As the Data Collection Manager for the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program (CSP), a unit within the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences, Meryl is responsible for leading the data collection activities, which includes identifying all facilities in LA County that participate in the diagnosis and/or treatment of cancer patients and maintaining professional relationships with key personnel, assuring the complete cancer case ascertainment from these facilities, and providing education and training for the CSP data collection field staff.
Providing education and training for CSP’s cancer registrars has been a personal passion for Meryl. As an outgrowth of her interest and responsibilities to educate and train the cancer registrars to assure complete and accurate cancer case ascertainment for the CSP, she was offered the opportunity to develop the first completely online cancer information management degree program at Santa Barbara City College with some of her colleagues. She authored the data collection curriculum for the program and served as adjunct faculty for the program, which is now in its 19th year. In 2001, she and her colleagues were awarded the National Cancer Registrar’s Association Education Award in recognition of their efforts to enhance formal education for cancer registrars. Taking an active role in the professional cancer surveillance community associations on the local, state, and national level has helped Meryl cement relationships with the facilities and key personnel involved with cancer data collection. In recognition of her contributions on the state level, she was awarded the California Cancer Registrars Association Distinguished Service Award in 2001.
Meryl Leventhal was nominated for the October 2018 Dean’s Staff Spotlight by Dennis Deapen, DPH, Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences.