Alabama Cancer Registrars Association (ACRA)
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Alabama Cancer Registrars Association- A Brief History


Summer of 1977, the University Hospital in Birmingham Tumor Registry was contacted by the American College of Surgeons-Commission on Cancer (ACOS-COC) and asked to host a ‘Cancer Registry Workshop’ for the State of Alabama.  During November 1977, this meeting commenced at the Parliament House Hotel in Birmingham with speakers being sponsored by the Commission on Cancer, SEER and NCRA. 


Sixty-two registered participants were in attendance and came from Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.  At the end of this meeting with the help of Rosemarie Clive from the COC, Constance Percy and Evelyn Shambaugh from SEER, and Mildred Weiss from NCRA, our association was founded.  We were a non-profit, volunteer organization with 15 chartered members who paid a fee of $1.00 to form the association.  The first official business meeting was held on October 27, 1978 and officers were elected, dues were set at $5.00 annually.  Two chartered members are still active and present in this Association today.


Our first annual educational seminar was held on May 4th 1979 at the Plaza Hotel South in Birmingham.  Seventy six participants were registered and attended.  The next meeting was held in Mobile at the Mobile Hilton.  And since that time we have traveled throughout this State and also in Florida with our educational meetings.  


In 1989, the Alabama Cancer Congress (ACC) was formed and several members of our association served on the planning committee of this Congress for many years.  The partnership of ACRA and ACC lasted nine years, from 1989 to 2008. During the year of 2023, the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) changed the credentailing title from a Certified Tumor Regustrar (CTR)  to Oncology Data Specialist-Certified (ODS-C) to reflect a more broader spectrum of the cancer data being captured.