Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut 

    incorporated in 1976 

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NCDB Announcement- Publication of the STORE

Posted on August 16, 2018 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

NCDB Announcement: Publication of the STORE 2018

Over the years, the Commission on Cancer (CoC) has received valuable feedback to improve the data collected by the National Cancer Database (NCDB), which directly impacts the patients we all serve. The CoC acknowledges the magnitude of the 2018 changes, which seem overwhelming especially with the unexpected delay in the release of the tools and references that facilitate the task of abstraction including the STandards for Oncology Registry Entry (STORE) effective for cases diagnosed January 1, 2018 and later. The CoC recognizes the challenges faced by our dedicated hospital registrars who continue to work tirelessly to ensure timeliness and accuracy of recording data; however, it is also part of the CoC's commitment to provide clear and up-to-date instructions based on the collaborative effort of the experts involved in the development of the STORE. While all suggestions could not be implemented immediately with the current version of the STORE, significant changes have been made.

• Implementation of the AJCC Eighth Edition Staging System: Originally scheduled for release in 2017, the CoC worked directly with AJCC and its surveillance partners to delay implementation until 2018. The lessons learned and experience will guide future efforts and updates.

• Because sentinel lymph node biopsies have been generally under-reported and the timing and results of sentinel lymph node biopsy procedures are used in multiple CoC Quality of Care Measures, the CoC developed six new data items for collection of more specific information on sentinel and regional nodes.

• Reclassification of the Collaborative Stage (CS) Site-Specific Factors (SSF) as discrete data items: The majority of these data items have not changed in terms of the information collected, except for the codes used to document the data. In addition, all of the CS SSFs were reviewed in conjunction, and aligned with, the CAP Protocols. It is the CoC's hope that this will facilitate the abstraction work necessary for the Site-Specific Data Items (SSDI), enabling rapid abstraction into the hospital registry from the CAP checklist. This alignment will become instrumental to the eventual direct filling of values from the electronic health record (EHR) into the registry and will eventually save abstraction efforts and time.

• Implementation of the new data collection infrastructure for Grade: The new way of collecting grade will greatly simplify the abstractor's task. There is no more guessing at whether you are dealing with a 2, 3, or 4 level grading system; there will be no more manual "calculation" of what value to enter for grade. The new site-specific look-ups for grade leave no room for error and will result in high quality grade data.

• New radiation data items from CoC: When the CoC re-engineered the way radiation data are collected, we did so with several higher goals in mind. At the same time that CoC developed the new data items, we have been working with radiation oncology groups at the national level to adopt and implement a standard End of Treatment Summary (EOTS) to be used by all radiation oncologists across the nation and by all EHRs. This standardized template is directly aligned with the new radiation data items and, when fully implemented, will greatly facilitate abstraction of radiation therapy and communication between registrars and radiation oncologists. As with the SSDIs, this alignment will become instrumental to the eventual direct filling of values from the EHR into the hospital registry database and will save abstraction efforts and time.

• The codes for the following data items are currently under review by SEER, CoC and NAACCR. Updated instructions will be released in the near future.

o Surgical Margins of the Primary Site [1320]

o Scope of Regional Lymph Node Surgery [1292]

o Scope of Regional Lymph Node Surgery at this Facility [672]

o Surgical Procedure/Other Site [1294]

o Surgical Procedure/Other Site at this Facility [674]

• CoC does not anticipate any changes in the collection of cancer data until 2020. CoC will be using the NAACCR Version 18 standards throughout 2019.

The different standard setters continue to work together to provide support and education in ensuring a smooth transition as we implement these updates. The CAnswer Forum has been set up to include new sub-forums to accommodate STORE-specific questions. For any other questions or concerns, please contact the NCDB at [email protected]

The NCDB would not exist without the efforts of cancer registrars across the nation, and the CoC thanks the registrars at all CoC-accredited programs for their perseverance and patience during these difficult, but necessary, times of change.

 

SEER- CT State Tumor Registry- NAACCR v18 UPDATE

Posted on August 9, 2018 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

August 9, 2018

Remarkable progress has been achieved toward developing NAACCR v18 standards that are coordinated with clinical guidelines, and therefore highly relevant for all of us who support the fight against cancer. However, because of the many complex changes required to meet these clinical standards, implementation of the v18 standards has not been completed in an ideal timeline. NCI recognizes the challenges this delay represents for registrars, particularly in the hospital setting where software vendors are dependent on the standard setters for implementation. Most registrars at hospitals are still awaiting updates to tools so necessary for their profession.

As a standard setting organization, NCI SEER feels that the data we collect must be as closely aligned as possible with the guidelines used in the clinical setting. These include CAP cancer protocols, NCCN guidelines, WHO classifications, and the AJCC 8th ed. standards. We therefore concluded that the implementation of v18 is necessary at the earliest possible time.

Thus, for cases diagnosed in 2018, NCI SEER is requiring registries to collect Extent of Disease (EOD), Summary Stage 2018, and the Site-Specific Data Items (SSDI) (see https://staging/cancer/gov/eod_public/list/1.3/). All data items are closely aligned with the AJCC 8th ed. and clinical guidelines mentioned above. Although the EOD is a new cancer stage data collection system, it is closely harmonized with the AJCC 8th ed., requires collection of only three additional items, and replaces seven Collaborative Staging items and all TNM 7th ed. items. The EOD system provides an opportunity to monitor trends over time in a consistent manner, while meeting the needs of the clinical community to capture key elements that represent the AJCC TNM 8th ed. staging system. Further, Summary Stage 2018 can be automatically calculated from EOD, eliminating the need for manual assignment of this required variable. The SSDIs align closely with the CoC-required variables that a CoC-certified hospital must collect and report, again minimizing additional work for registrars while maintaining data collection at current clinical standards.

