CUTHBERT — Paulette Zinkann, an Andrew College professor, was installed as the president of the National Cancer Registrars Association at its annual Educational Conference in Denver on May 22.
NCRA is a nonprofit organization that represents 6,000 cancer registry professionals. Cancer registrars are data information specialists who capture a complete history, diagnosis, treatment and health status for every cancer patient in the U.S. The data provide essential information to researchers, health care providers and public health officials to better monitor and advance cancer treatments, conduct research and improve cancer prevention and screening programs.
In her role as president, Zinkann will represent the organization at regional and national meetings and support its mission to promote education, credentialing and advocacy for cancer registry professionals.
Zinkann has a well-established career in cancer registry management and earned her Certified Tumor Registrar credential in 1998. She is the director of the Cancer Registry Management program at Andrew College. Zinkann was instrumental in establishing this new program that provides training and mentoring for candidates interested in joining the cancer registry profession.
She said she believes education is the cornerstone of a career in the cancer registry, and as she begins her one-year tenure as NCRA president, Zinkann said she plans to champion formal education opportunities to ensure candidates taking the CTR exam are well-prepared and knowledgeable. She said she hopes to work with other CRM program directors throughout the U.S. as well as the NCRA education-related committees and staff to provide the best learning opportunities for students.
Zinkann said she believes involvement in state and national associations provides registrars with professional development opportunities, and her career embodies that belief. She has been an active member of the Georgia Tumor Registrars Association since 2003, where she served as both president and secretary and currently serves as its bylaws chair.
Zinkann has been a member of NCRA for more than 20 years and has volunteered throughout that time, including serving on the board of directors and as ethics chair, education director, and formal education committee chair. She has spoken at numerous NCRA annual conferences and has served as the lead trainer on live webinars. Zinkann has also written articles for The Connection, NCRA’s member newsletter, and co-edited articles for industry publications.
In her tenure as president, she said she would like to see more NCRA members become involved in the association, noting that there are so many learning and leadership opportunities made available through volunteer work for both the novice and seasoned cancer registrar.
In addition to promoting education and professional development opportunities in the coming year, Zinkann said she will also focus on implementing NCRA’s new strategic management plan and seek ways to empower and advance cancer registry professionals through strategic partnerships and national advocacy.