No one wants to hear the "c" word when they visit their doctor. Cancer can be a scary diagnosis for a patient and his or her family.
But Anderson Regional Cancer Center in Meridian is now a nationally accredited cancer center. This accreditation incorporates several criteria.
"Some of the criteria have to do with our cancer leadership, has to do with our multi-disciplinary approach to that, has to do with the way we collect data on cancer, has to do with some of the approaches we use in providing education and information to our patients, giving them access to the latest information and education," said Wayne Herrington, administrative director of the Anderson Regional Cancer Center.
The national accreditation recognizes things Anderson has already been doing, so officials say patients here can expect a continued level of excellent care.
"This just means we've been doing these. We've had on-site inspections to verify these things have been going on, and so this is just a continuation of the high quality service that we've always provided," Herrington said.
Anderson is the only accredited cancer center in east Mississippi and west Alabama. In fact, the next closest cancer centers are University of Alabama Medical Center at Birmingham and St. Jude Children's Research Center in Memphis.
Even with this new accreditation, the work is not done for Anderson.
"Next year the standards will change, so the Commission on Cancer will have a completely new set of standards next year, so we will be working to comply with those," said Herrington.
The Commission on Cancer was established in 1922. It has 42 member organizations from around the nation. It requires that 36 different standards of care be met before accreditation is awarded.