CEO Gold Standard Accreditation

The Texas A&M Health Science Center has recently received CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ accreditation, recognizing their commitment to the health of its employees and their families.

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer, a nonprofit organization of CEOs, founded in 2001 by former President George H.W. Bush, developed and administers the Gold Standard, a workplace accreditation program which encourages and recognizes the commitment of organizations that take concrete actions to address cancer in their workplaces.

To earn Gold Standard accreditation, an employer must establish programs to reduce cancer risk by taking concrete actions in five key areas: establishing policies and programs to reduce cancer risk by prohibiting tobacco use and supporting tobacco cessation efforts; promoting physical activity, healthy nutrition and weight management; providing health insurance options that include detecting cancer at its earliest stages, access to quality care and participation in cancer clinical trials; promoting employee awareness of these initiatives; and supporting the needs of cancer survivors in the workplace.

The School of Public Health was the first component of the HSC to receive CEO Gold Standard accreditation in January 2014. In April 2015, in an effort to help organizations seek accreditation and reduce the risk of cancer for their employees and families, the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service produced the Going for the Gold: Achieving CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ Accreditation Guidebook, which is posted on the CEO Cancer Gold Standard website as a resource for those seeking accreditation.

CAT Annual Awards

The CAT Annual Awards highlight the work and achievements of CAT members/partners and/or their respective organizations in cancer control for Texas. Awards will be awarded annually at our November meeting to outstanding leaders in comprehensive cancer control. Nominations for the Annual CAT Awards were solicited though the CAT email list and reviewed by a panel of judges.

CAT Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Control Individual Award Winner: Michael Davis, MS, MHA

Karen Torges and Michael Davis

CAT Chairman, Karen Torges presents the award for CAT Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Control-Individual to Michael Davis, MS, MHA

“Michael is passionate about cancer control. He describes his job at the Cancer Institute at Baylor Scott and White health as his “dream job” and works each day to make a difference in all aspects of cancer control.”

“Michael was instrumental in the implementation of the eTobacco protocol into the Baylor Scott and White system. In addition, he is working to incorporate a new Cancer center at Baylor Scott and White. This center will provide the highest quality cancer treatment for all impacted.”

“Michael is more passionate than almost anyone I have ever met on issues concerning the control of cancer. Michael goes above and beyond everyday to improve the lives of others. Michael is a true leader in cancer control, he is dedicated and works to involve innovative programs into the largest healthcare system in the state of Texas.”

BIO: Michael Davis, MS, MHA

Michael Davis is currently the Director of the Baylor Scott & White Health Cancer Institute (BSWH).  He joined BSWH following 7 years with the Seton Healthcare Family and having served the Texas Department of State Health Services as its Chronic Disease Prevention Branch Manager. He currently presides over 6 oncology operating regions in Central Texas and provides executive leadership and strategic direction to all 15 oncology centers in the BSWH system.

During Michael’s time at Seton, he served as Operations Manager for Network Oncology Services that included oversight of the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), which Seton was 1 of 16 national pilot sites for. He managed Revenue Cycle & Patient Access at Brackenridge hospital, Austin’s busiest emergency department and only adult-focused level 1 trauma center.

Michael’s experience also includes work in clinical outcomes analysis, statistical measurement, and physician services finance. He served as Administrative Fellow to the CEO of an integrated health care system in Madison, WI and consultant to hospitals and medical practices.

Michael earned a Master’s Degrees in Population Health & Healthcare Administration- University of Wisconsin – Madison as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology: Demography & Statistics from the same university. Michael has lived in the Central Texas area for over 11 years and is married to a native Texan and has two young children.

He has served on the Executive Committee of CAT since 2013.  His deep commitment to tobacco cessation led to the implementation of an EHR-based automated referral within Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH), which has streamlined access to the Texas Tobacco Quit Line for over 400,000 patients in BSWH’s Central Texas Division and will soon offer similar access to another 700,000 patients in the BSWH North Texas Division.

CAT Cancer Control Champion Award: Phil Huang, MD

Karen Torges and Philip Huang

CAT Chairman, Karen Torges presents the award for CAT Cancer Control Champion to Dr. Phil Huang

“Dr. Huang is a tireless champion for tobacco control efforts and has successfully implemented changes within Austin and throughout the state that have deeply restricted public use of tobacco products. His work in this space directly supports the Texas Cancer Plan and the mission of the Cancer Alliance of Texas.”

“Dr. Huang frequently gives presentations on the harms associated with tobacco use that have far-reaching impact and inspire others to advocate for and take action against tobacco use in public settings. CAT would do well to honor Dr. Huang with the Cancer Control Champion award.”

BIO: Phil Huang, MD

Dr. Huang is currently the Medical Director and Health Authority for the Austin/Travis County Health Department where his responsibilities include communicable disease control, emergency preparedness, epidemiology and surveillance, immunizations, environmental health, and chronic disease prevention.

Prior to this, he served as Medical Director for Chronic Disease Prevention at the Texas Department of State Health Services and Chief of the Bureau of Chronic Disease and Tobacco Prevention at the former Texas Department of Health (TDH).

He received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Rice University, his MD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and his Master’s in Public Health from Harvard with a concentration in Health Policy and Management. While at Harvard he led the successful movement to have Harvard divest of their tobacco stocks. Dr. Huang completed his residency training in Family Medicine at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, and was Chief Resident during his final year. He served two years as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assigned to the Illinois Department of Public Health where he conducted epidemiologic studies in chronic disease and infectious disease outbreak investigations.

Dr. Huang is an author or co-author of numerous publications related to public health, chronic disease and tobacco use prevention. Dr. Huang has a strong interest in addressing health from a broad perspective, including use of community policy and environmental change to make healthy choices the easy choice and to promote public health. Dr. Huang is Board Certified in Family Medicine.

CAT Honors Karen Torges for her contributions to CAT as Chair

Karen Torges and Deborah Vollmer Dahlke

CAT Immediate Past-Chair, Dr. Deborah Vollmer Dahlke honors CAT Chairman, Karen Torges

“KT is a force of nature!  Thank you for all you do for cancer control in Texas.”

“I’ve never met someone so dedicated to cancer control and your profession.”

“Karen is extremely knowledgeable and connected in the cancer community in Texas.”

“The Cancer Alliance of Texas is an outstanding forum for the sharing of ideas and networking with partners across Texas to fight cancer… Your leadership and guidance has been critical.”

BIO: Karen Torges

Karen Torges (aka “KT”) has served as the  Chairman of the Cancer Alliance of Texas for the past two years, completing her term in December 2015.   She has over thirty-eight years of strategic and hands on experience in non-profit management, strategic planning and implementation, relationships and collaborations management, which includes a 35 year career with American Cancer Society, High Plains Division, based in Austin, Texas.  She’s been a member of CAT since it was first established nearly 20 years ago!

She has and continues to work extensively with volunteer groups at the national, state and local level on multiple cancer control and public health issues including the American College of Surgeons, Texas Medical Association, Texas Cancer Registry, One Voice Texas, Texas Public Health Coalition, and VisionWorks for Camp Discovery.

Karen is currently the Client Relations Manager for Texas and Oklahoma with Community Health Charities, a federation of over 2000 health charities nationwide.  Their mission is to improve the lives of those affected by a disability of chronic disease by uniting caring donors in the workplace with our nation’s most trusted charities.

“It’s been my pleasure serving as Chair of the Cancer Alliance of Texas for the past two years. This is a wonderful volunteer network of committed cancer control health professionals, survivors, advocates, agencies and organizations that work to decrease the burden of cancer on Texans.”