We believe that most registrars are already familiar with the three EOD data items, since these items have been structured very similarly to the CS Extension, CS Lymph Nodes, and CS Mets at Dx. These three easy data elements and the related prognostic factors (i.e., SSDIs) can be abstracted directly into the SEER Abstracting Tool (SEER*Abs). The SEER*Registrar Staging Assistant (SEER*RSA) is available to help with staging decisions, and EOD data elements require no derivations and therefore no editing of derived stage by hospital registrars.

NCI SEER completed the development of new manuals (i.e., the EOD manuals, Summary Stage 2018 manual, NAACCR SSDI manual) and updated the NCI-supported systems and applications to NAACCR v18 in May 2018. These updates include SEER*Abs, which is easy to download on a personal computer (https://seer.cancer.gov/seerabs/). This tool can be used to abstract cases directly in the v18 NAACCR layout and is freely available to any registrar. It allows registrars to abstract data elements required by central registries (SEER, NPCR, dual SEER-NPCR). In addition, it enables collection of data elements

potentially required by the CoC. SEER*Abs could be used temporarily to allow registrars to start collecting 2018 cases until their preferred abstracting tools are updated.

Moreover, NCI SEER is taking additional steps to decrease the workload of registries. The November 2018 submission (which includes cases diagnosed in 2016 and earlier) will be performed in NAACCR v16. NCI SEER requires neither AJCC TNM staging nor hospital-level conversions of the radiation data items. NCI SEER and all other standard setters achieved consensus on a relatively limited set of edits, and the SEER Program does not plan for collection of any additional new data elements in 2019.

In summary, the NCI SEER Program is requiring the following actions for cases diagnosed in 2018:

If you are a hospital registrar in a SEER area:

• You are required to collect EOD Primary Tumor, EOD Regional Nodes, and EOD Mets.

• You are required to collect Tumor Size (Clinical, Pathological) and Grade (Clinical, Pathological, Post Therapy).

• As in the past, you will continue to collect Regional Nodes (Positive, Examined) and Rx Summ Sequence (Surgery/Radiation; Systemic/Surgery).

• If you report for a CoC-accredited facility, you are required to transmit to your SEER registry the same SSDIs that are required by CoC (lists available at https://staging/cancer/gov/eod_public/list/1.3/).

• For all other facilities, you can check the exact set of SSDIs required by SEER at https://staging/cancer/gov/eod_public/list/1.3/.

• SEER does not require you to assign Summary Stage 2018 or AJCC TNM 8, but please check with your central registry concerning the requirements of other standard setters for your facility.

• Your cancer system vendor is expected to update your software so that you will be presented with the required and appropriate stage and SSDI variables only. Based on our most recent estimate, the vendors will roll out updates to v18 in late October.

• You can use SEER*Abs to conduct cases abstracted in v18 until your hospital software is updated.

• You are not required to collect Collaborative Stage, Summary Stage 2000 or any AJCC TNM 7 data items, .

• We strongly suggest that you edit the data using NAACCR metafile v18, which will become available around August 15. Your state registry may require a state-specific edits set, which will be based on the v18 metafile.

• SEER will require the collection of several new radiation therapy items:

o Phase I Radiation Treatment Modality [1506]

o Phase II Radiation Treatment Modality [1516]

o Phase III Radiation Treatment Modality [1526]

• Old radiation data items will be discontinued for cases diagnosed in 2018. Please note that Rx Summ-Radiation [1360] will continue to be collected for cases abstracted in 2018 but diagnosed in 2017 and earlier. This will enable consistent collection and analysis of data for patients diagnosed before 2018.

• Collect and transmit other required data elements per the STORE and SEER Program Coding Manuals.

• SEER will not require collection of the following radiation planning techniques, but will accept them from the CoC facilities:

o Phase II External Beam Radiation Planning Technique [1512]

o Phase III External Beam Radiation Planning Technique [1522]

(Continues next page)

If you are a registrar in a SEER central registry:

• You are required to follow the rules for hospital registrars.

• In addition, SEER*API and SEER*DMS have been updated to enable automated derivation of EOD T, EOD N, EOD M, EOD Stage Group, and Derived Summary Stage 2018. The consolidated (CTC) values should include these five data elements.

• SEER edits have been updated to reflect NAACCR v18 standards.

• SEER will update the SEER API to perform conversions and derivations of radiation data items (to comply with the conversion algorithms posted on NAACCR website on August 3, 2018).

• Collect and transmit other required data elements per the SEER Program Coding Manual.

We very much appreciate all your hard work and dedication to capturing the most clinically relevant data to support our understanding of cancer trends over time and other key cancer research areas.

