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Local physician appointed to prestigious commission
La Grange – Dr. James E. Hannigan, an oncologist who treats patients at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, has been appointed cancer liaison physician for the hospital’s cancer program. Cancer liaison physicians are an integral part of cancer programs accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. It is a three-year appointment.

Hannigan, a Hinsdale resident, is among a national network of more than 1,600 volunteer physicians who are responsible for providing leadership and direction to establish, maintain, and support their facilities’ cancer program. Hannigan, who has a significant interest in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with malignant diseases, is a member of the multidisciplinary cancer committee at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. He also serves as secretary/treasurer of the hospital’s medical staff.

The cancer programs at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital and Adventist Hinsdale Hospital are recognized by the Commission on Cancer as “approved comprehensive community cancer programs.” The Adventist Cancer Network provides a full continuum of services – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

“Dr. Hannigan’s appointment to cancer liaison physician reaffirms our commitment to providing cancer patients access to comprehensive care – including state-of-the-art technology and services – close to home,” said Rick Wright, chief executive officer of Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital.  

Cancer liaison physicians are responsible for spearheading Commission on Cancer initiatives within their cancer program, collaborating with local agencies such as the American Cancer Society, and facilitating quality improvement initiatives utilizing data submitted to the Commission on Cancer’s National Cancer Database. The commission collects data from its accredited cancer programs and provides tools to these facilities to help analyze patterns of diagnosis, treatment, and quality of care.

The National Cancer Database contains patient demographics, tumor characteristics, treatment, and outcomes information for more than 22 million malignant cancers diagnosed and treated at hospital cancer programs in the United States between 1985 and 2006. The cancer liaison physician works with the cancer program staff to facilitate the submission, presentation, use, and interpretation of this data.

In an effort to assist the more than 1.4 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year, cancer liaison physicians at Commission on Cancer-accredited programs also facilitate participation in the commission’s facility information profile system.