Dr. Thomas J. Miner, chief of Brown Surgical Associates’ Surgical Oncology Division, was recently appointed as Rhode Island’s state chair of the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer (CoC) Cancer Liaison Program. State chairs are volunteer physicians who serve as CoC representatives and provide leadership and support to the CoC-accredited programs and Cancer Liaison Physicians in their state.
Dr. Miner, a professor of surgery at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, is among a network of 64 state chairs who guide the activities of more than 1,500 volunteer Cancer Liaison Physicians (CLPs) appointed in cancer programs across the country. CLPs are responsible for evaluating, interpreting, and reporting their facilities’ performance data through the National Cancer Database (NCDB) and facilitating quality improvement initiatives based on data findings. In addition, the CLP is responsible for leading CoC initiatives within their cancer programs and collaborating with agencies such as the American Cancer Society on behalf of the hospital.
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The CoC collects data from its accredited cancer programs and provides tools for these programs to facilitate analysis of patterns of diagnosis, treatment, and quality of care for patients treated at the hospital. The NCDB, a joint program of the CoC and the American Cancer Society, is a nationwide oncology outcomes database for Commission-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Some 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cases of cancer in the United States are captured at the institutional level and reported to the NCDB. The NCDB began in 1989 and now contains approximately 34-million records from hospital cancer registries across the United States. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed. As part of their duties, state chairs work to facilitate the presentation, use, and interpretation of NCDB data on the state or regional level.
During his three-year term as state chair, Dr. Miner will also work with the American Cancer Society, state cancer coalitions, and departments of health to support data-driven comprehensive cancer control planning throughout Rhode Island. This collaborative effort is an integrated and coordinated approach to reducing cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality.
In an effort to assist the more than 1.8 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year,* state chairs encourage CLPs in CoC-accredited programs to share information on their facilities’ resources, services, and annual cancer caseloads for public reporting through the CoC website.
As state chair, Dr. Miner is the main contact between the CoC and the local chapter of the American College of Surgeons.
For more information on the Cancer Liaison Program and the CoC, contact the Commission on Cancer at the American College of Surgeons, 633 N. Saint Clair St., Chicago, IL 60611; call 312-202-5085; or visit http://www.facs.org/cancer.