Steven Friedman, MHSA, FAC-P/PM III

SEER Program Manager

Lynne Penberthy MD, MPH

SEER Program Director

Solid Tumor Rules Clarification

Posted on August 2, 2018 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear TRAC Members,

Clarification is needed, and I apologize for any confusion. Regarding “What to use and when?” NCRA sent out a notice this morning regarding Solid Tumor Rules. I revisited the SEER website, again. https://seer.cancer.gov/tools/solidtumor/

These rules are intended for 8 site groups for cases diagnosed on or after 01/01/2018. In addition, the website states:

The 2007 Multiple Primary & Histology rules will be used with a few small changes for cases diagnosed 1/1/2007 to 12/31/2018 for the following site groups:

  • Cutaneous melanoma

Cutaneous melanoma site rules will be revised for 2019 implementation to incorporate information from the new WHO 4th Ed Tumors of Skin scheduled to be released in 2018.

  • Other Sites

Other sites rules will be revised for 2019 implementation. The Solid Tumor Task Force has identified the need to expand the rules to include GYN, soft tissue, thyroid and other site-specific solid tumors.

 

As of today, Head and Neck is the only remaining section in draft format. There is a FINAL version in PDF format for all sections, including the Cutaneous Melanoma and Other Sites posted.

FEEDBACK is needed on working with ALL the changes we are facing for 2018. TRAC wants to help by providing meaningful education. Also, NCI-SEER has created a Quality Improvement Experts work group (specifically for SSDIs). Their goal is to address training and reference material needs. As I stated in my newsletter, please reach out to me. [email protected] Don’t be shy, I promise not to share names.

 

SUMMER, 2016 Edition VI

Posted on August 22, 2016 at 1:30 PM

President’s Message:

I hope everyone found some time to enjoy the summer. It has been great to relax, do something fun, and spend time with family and friends. I had a good summer but also traveled between two coasts and attended my first NCRA quarterly board meeting in Washington DC. The purpose of the meeting was orientation for the position of Public Relations/Communications Director.

At the meeting, we discussed the interim approval by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for a new Standard Occupational Classification of “Medical Registrar” that NCRA created. NCRA’s next step is to comment on the Bureau of Labor recommendations. More information about the classification can be found on their website.

The National Cancer Registrars Week committee was formed and will have our first meeting August 22nd. Brooke Chang and Kathleen Gould-Mitchell volunteered to serve on the committee. They will be part of a team that chooses the gift and finalize the packets that will be sent to NCRA members the week of April 10-14. The theme for 2017 is “Putting the Pieces Together.” The NCRW committee will also choose the 2018 theme. Thank you both for your help; I think it will be a fun way to participate on a national level.

The spring TRAC meeting was exceptional. The celebration was fun and the educational content was superb. Thank you to our host Donna Goss at William W. Backus Hospital. We now look forward to our annual meeting in New Haven in November. Hope to see you there. Fall will be here before you know it.

Vice President’s Report/Education Committee:

The spring TRAC meeting that was held on May 20th featured Frederick Greene MD and William Chase MD. Dr. Greene presented the results of the PCORI study, updates on the 8th edition AJCC staging and FORDS manuals and what is coming down the road with ACOS. Dr. Chase shared his knowledge and expertise on the American College of Surgeons standards. We were excited to offer this quality program that had a great turnout. It was a fabulous day of learning from our expert panel.

Thank you to Donna Goss for hosting the meeting and 40th anniversary celebration of TRAC. In addition to hosting, Donna donated a handmade afghan and candles. Donna Lanphear contributed a bracelet and Judy Keating brought a beautiful hydrangea plant for door prizes. Teresita and Michele brought a huge cake for us to enjoy. It was a great group effort put forth by members to celebrate our 40 years.

Our annual meeting will be hosted by Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven for the 5th consecutive year. We look forward to Teresita and her team to provide us with a day of education that is known for the quality of speakers and topics. The meeting is scheduled for November 9, 2016. Details will be posted on our website.

The website was renewed at the end of June. TRAC will keep the basic website without the ability to make payments online.

A survey was sent to members about providing a scholarship award for the upcoming CRANE meeting. One objective of the survey is to determine how best to choose the recipient. The survey result is pending until September 1st. Members will be notified of the result after the closing date. In order to be considered for the scholarship, anyone whose facility doesn’t pay to attend the CRANE meeting and is interested should notify me in writing (email okay).

 

Bylaws Committee:

At the spring meeting, the bylaws committee gave a presentation about the revision to membership category. The addition of an emeritus category was approved by members. A survey was sent to members regarding how many years of service should be required to be eligible for emerita/emeritus status. The survey is still pending and the numbers are quite close. Please take the time to complete the survey by September 1st.

Treasurer/Membership Committee:

TRAC currently has 50 members. Three new CTRs received their pins at the spring TRAC meeting.

Job Postings:

Cancer Registrar, Norwalk Hospital

Cancer Registrar, William W. Backus Hospital

Cancer Registry Coordinator, Yale New Haven Hospital (Greenwich)

News and Announcements

Congratulations to new CTRs Kate Powers, Rosemary Crawford, and Nicole Tomarchio!

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Michele Wojewodzki who recently lost her mother- in law.

A card was sent to April Fritz on behalf of TRAC in sympathy for her recent recurrence.

 

That is all for now. Best wishes for a happy and safe summer everyone...

