable mentions went to five other practices: Breast Medicine, Breast Surgery/Plastics, Urology Surgery, Colorectal Surgery and Thoracic Medicine.

“Lee-may said ‘I don’t know why we are getting this award,’” noted Adler during the award presentation. “That’s why you are getting this award. That’s the kind of culture that needs to be instilled in great places.”

Excellence in patient care is a team effort, said Gynecologic Oncology Director John K. Chan, MD, who expressed gratitude to his division and to the cancer center administration, as well as the Department of OB/GYN and the UCSF School of Medicine.

“They have provided us with the resources to advance our clinical trials program to offer patients state-of-the-art care with novel agents, giving our patients a sense of strength, perseverance, and hope for the future.”

He said that basic scientists in the division are working on designing a novel biologic targeted agent to destroy the tumor-initiating cells of endometrial cancer. 

For 2011, eligiblity for the Helen Diller quality award will be extended to cancer practices at the Parnassus campus (Pediatric Oncology, Neuro-Oncology, and the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program).

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Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center