The day-to-day operations of the California Cancer Registry, the California Public Health Department's statewide cancer surveillance system and database, are now the responsibility of the University of California Davis Health System, and a physician very familiar with the registry will lead the charge.
Dr. Kenneth Kizer, former undersecretary for health at the U.S. Veteran Affairs Department and the founding president and CEO of the National Quality Forum, led the drive to create and implement the registry when he worked as the director of the California Department of Health Services from 1984 to 1991, according to a UC Davis news release.
Kizer, who previously was chairman and CEO of open-source electronic health-record system developer Medsphere Systems of Carlsbad, Calif., was named last year as director of the new Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis.
The registry contains data on 4 million cancer cases that have been diagnosed in the state since 1988, including patient demographics, cancer type, treatment and survival. According to the release, this information helps researchers assess geographic, ethnic and racial risk factors for cancer, which in turn can help shape policy and direct education and early detection efforts.