Donna M. Lanphear, President

Amy Baldwin-Stephens, Vice President

Michele Wojewodzki, Treasurer

Rosemary Crawford, Secretary

Public Relations/Communication Committee, Chair: Donna M. Lanphear

Education/Liaison Committees: Amy Baldwin-Stephens, Chair; Donna Goss

Membership/Ways and Means Committees: Michele Wojewodzki, Chair

Ways and Means: Eliza Cleaveland

Bylaws Committee: Cathryn Phillips, Mary Jeanne Pierce, Brooke Chang

Nominating Committee: Teresita Vega, Chair, Jennifer Cantillo-Mena, Tammy Smith

Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut meeting at William W. Backus Hospital, May 20, 2016

Guest speakers William Chase MD and Frederick Greene, MD

Congratulations, new CTRs Kate Powers, Rosemary Crawford, and Nicole Tomarchio.

 

Spring, 2016 Edition V

Posted on July 29, 2016 at 10:55 AM

TUMOR REGISTRARS ASSOCIATION of CONNECTICUT NEWSLETTER

SPRING, 2016 Edition V

President’s Message

Spring is in the air. It is a wonderful time of year. Trees and plants that were dormant during the winter come to life and begin to grow. We have great expectations as we wait for those flowers to bloom. For me, spring has also been a time of growth. I accepted a new position that allows me to work part time in California and part time in Connecticut every month. And, although I am sometimes on the other side of the country, I still plan to carry out my duties as your president. I feel strongly that the Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut will remain a strong organization with a great group of caring people.

In April, I attended the 42nd National Cancer Registrars Association educational conference. The conference was an opportunity to network, share information, and visit with our colleagues. I was honored to represent Connecticut. The presentations were very informative and I am sure they will be useful to us in our daily operations. There were topics focused on abstracting, program accreditation, and what is in the works for the future. I downloaded the PDFs and plan to share them with members.

One of the presentations that did not have a PDF available was “Improving Recurrence Data Capture Panel.” The lecture revealed the results of the PCORI study that many of us completed last year. The data show that recurrence data was not collected consistently and there could be improvement in this area. The panel expressed that recurrence data is important and believe that collection of this information will be required in in the future. Frederick Greene, MD was one of the presenters so perhaps we can query him further about this when he comes to our TRAC meeting in May.

I look forward to our next TRAC meeting hosted by William W. Backus Hospital. Donna Goss and Amy Baldwin-Stephens have been working to plan a day filled with high quality educational programs. I hope to see everyone there on May 20th as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of TRAC. What a milestone for our organization!

 

Vice President’s Report/Education Committee:

The education committee's goal is to provide more educational choices that include national speakers. The next TRAC meeting on May 20th will feature Frederick Greene MD. Dr. Greene has been very active with the Commission on Cancer and helped write the AJCC staging and FORDS manuals. He completed his training in Connecticut so has a special connection with us. In addition, I have invited Dr. William Chase to share his knowledge and expertise on the American College of Surgeons standards. We are excited to offer such a quality program.

Our annual meeting will be hosted by Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven for the 5th consecutive year. The meeting is known for the quality of speakers and topics that are so informative. Teresita and her team take care of every detail to provide us with a day of education and collaboration. The date of the meeting has not been finalized yet but please stay tuned for upcoming information.

The website that was launched in 2015 has been a huge success. It has been a great tool to keep everyone informed of current events and provide resources for registrars. There have been almost 2,500 page views to date. I am always open to suggestions; if there is content members would like to see, please let me know and I will be sure to include it. The website is due for renewal soon and we will have to decide if we want to keep the same options.

 

Bylaws Committee:

Cathy, Mary Jeanne and Brooke have met to discuss the last amendment to the bylaws. A presentation will be offered at our next meeting.

 

Treasurer/Membership Committee:

TRAC currently has 48 active members and 1 inactive member.

 

News and Announcements

Donna Lanphear has been voted in as Public Relations Director, National Cancer Registrars Association for 2016-2017.

That is all for now. Happy Spring, everyone...

Donna M. Lanphear, President

Amy Baldwin-Stephens, Vice President

Michele Wojewodzki, Treasurer

Rosemary Crawford, Secretary

Public Relations/Communication Committee, Chair: Donna M. Lanphear

Education/Liaison Committees: Amy Baldwin-Stephens, Chair; Mike Kuhland, Donna Goss

Treasurer/Membership/Ways and Means Committees: Michele Wojewodzki, Chair

Ways and Means: Eliza Cleaveland

Bylaws Committee: Cathryn Phillips, Mary Jeanne Pierce, Brooke Chang

Nominating Committee: Teresita Vega, Chair, Jennifer Cantillo-Mena, Tammy Smith

 

 

 

 

WINTER, 2015 Edition IV

Posted on February 26, 2016 at 7:15 AM

Welcome to the winter Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut newsletter created to update members on professional and personal announcements. The holiday season is upon us and a new year is fast approaching. All around us are the lights, Christmas carolers, and people wishing good cheer. The shopping and parties have begun as we celebrate the season. Our wish for the holidays is peace and prosperity to all and a happy, healthy new year.

President's Message

This fall, the members of TRAC participated in regional meetings to learn and network with others in the profession. The education committee and I collaborated with the New York Cancer Registrars Association to create their first regional meeting. The program that was held October 7-9th was a success by every measure. The meeting was well-attended, the speakers were great, and Saratoga Springs was beautiful. TRAC members also attended the Cancer Registrars Association of New England meeting in Framingham, Massachusetts on October 19-20th. The CRANE meeting provided outstanding lectures and superb hospitality. Both programs were a fabulous experience for all participants. I look forward to continuing relationships with our regional organizations and starting new projects in 2016.

