VCU Massey Cancer Center’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit First to Receive Beacon Award for Excellence

The inpatient bone marrow transplant (BMT) unit at VCU Massey Cancer Center is the first of its kind in the nation to earn the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Beacon Award for Excellence.  A BMT is a procedure that replaces damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells in the treatment of blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma and other blood and immune disorders.

Massey’s BMT unit underwent an application process to satisfy the AACN’s specific standards, which focus on excellence in leadership structures and systems, appropriate staffing and staff engagement, effective communication, knowledge of management and best practices, evidence-based practice and processes, and patient outcomes.  

The AACN Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes individual units that distinguish themselves by improving every facet of patient care. This highly regarded award is a significant achievement for a hospital unit and signifies a commitment to patient safety and satisfaction. The Massey BMT unit was a silver-level recipient, representing continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care.

“In achieving this award, Massey’s BMT unit has demonstrated its commitment to providing quality, compassionate care for our patients,” says John M. McCarty, M.D., medical director of the BMT program at Massey.  “This award affirms the excellence of our nursing team.”

The BMT unit is an integral part of Massey’s BMT program, which also offers an outpatient clinic and conducts cutting-edge research and innovative clinical trials. Massey’s BMT program is the largest comprehensive BMT provider in Virginia, and its successful patient outcomes have placed it among the leading programs in the country. The program offers expertise in pediatric and adult stem cell transplants and bone marrow harvests from all available sources. Additionally, the program’s research and clinical trials bring forth promising new treatments, advanced technologies, improved standards of care, expanded curative options and safer transplants. Accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the Massey BMT program is a National Marrow Donor program and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center.

For more information about the BMT program at Massey, visit

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see

About the Beacon Award for Excellence

Established in 2003, AACN’s award recognizes top U.S. hospital units that meet standards of excellence in recruitment and retention; education, training and mentoring; research and evidence-based practice; patient outcomes; leadership and organizational ethics; and creation of a healthy work environment. Award criteria — which measure systems, outcomes and environments against evidence-based national criteria for excellence — provide a mechanism to initiate patient safety efforts. To learn more about the award, visit or call (800) 899-2226.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 240 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.