April 6, 2001

Vanderbilt bone marrow transplant program achieves national accreditation

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Peter Buerhaus’ study reports that America’s pool of nurses is shrinking rapidly.

The Bone Marrow Transplant Program of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has achieved national accreditation recognizing that it fulfills rigorous standards for safety and quality.

The Foundation for the Accreditation of Hematopoietic Cell Therapy (bone marrow and stem cell transplantation) has established strict standards for medical and laboratory practices in the field. FAHCT began voluntary accreditation of programs in 1997; so far, only 67 programs nationwide have achieved accreditation.

“This accreditation from FAHCT is a stamp of quality by an independent review committee,” said Dr. Friedrich Schuening, director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program and Ingram Professor of Cancer Research.

“We are particularly proud of this accomplishment given that we have a rather large and complex program that encompasses the adult and pediatric programs at Vanderbilt as well as the program at the VA Medical Center.”

Vanderbilt-Ingram, recently designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, operates the state’s only adult bone marrow transplant program and one of only two pediatric programs. These programs offer the full spectrum of bone marrow transplantation options, including autologous (self), related, unrelated and umbilical cord blood transplants, as well as a new investigational option called “mini-transplantation,” designed to enable older or sicker patients to undergo transplantation.

FAHCT is a non-profit organization developed by the International Society of Hematotherapy and Graft Engineering and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. The International Society has more than 900 members representing all major bone marrow/stem cell transplant centers in the world. The American Society represents bone marrow/stem cell transplant physicians and investigators, with more than 800 members in the United States and Canada.

The FAHCT accreditation process includes an on-site inspection that will be repeated again in three years and written self-assessments reviewed annually.