Vice President’s Report

The date for our spring program at William W. Backus Hospital has been rescheduled to May 20th. We are pleased to announce that the meeting will feature Frederick Greene, MD. Dr. Greene, as many of you know, was a participant in writing several editions of the AJCC staging manual and was a long-time ACOS surveyor. Also on the agenda is William Chase MD, ACOS surveyor, who will clarify some of the changes in the standards for program accreditation. Genentech representatives will speak on the latest recommendations for HER2 testing for breast cancer. In addition to a spectacular day of education, there will be a 40th anniversary of TRAC celebration with raffles and cake. We look forward to bringing this outstanding event to members and hope to see everyone there.

A fundraiser to provide a scholarship to a regional or national meeting was initiated in September. The sales from Yankee Candle gave us a great start toward our education fund. Our intention is to offer additional fundraising opportunities with the goal to provide a scholarship in 2016.

 

Left: TRAC members attended the CRANE meeting October 19-20th. Pictured with CRANE president, David Rousseau are (left to right) Mary Jeanne Pierce, Kathleen Gould-Mitchell, Brooke Chang, Rosemary Crawford, Tammy Smith, and Amy Baldwin-Stephens. Right: Some of the representatives from Connecticut that attended the NYCRA meeting October 7-9th are pictured (left to right) Sheri Amechi, Donna Lanphear and Donna Goss.

The TRAC website has had almost 2000 page views since it was launched in May, 2015. The home page that has featured Cancer Registrars week, breast cancer, colon cancer, and happy holidays is updated monthly. The revised ACOS standards for 2016, TRAC membership application, Connecticut Reportable List, and new job postings have been recently added. Please visit trac-ct.org to check out the latest news.

Upcoming educational offerings include:

National Cancer Registrars Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 10-13, 2016

Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut, William W. Backus Hospital, May 20, 2016

Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut, Yale New Haven Hospital, September, 2016

Secretary Report

TRAC received five credits for our meeting at Bridgeport Hospital last March. Our annual meeting at Yale New Haven Hospital in September earned 5.25 credits from NCRA. Certificates of attendance were sent to participants in late October.

Treasurer/Membership/Ways and Means

The 2016 membership drive began in December; the annual membership dues increased to $30. The application for renewal has been emailed to members and is also available online. The payment needs to be received before January 31, 2016 and will be considered late after February 15. Our hope is to increase the number of members this year as we continue to offer more benefits to joining our organization.

Job Postings

Cancer Registrar, Norwalk Hospital

 

 

That is all for now. Have a wonderful holiday season, everyone...

Donna M. Lanphear, President

Amy Baldwin-Stephens, Vice President

Rosemary Crawford, Secretary Michele Wojewodzki, Treasurer

Public Relations and Communication Committee Chair: Donna M. Lanphear

Education/Liaison Committee Chair; Webmaster: Amy Baldwin-Stephens

Education: Donna Goss, Mike Kuhland

Membership/Ways and Means Committees Chair: Michele Wojewodzki

Ways and Means: Eliza Cleaveland

Bylaws Committee: Cathryn Phillips, Mary Jeanne Pierce, Brooke Chang

Nominating Committee: Teresita Vega Committee Chair, Jennifer Cantillo-Mena, Tammy Smith

 

FALL 2015, Edition III

Posted on October 1, 2015 at 12:50 AM

Welcome to the fall Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut newsletter created to update members on professional and personal announcements. As we leave summer behind and look forward to the fall, our lives get just a little bit busier. People are returning to school and our focus becomes preparation for the holidays. Trick or treat, giving thanks for what we have, and events shared with family and friends are all things to be enjoyed. Autumn in New England is a beautiful time of year with the crisp air, the leaves turning color and falling to the ground. Our wish is continued health and prosperity this season.

President's Message

At our annual educational meeting in September, April shared her extensive knowledge that will surely improve the quality of abstracting state-wide. The officers, education committee, and Yale New Haven Hospital staff worked as a team to provide this awesome conference. A special thank you to the Yale registry staff for coordinating the event; everything was perfectly executed. April Fritz relayed to us that we were a good group and she enjoyed herself. Matt Jones’ inspirational story reminded us of what is important in life and the power of positive thinking.

At the meeting, all of the officers were sworn in to their same offices. I am pleased to say that all committee members have agreed to stay in their positions, as well. We begin 2016 with a full team that looks forward to our mission to improve and grow our organization. The board of directors has many ideas to achieve these objectives.

Before I map out plans for the future, I would like to reflect on the past year. In 2015, the board worked together to realize many accomplishments. A new website was launched, a quarterly newsletter was developed, two high-quality educational conferences that included national speakers were provided, our bylaws were revised and approved, our nominating/election process was improved, and a fundraiser to provide a scholarship was initiated. Our balance sheet is stronger than when we began our term.

In the coming year, some of our goals are to increase membership, provide two educational conferences that will feature a national speaker, award a scholarship to a regional or national meeting, and network with other professional organizations to further elevate our profession. On the heels of our annual meeting hosted by Yale New Haven Hospital, we have already begun planning our meetings for 2016. Together, we will be a better organization at year end.

Vice President’s Report

Our website that was launched at the end of May has been a real success story with over 1,300 page views in the first 90 days. The website contains a list of officers and committee members, upcoming events, newsletters, job postings, contact information, and resources. It is meticulously maintained and updated as new information becomes available. It is my goal for the website to be a one-stop resource for us to keep informed. Charging for advertising space may someday become a reality as our membership grows and TRAC becomes more visible as an organization. If anyone has any suggestions on content, please contact me.

The education committee is committed to providing quality programs. Our March meeting had great speakers with interesting presentations. The annual meeting in September that featured April Fritz was outstanding. My goal for education in 2016 is to provide two educational meetings that will feature a national speaker. One meeting will focus on the standards for ACOS program accreditation, the second will feature the latest and greatest site-specific treatments as evidenced by current cancer research. William W. Backus Hospital will host the spring meeting. Yale New Haven Hospital has volunteered to host our annual meeting.

A fundraiser to provide a scholarship to a regional or national meeting was initiated in September. Yankee Candle was selected because it required no monetary investment upfront and it is a recognized product that most of us like. Fundraiser participation or buying merchandise is totally voluntary. Depending on the success of these efforts and members' wishes, future activities to provide a scholarship will continue. We maintain that it is a worthwhile cause to provide an educational opportunity to someone who might not be able to otherwise attend.

 

The following is a list of educational offerings this year:

New York Cancer Registrars Association, Saratoga Springs, New York, October 7-9

Cancer Registrars Association New England, Framingham, Massachusetts, October 19-20

Secretary Report

2016 is the 40th anniversary of the Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut. We look forward to a year of celebration of this important milestone. Perhaps we could have a cake, a 40th anniversary banner or decorations and door prizes at each meeting. A volunteer to take a few pictures to commemorate the occasion would also be nice. We welcome your suggestions to make the year special.

Treasurer/Membership/Ways and Means

Currently, TRAC has 45 members. The 2016 membership drive will begin in December; the annual membership dues increased to $30, up from $25. TRAC had 59 people register for the meeting and 55 attended. Thirty-one of the 59 were TRAC members. Ways and Means was collected; Jennifer Cantillo-Mena won the drawing and returned her winnings to TRAC. Thank you for your generosity, Jen. Future meeting fees were increased $5 for meetings without a national speaker; a higher fee will be assessed for meetings with a national speaker.

Bylaws Committee

The committee provided a Power Point presentation on their recommendations for bylaws revisions at our annual meeting. All revisions were approved except Article III, Section I, Classification of Membership. That article will be revisited and voted on at a later date. The bylaws are now current and will just require an annual review going forward.

Nominating Committee

The committee sent nomination requests to members electronically using Survey Monkey. Members could either check the box to choose a current officer or type in the name of another candidate. There were 23 responses with the majority of respondents nominating the current officers. Using Survey Monkey has simplified the nominating/election process and we will continue to use this method in the future.

 

Great News and Congratulations

Three registrars, Tammy Lepisto from Yale New Haven Hospital, Lourdes Lopez and Sara Burns from Hartford Hospital passed their certification exam (CTR). All three have received their CTR pins from TRAC.

Eliza Cleaveland was awarded the Department of Public Health employee of the month in September.

TRAC received a thank you card from Brooke Chang for the gift we sent at the birth of her daughter. Brooke recently returned to her position at William W. Backus Hospital.

Sad News

Cathryn Phillips’ brother, John Anthony Phillips, passed away September 8th. We are so sorry for her loss. Cathy would like to say, “On behalf of my family, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the members of TRAC for the wonderful fruit basket that was delivered to John’s wife. Our family is very appreciative of your kind thoughts and gesture. May God hold us all in the palm of His hand.”

Job Postings

Middlesex Hospital: Cancer Data Registrar

Yale New Haven Hospital: Cancer Registrar

For more information, the positions are posted on the TRAC website.

That is all for now. Have a wonderful fall season, everyone...

Donna M. Lanphear, President

Amy Baldwin-Stephens, Vice President

Rosemary Crawford, Secretary Michele Wojewodzki, Treasurer

 

Public Relations and Communication Committee Chair: Donna M. Lanphear

Education/Liaison Committee Chair; Webmaster: Amy Baldwin-Stephens

Education: Donna Goss, Mike Kuhland

Membership/Ways and Means Committees Chair: Michele Wojewodzki

Ways and Means: Eliza Cleaveland

Bylaws Committee: Cathryn Phillips, Mary Jeanne Pierce, Brooke Chang

Nominating Committee: Teresita Vega Committee Chair, Jennifer Cantillo-Mena, Tammy Smith

 

TRAC Newsletter- Summer Edition

Posted on June 3, 2015 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

TUMOR REGISTRARS ASSOCIATION of CONNECTICUT NEWSLETTER

SUMMER, 2015 Edition II

Colleagues and Friends:

Welcome to the summer Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut newsletter created to update members on professional and personal announcements. The newsletter has summer scenes that we hope you can all appreciate after a cold and snowy winter. The warm weather is finally here and our thoughts turn to fun in the sun, activities with friends and family. We hope you enjoy a well deserved break this summer and we’ll see you in the fall.

 

News and Announcements

The Officers continue the selection of committee team members. Tammy Smith volunteered to serve on the nominating committee but we still do not have a Chair to lead the committee. It is important for members to participate to keep our organization strong so please consider serving on this committee.

A survey of three questions regarding a new website, education, and fundraiser activity was sent to members in April. We were encouraged with the 88% (38/43) response rate. The high rate tells us that members are interested in moving TRAC forward. Thank you for your time and suggestions.

