Lakeland, FL – DeAnne Abell wasn’t sure how to feel when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 32.
After facing side effects from her first chemotherapy treatment, the mother of five began to wonder what kind of legacy she needed to leave behind for her younger children. “At that point, I actually started thinking, ‘What will I write to them so they could have me at some point, if they ever needed me and I’m not here?’”
Mrs. Abell leaned heavily on the Hollis Cancer Center team to get her through the remainder of her treatments.
“I was not just another number at the Hollis Cancer Center. I was a human being. At Lakeland Regional Health’s Hollis Cancer Center, they not only saved my life, they let me be me. If I didn’t have their support, I don’t know if I could have gone through it as well as I did,” said Mrs. Abell, who’s been cancer free for nine years.
This type of exceptional care earned Lakeland Regional Health’s oncology program a prestigious place among only 24 programs in the country earning the Commission on Cancer’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Established in 2004, this honor is granted twice a year to oncology programs that earn Gold Status Accreditation with Commendation, strive for excellence in consistently meeting and exceeding Commission on Cancer standards and are committed to ensuring high-quality cancer care. Lakeland Regional Health’s oncology program earned its first Gold Accreditation in August 2018.
Lakeland Regional Health is part of an elite group of cancer programs earning the Outstanding Achievement Award, including Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. The three-year Gold accreditation that the award is based on is the result of a rigorous on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor in 27 standards as well as commendations in seven areas that include nursing care, timeliness and accuracy of reporting data and pathology reporting.
Only 64 oncology programs in Florida are accredited by the Commission on Cancer, with a total of 1,264 Commission on Cancer-accredited programs in the United States, representing approximately 25 percent of all hospitals and health systems in the United States.
“We have an exceptional team of physicians, clinicians, social workers, pharmacists, support personnel and volunteers who are committed to providing high-quality inpatient and outpatient cancer care to our patients, their families and our community,” said Graham F. Greene, MD, FACS, FRCS, Lakeland Regional Health Chief Academic Officer and Hollis Cancer Center Executive Director. “This national honor attests that our community is receiving top-tier oncology care right here close to home.”
Lakeland Regional Health’s Breast Program was re-accredited in 2018 by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, and its Radiation Oncology program is accredited by the American College of Radiation Oncology. In 2017, the Hollis Cancer Center was designated a Lung Cancer Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance.
About Lakeland Regional Health
Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Health reaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status four times since 2013 from the American Hospital Association and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 864-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates the Jack and Tina Harrell Family Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine; a Level II Trauma Center; the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, which includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine.