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American Cancer Society Names Arif Kamal, MD, First Chief Patient Officer


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The American Cancer Society (ACS) has named Arif Kamal, MD, MBA, MHS, FACP, ­FAAHPM, FASCO, as its first Chief Patient Officer to lead its patient support vision and strategic plans to improve the lives of patients with cancer and their families. Based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Dr. Kamal will lead ACS’s first single, coordinated unit to accelerate progress against cancer through its patient-facing activities. His scope encompasses cancer control, patient navigation, educational programs, patient lodging solutions, transportation services, and all aspects of ACS functions that touch patients across 5,000 communities. Dr. Kamal assumed his new position with ACS on February 1.

Dr. Kamal joins ACS from Duke University and the Duke Cancer Institute, where he served for more than 12 years as an oncologist, researcher, and innovative leader. He is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Population Health at the Duke University School of Medicine and recently served as Physician Quality and Outcomes Officer at the Duke Cancer Institute. He is an expert in oncology quality assessment and palliative care. Dr. Kamal will maintain a palliative care clinical practice at Duke Cancer Center.

Arif Kamal, MD, MBA, MHS, FACP, FAAHPM, FASCO

Arif Kamal, MD, MBA, MHS, FACP, FAAHPM, FASCO

Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD

Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD

“Throughout his career, Dr. Kamal has held a passion for aligning patients to the most appropriate care plans, based on both medical need and goals of care preferences,” said Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of the American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “He also has an entrepreneurial streak, with both a medical and a business background. This unique combination makes Dr. Kamal a perfect fit for leading our patient support program.”

Dr. Kamal holds leadership positions in the National Quality Forum, ASCO, and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He also cofounded Prepped Health, a company that develops innovative technology solutions to educate patients and caregivers facing serious illnesses. 

Dr. Kamal received his medical degree from the 6-year combined BA/MD program at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, completed his internal medicine residency and a hospice and palliative medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, as well as a hematology/oncology fellowship at Duke University. He holds a Master’s degree in Health Science in Clinical Research from Duke University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. 

 


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