Sarah serves as a data abstraction subject matter expert, ensuring data accuracy through quality control oversight, while keeping abreast of industry specific data collection rules and specification changes and providing ongoing education to her assigned data abstraction teams.
Prior to joining Registry Partners, Sarah served as Tumor Registrar for St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut and also served as Program Coordinator for the University of Arizona, Department of Medicine and Credentialing Specialist for Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT.
Sarah earned her Bachelor’s degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and she earned her Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) national certification. She is also a member of the National Cancer Registrars Association.
Sarah resides in Arizona and in her spare time she enjoys reading, knitting, crossword and jigsaw puzzles, running and enjoying mountain views from her home.
Q & A with Sarah:
Q: How did you become aware of the cancer registry profession and what did you do to prepare for your CTR certification?
A: I was working in the Medical Staff Office at a hospital which has a rich history in Tumor Registry and had seen and heard references to the Registry among my colleagues and in one of the hospital newsletters. At the time I had recently lost a close family member to cancer and another loved one was undergoing treatment for advanced stage disease. I started researching the cancer registry profession and realized quickly that it was exactly the career I had been looking for: detail-oriented, analytic work that would also provide a broader sense of meaning and purpose.
I met with the head of the Tumor Registry at the hospital for an invaluable mentoring session and started taking the prerequisites for the NCRA-AHIMA online Cancer Registry Management program. My job in physician credentialing grew more demanding and I had to take time off from my studies, but I was determined not to give up and several years later successfully completed the CRM coursework. I reached out to local hospitals to try to cobble together the internship hours and was lucky enough to find a community hospital willing to take me on as an intern and a new hire.
Q: What advice would you give others who are considering a cancer registry career and pursuing their CTR?
A: Be prepared to work hard and learn constantly, both in pursuing your CTR and once you are working in the field. Always be adaptable to and curious about the latest changes in cancer registry, and never forget that the data we collect reflect very human experiences.
Q: How do you describe your career to family and friends?
A: I tell them that CTRs help translate patients’ stories into data that can be used by researchers and clinicians working to prevent and treat cancer.