NCRA 2019 – Navigating the Mountains of Change


Marketing Manager

Registry Partners had the privilege of being an exhibitor at the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) 45th Annual Education Conference in Denver, Colorado, May 19th to 22nd at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.

Cancer Registry professionals from all over the U.S. came together to navigate through the mountains of change “in the mountains” of colorful Colorado. All in attendance also got to experience changing temperatures and a surprise snowfall! The conference was filled with great presentations, focusing on the past, present and future of cancer standards of care, and oncology data collection.  

Keynote speaker, Theodore J. Williams, MD, PhD, CTR, kicked off the theme of the conference with “The Evolution of Cancer and Cancer Care and Registries Too!”, summarizing the transformations from 1974 to 2019, including the cancer registry manual progressions from CPM, DAM, ROADS, FORDS and finally STORE with all of the 2018 changes we’ve faced in the cancer registry profession.

Day one of NCRA continued with distinguished presenters with a strong emphasis on precision medicine and precision abstracting. The future holds a greater use of automation, but, rest assured, the knowledge of cancer registrars and medical professionals will never be outmoded.

The second day of the conference was filled with great informational updates from several devout standard setters including: College of American Pathologists (CAP), National Cancer Database (NCDB), North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), American College of Surgeons (ACoS) and Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER). Donna Gress, RHIA, CTR, graced the audience with “Essentials of Navigating the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition”. With so many changes happening in 2018, Donna focused on the staging rule effects on registrars and helped to clarify the rationale for the changes as they related to important research developments.

The final day of the conference had a stronger focus on abstracting and making use of the registry data for both registry and facility operations, as well as research. The Awards, Installation and Recognition luncheon highlighted newly certified CTRs were recognized among other distinguished professionals and Paulette Zinkann, CTR, was installed as President of NCRA. The latter half of the day offered three symposia focusing on the varying needs of hospital and central registries as well as those interested in professional development and management.

The hospital symposium offered a detailed presentation with “Tips for Simplifying Your Abstract” followed by site-specific presentations on Melanoma, Head and Neck, Lung and Gynecologic cancers. Staging changes and highlights, surgical coding instruction and treatment guidelines were all discussed. The central registry symposium provided strategies for recruitment and retention, as well as innovative ways to assure data quality. During the management/professional development symposium, our very own, Mandi Kraushaar, RHIA, CTR gave a presentation on “Excellent Excel” highlighting useful tips for using Microsoft Excel and exploring the use of pivot tables. Demonstrations shared during her presentation can be found at https://www/

White gathered in Colorado, Registry Partners hosted a lovely Italian dinner at Maggiano’s in downtown Denver, where team members were able to enjoy an escape from our typically remote environment. During the dinner, we honored Linda Reimers, Director of Business Development, who was celebrating a bittersweet, last NCRA before her upcoming retirement. Overall, it was an outstanding NCRA conference.

Congratulations to the Registry Partners raffle basket winner, Vergie Simmons and also to Linda Wilson, winner of our Apple Watch/AirPods raffle.

Pictured: Vergie Simmons

We look forward to attending next year’s 2020 NCRA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.