By Josh Shepherd
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 22, 2019) – University of Kentucky cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Tim Mullett was recently named chair-elect of the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a program of the American College of Surgeons (ACOS).
The CoC, established by the ACOS in 1922, is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients. The program establishes accreditation standards to ensure quality, multidisciplinary and comprehensive cancer care delivery in health care settings. There are approximately 1,500 accredited programs representing all 50 states.
Mullett, who serves as medical director of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate and Research Network, is one of 110 individuals currently serving on the Commission. Members direct the activities of the Commission through various committees such as Program Accreditation, Cancer Liaison, Education, and Quality Integration. Prior to being named Chair-Elect, he served two years as vice-chair of the CoC’s Cancer Liaison Committee.
Mullett has been a member of the UK cardiothoracic surgery faculty since 1996. He was responsible for developing the lung transplant program at the University of Kentucky, achieving CMS certification and serving as its director for 13 years. He also served as surgical director of the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic at the Markey Cancer Center from 1998 until 2013.
He has also been a very active member of the ACS Commission on Cancer working with programs across the state as the Kentucky State Chair. Nine programs received their initial accreditation with support from the Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network staff.
Dr. William B. Inabnet III, the Johnston-Wright Endowed Professor and new chair of the UK Department of Surgery, frequently worked alongside Dr. Mullett through the ACS before arriving at UK.
“The Commission on Cancer has done a remarkable job creating standard clinical pathways to improve cancer care, an essential initiative for Kentucky which has the highest cancer mortality in the United States,” Inabnet said. “Under Dr. Mullett’s leadership, we anticipate that the CoC will continue to aid the Commonwealth and the nation as a whole.”
As Chair-Elect, Dr. Mullett will spend a year working alongside the presiding chair, Dr. Lawrence Shulman of the University of Pennsylvania. He will be installed as chair of the CoC in October 2020.
“It is well known that Kentucky leads the nation in incidence of several forms of cancer,” Mullett said. “I look forward to carrying the flag for the University of Kentucky and representing some of the problems that are amplified in Kentucky cancer care, such as rural surgery and cancer care, lung and colon cancer screening implementation, care coordination with NCI designated programs, and other similar initiatives.”