The Via Christi Cancer Center staff work hard to prepare for their accreditation process, which is separate from the Joint Commission review the entire hospital recently celebrated.

However, accreditation reviews generally come with some follow-up work to be done.

Not this time, though. This round, the cancer center passed with flying colors and received eight out of eight commendations on its first go-around.

This is uncommon and, during Thursday morning's Pittsburg Area Chamber if Commerce coffee, director of community relations Michael Hayslip reported on the achievement.

"This is the first time this has ever happened," he said of the cancer center’s history. "As far as we know, we’re the only hospital in the four-state area to receive eight out of eight commendations."

Lisa Lovell, cancer program coordinator for the Via Christi Cancer Center, said the process is similar to the Joint Commission accreditation the entire hospital recently celebrated.

"It’s kind of like our Joint Commission," she said. "There were 8 commendations possible and it’s the first time we achieved all eight out of eight."

She said generally the cancer center has been reaccredited, but with follow-ups to make sure that any findings were remedied.

"There was no follow-up at all," she said. "We’re good through 2016."

Lovell said that about 80-90 percent of cancer patients will seek out an accredited facility, which helps provide peace of mind and more.

Part of the cancer center’s accreditation also focused on a referral network set up with KU Medical Center, which is part of the Midwest Cancer Alliance and can assist with any services for which patients are referred.

"The connection with KU Medical Center allows patients to receive the same medical trials," Hayslip said, adding that it is important for patients to have the same care locally as in the surrounding large cities.

Lovell said the accreditation also considers whether the center has the equipment it needs.

"The first and foremost with accreditation is that we have all that," she said.

Prevention and cancer screenings also factor in, and Lovell said staff will be at the PSU softball game this Saturday screening for melanoma, and that other screening opportunities often correlate with any awareness months, but all focus on catching cancers in the early stages when they are more easily treatable.

The first-round achievement of these and a number of other commendations point toward the center’s first and foremost goal.

"It is about patient care No. 1," Hayslip said.