Donna has worked with Registry Partners, Inc. as a part-time Project CTR since June of 2013. Donna was promoted to a QC Manager in May 2015, and is a true asset to the QC Manager position. Donna performs QC for RPI staff and has branched out to assist in the QC of on-site staff in the past year.
Donna’s experience in the cancer registry field has primarily been for Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, a CoC Accredited cancer program, in Cumberland, MD as well as various other hospitals as a member of the Registry Partner’s CTRs.
Donna has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Frostburg Stage University in Frostburg, MD and an Associates of Applied Science degree in Business Administration from Allegany College of Maryland in Cumberland, MD. She is a member of the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA), as well as the Tumor Registrars Association of Maryland (TRAM). She has also served as team captain for the Relay for Life for many years and serves on the Service Excellence Recognition Committee at Western Maryland Regional Medical Center.
Donna presently resides in Cumberland, MD. She enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren and she loves to travel and discover new restaurants and specialty shops.
Q&A with Donna:
Q: What did you do prior to entering the healthcare field?
A: Prior to entering the healthcare field, I worked in a women’s clothing & apparel retail store. In my high school days, I had always dreamed of opening my own clothing store.
Q: How did you become aware of the CTR profession and what did you do to prepare for the CTR certification?
A: I became aware of the CTR profession while I worked as a secretary in Medical Oncology. Who knew that learning all the treatment regimens for various cancers and the names of the chemotherapy agents would become so useful. I also worked with a medical oncologist who loved to teach, and invoked my love of learning all I could about treating cancer. I knew the Cancer Registry staff was involved with Tumor Board and CoC surveys, but did not yet know the scope and importance of their jobs.
A position became available in the Registry for which I applied. During my interview, the interviewer, who was the Cancer Registry Coordinator, showed me this huge Excel spreadsheet, and asked if I was intimidated by it. It was a report she had ran from the cancer registry software. I said no, I was not. She also asked if I was detail oriented in which I replied with a yes, sometimes to a fault. I must have answered all the questions correctly, as I got the job.
To prepare for my CTR certification, I was very fortunate to have been able to attend a week-long seminar, “Principles of Oncology for Cancer Registry Professionals” with April Fritz and Steve Peace as my instructors. There, I received a solid base of abstracting knowledge and a broad introduction into the world of a cancer registrar. After I put in my required hours, I registered to take the exam. In the meantime, I had purchased the Cancer Registry Management Principles & Practices for Hospitals and Central Registries and an online practice exam from NCRA, which helped immensely.
Q: In your opinion, what makes your job interesting?
A: I feel that the cancer registry field opened-up a whole new world for me. No two days are alike. Abstracting a case allows you to go on a journey along with the patient, where no two journeys are ever alike. Working with the physicians and other cancer center staff to attain the best outcome for the patients is very rewarding. Coordinating tumor boards or helping a facility prepare for survey takes you in a whole other direction.
Quality is the basis for all we do. That is why I thoroughly enjoy my position at Registry Partners, as a QC manager, where It allows me to exercise my love of attention to detail, while requiring me to keep up with all the changes in this amazing field of cancer registry.