The members of TRAC have wanted an updated website for some time. After exploring a few options, we decided to use Vistaprint as a web host. As part of the decision-making process, a survey that listed the available options was sent to members.

The results were surprising because the members were divided among the three choices. *45.71% (16) $162 annually, designed and maintained by TRAC VP without online payments; *28.57% (10) $229.00 one-time fee and $30 monthly, designed and maintained by someone else and *25.71% (9) $270 annually, designed and maintained by TRAC VP, with payment options.

Since most members opted for a website designed and maintained by the TRAC VP, a standard website with PayPal was purchased at a low promotional rate. We are proud to announce that our new website is up and running. The website is really beautiful and Amy has many great ideas to expand and enhance content. Please visit trac-ct.org to view. Our old website expires on June 12th.

The President of the Cancer Registrars Association of New England recently began a regional recruitment initiative to educate individuals about the registry profession. The plan is to identify individuals who might have an interest in the field of cancer registration and offer education and practical experience. The goal is to provide information for people to decide if employment in the registry is a good fit. The initiative is a cooperative venture between hospital and central registries. The effort is in response to the shortage of registrars and projected retirements in the profession.

Treasurer/Membership Committee:

TRAC currently has 43 active members. The membership drive has been extended until June 30th. A membership roster has been emailed to members. At our TRAC meeting in March, it was decided to raise the conference fee to $50 for nonmembers at our September meeting. A permanent increase would have to be voted on by TRAC membership.

Ways and Means Committee:

A survey to determine if members would purchase faux leather folios (blue with white TRAC logo) for $14 at meetings as a fundraiser was sent to members. The majority of members (24) said they would purchase the folios; five respondents said they would not. Twelve participants suggested: raise the 50/50 split, insulated lunch bags, tote bags, mugs, magnets, mouse pads, calendars, light jackets, pins, raffle, and DVD of the PBS 6-hour documentary on the history of cancer based on the book Cancer—The Emperor of all Maladies. If the folios were purchased on sale, we could charge $12 and still reach our goal of $5 profit for each. Amy has also found a fundraiser through Yankee Candle that would require no money upfront. Decisions will be finalized at our next TRAC meeting.

Bylaws Committee:

Cathy, Mary Jeanne and Brooke have reviewed the bylaws and have made several recommendations. They have provided a report that lists the current bylaws, the proposed bylaws change, and the rationale. The Board agrees with the proposed changes and will send the report to members for review before our annual meeting. Please be prepared to discuss the bylaws and vote on the amendments. Thank you to the bylaws committee for their hard work.

Education Committee:

The education committee's goal is to provide more educational choices that include national speakers. A survey to evaluate member support for this initiative was sent to members. The result was 100% of members (38 respondents) would like to have a national speaker each year. Suggestions for content included information on advanced abstracting, emerging treatments, 8th edition AJCC staging, hematopoietic diseases, and ACOS standards. Ideas for speakers included Frederick Greene MD from the COC and Brenda Elsagar, author and humorist, who has been a speaker at NCRA in the past. TRAC officers will discuss this further at our annual meeting.

The annual TRAC meeting on September 9th at Yale New Haven will feature April Fritz for an all-day conference/workshop. April will present some of the suggested topics.

The focus of the NCRA educational meeting in San Antonio was changes in the cancer registry field. Discussions included AJCC stage, concurrent abstracting, data usage, RQRS, and central registry topics. PDFs of the presentations were sent to attendees and I will forward some of the best ones to members in the near future.

In an effort to expand education opportunities, the TRAC President and education committee now collaborate with the New York Cancer Registrars Association (NYCRA) education board. If two or more states plan and participate in a meeting, it can be classified as regional. That is the goal for NYCRA and it could be a goal for TRAC if we wanted to go in that direction. It would be great if New York registrars attend our meeting and Connecticut registrars attend their meeting.

The following is a list of educational offerings this year:

Cancer Registrars Association New England, Nashua, New Hampshire, postponed until August

Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut, New Haven, Connecticut, September 9

New York Cancer Registrars Association, Saratoga Springs, New York, October 7-9

Cancer Registrars Association New England, Framingham, Massachusetts, October 19-20

Please consider hosting a TRAC meeting. Upcoming meetings will be placed on our website. TRAC also has the option to post meetings on the NCRA website.

 

Nominating Committee:

The nominating committee still needs a Chair to lead the team; please consider volunteering for this important position. TRAC cannot continue as an organization without a fully-staffed nominating committee. According to the bylaws, officers shall be elected annually or until their successors are elected. The Committee is required to submit a list of nominees to the President at least seven weeks prior to the annual meeting. The established deadline for nominations is fast approaching.

Great News:

We await the birth of a daughter to Brooke and Cal Chang due on June 29, 2015. Brooke will be returning to work in the fall. Congratulations.

Sad News:

Robert (Bob) Lincoln passed away on April 4, 2015.

Job Postings:

Middlesex Hospital: Certified Tumor Registrar

Miami Cancer Institute, Certified Tumor Registrar for new 305,000 square foot cancer center with 90,000 square foot research facility opening in the fall, 2016; no remote option for Connecticut residents

 

That is all for now. Have a safe and happy summer, everyone...

