Kerin Adelson, M.D., named MD Anderson Chief Quality and Value Officer

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced Kerin Adelson, M.D., as the institution’s chief quality and value officer. An accomplished clinician and researcher with extensive leadership experience in delivering high-quality and value-based cancer care, Adelson will begin her role March 20. She also will hold a faculty appointment in Breast Medical Oncology.

As chief quality and value officer, Adelson will partner with Chief Administrative Quality Officer José Rivera to lead MD Anderson’s medical practice quality improvement efforts and value-based care initiatives in support of the institution’s Strategy. She also will be responsible for guiding initiatives aimed at optimizing the cost and quality of patient care and demonstrating value to prospective insurers, with a goal of implementing innovative reimbursement models that increase access to cancer care services here and across the MD Anderson Cancer Network®.

Adelson also will provide strategic oversight and support for the Institute for Cancer Care Innovation, patient care informatics medical directors, and teams working in clinical effectiveness, tumor registry and Cancer Network quality improvement. She will collaborate with Rivera to provide leadership for the Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) council and with Chief Patient Safety Officer Carmen Gonzalez, M.D., to provide support for MD Anderson’s Divisional Patient Safety Quality Officers.

“As we continue to advance our mission to end cancer, we are committed to improving the lives of our patients and their families. Central to that is our strategic focus on high-touch, high-value cancer care,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “Dr. Adelson brings tremendous experience and insightful leadership that will help us to advance our efforts in this space and ensure optimal, value-based care for all patients.”

Since 2014, Adelson has served as chief quality officer and deputy chief medical officer at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. In her role, she collaborated with physician, nursing and finance leadership to implement quality and safety programs and to design new programs in care management, apply clinical pathways to ensure use of evidence-based therapies, and introduce co-managed hospitalist services to improve the length of patient stays.

Her experience in executive leadership has included overseeing payor relationships for oncology services, multidisciplinary centers for excellence and direct-to-employer strategies. She led Yale’s participation in the Oncology Care Model, a value-based payment model from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) focused on delivering highly coordinated oncology care through better patient navigation, treatment therapies aligned with nationally recognized clinical guidelines, and the use of data to drive continuous quality improvement.

In addition, she oversaw Yale’s participation in both Anthem’s Oncology Medical Home program as well as the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Patient-Centered Cancer Care Certification pilot – an ambitious program designed to improve oncology care delivery via rigorous standards in advance care planning, symptom management, goal-concordant care communication, care coordination and clinical treatment pathways.

“As one of the world’s most respected cancer centers, MD Anderson has an unparalleled opportunity to impact cancer care delivery on a national and international level,” Adelson said. “I am tremendously excited to join this stellar community and partner with world-renowned clinicians and scientists to advance MD Anderson’s strategic vision and mission.”

Adelson is a practicing medical oncologist and clinical researcher specializing in breast cancer, and she has been an investigator on multiple clinical trials for early-stage and metastatic disease. She also is an accomplished researcher in health services and clinical care delivery, with published research and insights on end-of-life care, new models of value-based care and clinical care redesign.

Adelson earned her medical degree at Yale School of Medicine and completed her residency and fellowship in New York at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, respectively. She joined Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital in 2014 and was promoted to associate professor in 2017. She also earned a master’s degree in Health Care Delivery Science from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and Geisel School of Medicine.

She is a current member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s Policy Committee and a former chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Council. In addition, she’s a sought-after national speaker on cancer care quality, cost of care and shared decision-making in cancer treatment – including the value of establishing goal-concordant care with patients.

“Dr. Adelson is exceptionally well-suited to this important leadership role, and I am confident her experience, strategic vision and alignment with our core values will serve MD Anderson, our patients and our Cancer Network partners well,” said Welela Tereffe, M.D., chief medical executive. “I look forward to collaborating with her and other leaders to advance impactful and innovative quality, safety and value-based initiatives that consider the total patient experience.”