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  • Avera Bone Marrow Transplant Program Earns Re-accreditation

Published on December 17, 2010

Avera Bone Marrow Transplant Program Earns Re-accreditation

fact accreditationSIOUX FALLS (Dec. 17, 2010) – The Avera Transplant Institute’s bone marrow transplant program has been awarded renewed accreditation from the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) for demonstrating compliance with the FACT-JACIE International Standards for the full scope of bone marrow transplant programming.

This includes autologous and allogeneic adult transplantation, Avera McKennan’s donor collection facility, cellular therapy processing laboratory, and overall program administration. One of 183 FACT-accredited bone marrow transplant centers in the nation, this represents Avera’s third three-year accreditation for autologous (own cells) transplant, and second three-year accreditation for allogeneic (donor cells) transplantation.

Avera’s bone marrow transplantation program continues as the only one in the Dakotas and the wider region since 1996, providing life-saving treatment for certain types of blood cell cancers and bone marrow failure.

Because physician hematologists trained in bone marrow transplantation are very specialized, it’s significant to have three in the region, all based at Avera McKennan. Since 2000, physicians Stephen Medlin, Vinod Parameswaran, and Kelly McCaul have performed hundreds of bone marrow transplants at Avera. A consultation with a transplant physician helps to ensure plans are in place for patients to move quickly to transplant at the precise timing before the disease progresses or complications develop. Along with expertise, Avera provides these specialized services closer to home and the support of family and friends, with the compassionate, personalized care that characterizes Avera.

FACT-JACIE standards are defined by leading experts based on the latest knowledge of the field of cellular therapy product transplantation. The FACT accreditation process involved on-site inspection conducted by inspectors qualified by training and experience in cellular therapy.

“Accreditation is an important industry standard. It demonstrates our continued competency in transplant services, and also gives patients under our care assurance that their transplant center is on par with other centers nationally,” said Dr. Kelly McCaul, board-certified hematologist with Avera Medical Group Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant. “This accreditation means that our bone marrow transplant program is nationally and internationally recognized as providing the same high standard of care that is offered anywhere else. Other bone marrow transplant programs, even at larger institutions, cannot score any higher than we have, and so it’s full assurance that patients can receive the same level of care closer to home.”

Dr. McCaul said the accreditation process ensures that the program incorporates new technology and approaches into its standard operating procedures and daily practice.

“Through accreditation, our program is judged by definitive national standards to be well-established in a full scope of bone marrow transplantation, and affirms the program’s quality. The program has every accreditation and participation offered for bone marrow transplantation programs, including approval from the National Marrow Donor Program donor registry,” said Beth Plahn, director of Transplant Services at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center. “Accreditation by FACT is not only an assurance to patients and reference for physicians making referral, but also to insurance companies.”

Through the use of advanced technologies and optimal referral timing earlier in the course of a patient’s disease, transplantation restores bone marrow function, and offers the highest overall disease-free survival rate for certain cancers, by infusion of life-saving marrow-restoring cells after utilizing high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy administered through the Avera Cancer Institute and Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center. Avera transplant program outcomes meet or exceed national and international standards for disease-free survival, treatment-related toxicity, and engraftment of stem cells. The use of hematopoietic (blood cell-forming) cell transplantation has grown to become a standard of care for malignant and non-malignant conditions:

  • Leukemia (acute and chronic)

  • Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s)

  • Multiple myeloma

  • Myelodysplastic syndrome

  • Aplastic anemia

About Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center
Avera McKennan is an integrated delivery network that includes Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., as well as 115 locations in more than 50 communities in four states. Our ministry, our people and our superior value distinguish Avera. We carry on the health care legacy of the Benedictine and Presentation Sisters, delivering care in an environment guided by our values of compassion, hospitality and stewardship. The Avera network has some 13,200 employees and physicians, serving nearly 300 locations and 97 communities in a five-state region. Inpatient, outpatient and clinic visits totaled 2.4 million in the last fiscal year, a number equal to more than twice the population of the Avera service area.