by Gus Iversen
, Editor in Chief | March 11, 2022
From the March 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
With the National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) annual meeting right around the corner, HealthCare Business News checked in with Dr. Kristin Heath who, in addition to being a NAPT board member and the agenda chair for the upcoming conference, is also the director of operations at Miami Cancer Institute.
HCB News: Can you tell us about your background with proton therapy and NAPT?
I began my career in proton therapy as a radiation therapist at University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute in 2006. I was later promoted into a lead radiation therapist position and finally into a chief radiation therapist position during my time with UFHPTI. In 2015, I joined Texas Center for Proton Therapy as their director of technical services. When I joined TCPT I was given the opportunity to become more involved with the NAPT and in 2018 was selected to serve as a board member. In 2019, I joined Miami Cancer Institute as their director of operations and was re-selected in 2021 to continue serving as a board member for the NAPT. I believe that the experience I have gained in multiple different roles really has helped me with connecting with a larger part of the proton community. Having experience both clinically and operationally allows me to understand what is going on day-to-day a little better than someone who has just one area of expertise.
HCB News: Looking back over the previous couple of years, what have been some of the industry milestones for proton therapy?
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Access for proton therapy has continued increasing. We now have 38 operating proton centers and NAPT has 40 members. More hospitals/cancer centers are recognizing the value of proton therapy and incorporating this technology into their cancer program.
The publication of significant research that supports the value of proton therapy for cancer patients. The clinical research is proving that proton therapy benefits patients in the short and long term and also the cost savings for insurers and for patients.