KALISPELL, Mont. -

Doctors and staff members at Northwest Healthcare are beaming about their recent accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

"Most programs dont even receive accreditation on the first go around," said Chief Medical Officer Dr. A. Craig Eddy.

Dr. Melissa Hulvat, breast surgical oncologist, agreed, "It's like getting straight A's on our cancer care report card and making a nationwide honor roll."

The three year accreditation shows that cancer patients can receive state of the art treatment and quality care on par with university hospitals such as The Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Cedars Sinai Medical Center. This is an honor given to only 25% of hospitals in the United States, and staff members said their cancer care is by Montanans for Montanans.

"It's not enough to say you provide excellent care," explained Dr. Hulvat, "You have to prove that you provide excellent care. And through participation in the National Cancer Database and the Commission on Cancer we are able to prove that our care is comprable to those larger medical centers and our patients don't have to lave to get the finest cancer care."