M.D. Anderson Awarded CEO Cancer Gold Standard Accreditation
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has been awarded the CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation. M.D. Anderson is the first NCI-designated Cancer Center and the first health care system in the nation to receive this accreditation.
It was awarded by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer which was established in 2001 in response to a challenge from former President George H.W. Bush, who called on a group of corporate executives to "do something bold and venturesome about cancer within your corporate families." The Roundtable focuses on three key cancer-fighting objectives: risk education, early detection, and quality care. Only 12 organizations have received the distinction.
Organizations that adopt the CEO Cancer Gold Standard offer a series of benefits and programs to their employees and their families that lower the risk of cancer through lifestyle changes. These include eliminating the use of tobacco, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet. Gold Standard companies also cover preventive screening costs so that more cancers will be detected at the earliest possible stage when treatment can improve the outcome. Finally, a Gold Standard organization provides access to the best-available treatment, including clinical trials, when a cancer diagnosis becomes a reality for an employee or a family member.
"To be recognized for the emphasis we place on our employees' health and well-being in the fight against cancer and to be the first health care system to receive the distinction is an incredible honor," said Dr. Georgia Thomas, executive director of M.D. Anderson's Department of Employee Health and Well-Being. "In recent years, as the research between healthy lifestyle habits and one's risks for cancer have become only more evident, M.D. Anderson has reinvigorated its emphasis on the wellness of our employees."
M.D. Anderson offers its employees gym membership discounts, smoking cessation programs, cancer screening opportunities, use of exercise equipment stationed around the institution, and healthy choices in the cafeteria.
"The CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation challenges us not only to maintain these programs, but to expand upon them, to meet the needs of our diverse employee population," Dr. Thomas noted. "Our commitment to the principle of CEO Cancer Gold Standard is permanent, as it fully embodies our mission to eliminate cancer, and that starts with M.D. Anderson employees and their family members."
New health-conscious programs already underway for M.D. Anderson employees in 2007 include the "Rock Steady" weight management group and employee walking and running clubs. Also this year, M.D. Anderson plans to expand on the number of exercise equipment stations across the campus.
In addition to M.D. Anderson, the CEO Roundtable recently announced five other newly accredited organizations: the American Legacy Foundation, Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Jenner & Block, the SAS Institute, and Quintiles Transnational Corp.