Donna M. Lanphear, President

Amy Baldwin-Stephens, Vice President Michele Wojewodzki, Treasurer

Rosemary Crawford, Secretary

Public Relations/Communication Committee Chair: Donna M. Lanphear

Education/Liaison Committee Chair; Webmaster: Amy Baldwin-Stephens

Education: Mike Kuhland, Donna Goss

Membership/Ways and Means Committees Chair: Michele Wojewodzki

Ways and Means: Eliza Cleaveland

Bylaws Committee: Cathryn Phillips, Mary Jeanne Pierce, Brooke Chang

Nominating Committee: Jennifer Cantillo-Mena, Tammy Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newsletter- Spring Edition

Posted on June 2, 2015 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (1)

TUMOR REGISTRARS ASSOCIATION of CONNECTICUT NEWSLETTER

SPRING, 2015 Edition I

Colleagues and Friends:

Welcome to the first quarterly Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut newsletter created to update members on professional and personal announcements. I believe it will be a wonderful tool to improve communication among members, a chance to share information and ideas. If anyone has anything to contribute, please send via email. I plan to draft the newsletter quarterly coordinating with the seasons--spring, summer, fall and winter.

News and Announcements:

Bridgeport Hospital hosted our first TRAC meeting of the year on March 27th. The conference provided us with great information; the presentations were very unique and interesting. Thank you to Mary Beth, Wendy, and Theresa for their efforts and hospitality. A total of five credits will be requested from NCRA.

At our first business meeting, we started to appoint committee members as required by our bylaws. I will serve as president and chair the public relations/communication committee. Amy Baldwin-Stephens, vice president, will chair the education and liaison committees. Mike Kuhland, president of the New York Cancer Registrars Association, and Donna Goss will be on the education committee. It is my hope that we will collaborate with both NYCRA and CRANE in the future. Michele Wojewodzki, treasurer, will chair the membership and ways and means committees. Liza Cleveland will assist the ways and means committee Chair. Mary Jeanne Pierce, Cathryn Phillips, and Brooke Chang volunteered to serve on the bylaws committee. Jennifer Cantillo-Mena will remain on the nominating committee. Donna Connery has stepped down after seven years of service. Thank you, Donna, and welcome to our current committee members. We look forward to a productive year!

The Board of Directors is still trying to build a team of committee members. Please consider serving on the nominating committee. As an organization, TRAC cannot continue without a nominating committee. Two volunteers for the nominating committee are needed. Your participation is appreciated and will strengthen TRAC.

Our first project that we as officers want to tackle is to make the TRAC website viable once again. We believe it is important to reestablish, redesign and maintain a current website for our organization. An updated website will allow TRAC to have a professional presence and public visibility. Members of TRAC also voiced support for this action at our last meeting. After exploring a few options, we have decided to utilize Vistaprint as a web host. A survey that lists the available options will be sent to members for their input.

Education Committee:

The education committee's goal is to provide more educational choices that include national speakers annually. A survey to evaluate member support for this initiative will be sent to members. TRAC officers will discuss this topic further at our next business meeting before any decisions are made.

The annual TRAC meeting on September 9th will feature April Fritz for an all-day conference/workshop. Please let us know what topics would be most useful. The following is a list of educational offerings this year:

Advances in Pancreatic Cancer Symposium, Hartford Hospital, May 6

National Cancer Registrars Association, San Antonio, Texas, May 20-23

North American Association Central Cancer Registries, Charlotte, North Carolina, June 13-18 Cancer Registrars Association New England, Nashua, New Hampshire, June 25

Tumor Registrars Association of Connecticut, New Haven, Connecticut, September 9

New York Cancer Registrars Association, Saratoga Springs, New York, October 7-9

Cancer Registrars Association New England, Framingham, Massachusetts, October 19-20

Please consider hosting a TRAC meeting in the future.

 

Bylaws Committee:

Cathy, Mary Jeanne and Brooke will review the bylaws and report their findings at our next TRAC meeting.

 

Treasurer/Membership Committee:

Seven new CTRs were recognized at the annual TRAC meeting at Yale New Haven last November. They are Shara Benson, Rebecca Briggs, Brittany Hadfield, Bri Howell, Kylie Nelson, Evin Soares, and Mary Beth Thornton. Congratulations to all on this great achievement. New CTRs in 2015, please contact Michele to receive your pin.

TRAC currently has 40 active members. A final membership roster for 2015 will be emailed to members in the near future. Newly designed membership cards were issued at our last meeting.

 

 

Ways and Means Committee:

Please look for a survey to determine if members would purchase faux leather folios (blue with white TRAC logo). The folios could be sold for $14 at meetings as a fundraiser. That price point would allow a $5 profit on each folio that would be used for education activities. We will be looking for other ideas, as well. Collection for ways and means will resume at our next TRAC meeting.

 

Job Postings:

Hartford Hospital Cancer Registry Records Analyst, CTR, Temporary

Middlesex Hospital Cancer Data Registrar & Quality Improvement Coordinator

That is all for now. Happy Spring, everyone...

Donna M. Lanphear, President

Amy Baldwin-Stephens, Vice President

Michele Wojewodzki, Treasurer

Rosemary Crawford, Secretary


Public Relations/Communication Committee, Chair: Donna M. Lanphear

Education/Liaison Committees: Amy Baldwin-Stephens, Chair; Mike Kuhland, Donna Goss, Education

Membership/Ways and Means Committees: Michele Wojewodzki, Chair; Liza Cleveland, Ways and Means

Bylaws Committee: Cathryn Phillips, Mary Jeanne Pierce, Brooke Chang

Nominating Committee: Jennifer Cantillo-Mena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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