“Communication and sharing knowledge among all not only make a great team, but also creates a stress-free environment.” These are the words of Nancy Etzold, ODS-C, Cancer Registry Director at OU Medicine, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where she raves about her team. They have been together for 10 years and many have been with her even from previous facilities.

Before she decided to explore the healthcare profession, Nancy started her career as a Home Economics teacher.  When she first entered the healthcare profession, she accepted a position in the Medical Records Department at Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren, Ohio. In 1988, Nancy transferred to the Cancer Registry. They had great hours and didn’t have to work nights or weekends!

With no formal training, Nancy was the only person in the cancer registry department. She relied on studying the SEER manuals and a few mentors. Using just sheer determination and willpower, Nancy passed her ODS test in 1990. Since that time, Nancy has become well known in the Cancer Registry Profession. A few key positions she’s held throughout the years include NCDB Communications and Cancer Program Specialist, NCRA Education Content Coordinator for the Cancer Registry Management Program, Director and Manager of Cancer Programs at Saint David’s Healthcare in Austin, TX, and National Cancer Data Base Communications and Cancer Program Specialist for the American College of Surgeons.

Nancy has authored chapters and articles in multiple publications including Cancer Registry Management: Principles and PracticesNational Cancer Registrars Association Informatics GuidebookNational Cancer Registrars Association Journal of Registry Management; and The Complete Guide to Interpreting Cancer Program Standards. She was also a contributing staff member to Cancer Program Standards 2004.

Her many presentations are not only filled with knowledge of current changes but are also presented with humor and laughter. This is because at one time, Nancy was a standup comedian. Nancy’s experience as a stand-up comic helped her develop motivational presentations. She has shared “Laughing Your Way to a Healthier You!” with a wide variety of healthcare and community organizations.

Nancy’s message to the standard setters is a hope that that will be more proactive and inclusive with the registry community.    She would like her fellow registrars to listen and support each other and that communication solves a lot of issues. “Pick up the phone and call – don’t rely on texting.”

Nancy’s husband, John is a songwriter-entertainer. She learned to play the bass so that she and her husband could spend quality time together recording and playing for live audiences. Prior to the pandemic, they performed at multiple cancer fundraisers and parties. She can’t wait for the pandemic to end so they can get back to gigging. Nancy also learned and enjoys quilting.