By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
Lt. Cmdr. Steven Castle, a reserve officer under active-duty orders to U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, was one of seven internationally to have attained the inaugural certification of Certified Oncology Administrator (COA) in April 2020.
The Association of Cancer Executives (ACE) announced in 2019 a new opportunity for individuals holding strong oncology experience to attain formal credentialing as a COA.
“The Association of Cancer Executives was founded in 1994 and serves as an international organization committed to the leadership development of oncology executives through continuing education and professional networking designed to promote improvement in patient care delivery,” said Brian Mandrier, executive director of ACE.
The criteria for credentialing was rigorous and included: completion of 20 hours of formal continuing education, having at least five years of direct operational and financial leadership of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated research center or Commission on Cancer accredited program, at least three years of direct leadership of three or more areas of cancer services, three professional letters of recommendation, three written case studies demonstrating comprehension, and an oral exam via personal interview.
“Pursuing an advanced and unique credential is simply the right thing to do as hospital administrators directly impact patient care,” said Castle. “We, as leaders, should seek opportunities to continually invest in ourselves so that we can better strength our own skills. The stronger we are, the more capable we are to developing services.”
Castle, a reserve officer assigned to CNE-CNA/C6F since April 2019, is serving as a country action officer in the N51 department, which covers Europe.
Prior to deployment, he was the chief operating officer to a 300-bed hospital near his home in Richmond, Va. His 30 years in healthcare include experience in direct clinical care, academic, research and development, manufacturing, and senior administration.
“Our hope is that holders of COA are recognized as oncology executives who are uniquely skilled to lead complex cancer services,” said Mandrier.
Since receiving the award, Castle has organized with the other six recipients to consider means of developing the credential for future applicants.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa is headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.