American Cancer Society Honors Atrium Health with its Inaugural Health System of the Year Award

10.25.2022 Atrium Health News | Levine Cancer Institute

National recognition celebrates health system for efforts to elevate quality of life for cancer patients

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 25, 2022 Atrium Health has received the American Cancer Society (ACS) Health System/Patient Support Team of the Year award, a national honor presented for the many successful efforts Atrium Health has implemented to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families.

The award recognizes Atrium Health for exemplary, holistic cancer care, which includes Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute bringing advanced techniques to fight cancer across the Southeast, applying early detection programs and focusing on strategies to enhance the quality of life for patients.  

“This recognition acknowledges the extraordinary expertise and dedication of our entire cancer care team at Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute and Atrium Health Levine Children’s that is focused on providing the best care for our patients,” said Dr. Derek Raghavan, president of Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute. “Our patients are at the center of everything we do, and this award highlights our commitment to them and their families.”

The ACS based the award on a variety of criteria, including Atrium Health’s care, counsel and service to cancer patients and their families throughout the continuum of care (prevention, early detection, quality of life), with a strong focus on reducing cancer disparities and advancing health equity. It also signifies Atrium Health’s deep and meaningful partnership with the ACS that encourages the development and execution of initiatives to help improve every facet of a cancer patient’s journey, as well as supporting cancer patients and their families of all ages. 

A major focus of that partnership is improving access to cancer screenings that can identify patients with early-stage disease. Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute has been a leader with preventative cancer screenings and improving rates of early detection, thanks in part to their efforts that enable uninsured women to have mammograms at nine safety net clinics through the unique Project Pink initiative. In 2017, Levine Cancer Institute became the first organization in the world to develop a mobile lung screening unit, which brings no-cost lung cancer screenings to rural parts of North Carolina.

“We are honored to partner with Atrium Health in our mission to end cancer. Their staff have truly integrated the American Cancer Society’s mission into their work in providing care for cancer patients,” said Megan Wessel, vice president, cancer support for the American Cancer Society. “Atrium Health’s partnership with ACS encompasses every dimension of our mission and runs the entire cancer continuum. Their care and commitment truly make them stand out and be deserving of this inaugural national recognition as ACS’s Health System of the Year. Their partnership has allowed us to have tremendous impact on cancer screening and prevention, quality of life, and health equity for all people in the Greater Charlotte area.”

Atrium Health also partnered with the ACS in a quality improvement project across all Atrium Health Levine Children’s pediatric clinics to achieve an increase in HPV vaccination rates in 2021. Additional efforts between Atrium Health and the ACS led to a new initiative that broadens colorectal cancer screenings, smoking cessation classes and the implementation of physical activity in various community events. Teammates from across Atrium Health have worked with the ACS to reduce barriers to cancer care by providing lodging and transportation to patients in need. They are also working to impact policies and decisions made by lawmakers that will directly improve care for patients. Atrium Health has continuously supported the American Cancer Society financially through community fundraising and volunteerism, as well as advocacy efforts.

“We applaud the work of the American Cancer Society to make life better for all cancer patients and their families, including the under-served populations,” said Raghavan. “We are pleased to partner with them on so many important initiatives and believe that equity in survival for all our patients is moving in the right direction thanks to the collaboration between our two organizations.”

A committee comprised of national ACS leaders and volunteers took part in the selection process for the award.

About Atrium Health
Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with more than 70,000 teammates serving patients at 40 hospitals and more than 1,400 care locations. It provides care under the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region, as well as Atrium Health Navicent and Atrium Health Floyd in Georgia and Alabama. Atrium Health is renowned for its top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. A recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research, Wake Forest University School of Medicine is the academic core of the enterprise, including Wake Forest Innovations, which is advancing new medical technologies and biomedical discoveries. Atrium Health is also a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine, providing care close to home and in the home. Ranked nationally among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals in eight pediatric specialties and for rehabilitation, Atrium Health has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize and its 2021 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award, as well as the 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Equity Award for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, providing $2.46 billion last year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.

About the American Cancer SocietyThe American Cancer Society is the leading cancer-fighting organization with a vision to end cancer as we know it for everyone. For more than 100 years, we have been the only organization improving the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, research, and patient support, to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. To learn more, visit cancer.org or call our 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345. Connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.