« All Blogs May 24, 2019
Q & A with Our New V.P. Karen Schmidt, CTR
Karen Schmidt CTR

Earlier this month, we announced our new Vice President Karen Schmidt, CTR. On her first official day in her new role, she wrote about our new motto, Better Data Saves Lives™, on our blog. Now that she’s had a few weeks to settle in, we thought we’d check in with a quick Q & A…

Q | Can you give a brief summary of your career with CHAMPS Oncology?

Karen Schmidt, CTR | My experience at this organization has been very interesting. I started as the HR director, just wanting to understand what a CTR does so I could find Toni Hare, one of the best CTRs in the state. As I spent more and more time working closely with CHAMPS Oncology, I developed a passion for what a CTR is responsible for and how important their role is to cancer patients, physicians and hospital administrators.

Q | Why are you so passionate about this work?

Karen Schmidt, CTR | I thought my passion for this profession was pretty strong, until January 2019 came around. I loved what we do as registrars - telling a patient’s story, documenting the physician’s treatment plan and following patients for their lifetime. But, in January 2019, my passion and respect for this profession got even more personal. I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and suddenly the work registrars have done for 40+ years meant even more to me. I immediately wanted to know my prognosis and outcome.The data CTRs had collected showed my long-term survival prediction was better than I expected. I ended up being extremely blessed with a diagnosis of Stage I Ovarian Cancer which required surgery and three cycles of chemotherapy. I am eternally grateful to my CTR community for giving my family and me peace of mind throughout this journey. And a special thanks goes out to my physicians and nurses at Cleveland Clinic.

Q | What excites you about the future of CHAMPS Oncology? 

Karen Schmidt, CTR | I am excited about the role future technology will play in our industry and I’m eager to learn, collect new data items and be a part of the registry story for future cancer patients like me.

Q | What advice do you have for new CTRs starting out in this industry? 

Karen Schmidt, CTR | Don’t give up! This profession is worth it!! It is difficult to pass the CTR exam, but the work you do every day is very rewarding in the end. Plus, we need great CTRs to continue to join this profession, because better data really does save lives and each one of us is making a difference. I’m living proof of it!

Q | What makes the CHAMPS Oncology team special?

Karen Schmidt, CTR | The CHAMPS team is special because we all care about the quality of the data we collect. We know someone is relying on us to tell their story, so others can benefit from it. We understand every abstract counts and that’s why I’m proud to be a part of this team.

Q | Each month we feature a different Registry Rock Star from our team. We always ask them to answer the same list of questions so we can get to know them better on a personal level. Would you be so kind?

Karen Schmidt, CTR | Of course! 

In my free time, I love to spend time on the water. My husband and I love boating on beautiful Lake Erie. 

I grew up in Perrysburg, Ohio. 

One item on my bucket list is to take up photography in my retirement. 

I don’t have a favorite rock ’n’ roll star. I love all music and my husband will tell you I know every word to every song!

Interested in joining Karen Schmidt and our entire team of Registry Rock Stars? Learn about CHAMPS' cancer registry careers.

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